To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, gatherings as
described below should be postponed or canceled across the state of California until
further guidance is issued by the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Public Health finds the following:
- All gatherings should be postponed or canceled.
- This includes gatherings such as concerts, conferences, and
professional, college, and school sporting events.
- Gyms, health clubs, and theaters should be closed.
- A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room
or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large
conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.
This applies to all non-essential professional, social, and community gatherings
regardless of their sponsor. Gatherings that do not meet the aforementioned criteria
should only be conducted when they are essential—that is, if the activity is essential
and could not be postponed or achieved without gathering, meaning that some other
means of communication could not be used to conduct the essential function.
What will this achieve?
The timely implementation of aggressive strategies that create social distance and
those that reduce close contact of people not regularly together, including limiting
gatherings, has proven effective in prior pandemics at delaying rates of transmission
and reducing illness and death.
By decreasing the prevalence of disease across California we will:
- Reduce the number of Californians who contract COVID-19 before an effective
treatment or vaccine is available.
- Protect those most likely to experience severe symptoms, such as older
Californians and those with underlying chronic conditions.
- Preserve and protect our health care delivery system, including our health care
workforce, so they can care for the least healthy individuals in the community for
any medical condition, not just COVID-19.
- Minimize the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 over the long run.
How long will these limitations apply?
This guidance will remain in place until further guidance is released by the California
Department of Public Health. As with all guidance that relates to COVID-19 response,
authorities will revisit this guidance on a regular basis to evaluate the continued public
health need for it and to evaluate if any elements need to be changed. To stay informed,
continue to monitor the California Department of Public Health’s web page on COVID-19 guidance
Examples of Essential Events this Does Not Apply To
The goal of this recommendation is to prevent people physically coming together
unnecessarily, where people who have the infection can easily spread it to others. This
guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes,
work, or essential services.
Please see the guidance for schools document for additional information.
Certain activities are essential to the functioning of our state and must continue. Hence,
this does not apply to essential public transportation, airport travel, shopping at a store,
mall, or farmers’ market, or charitable food pantries and distributions. Other specific
guidance can be found on the CDPH website
to help people take actions that can
protect them in those settings.