Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Stay-at-Home Orders in the City of Sacramento

Updated April 15 at 4:30 p.m.

In response the COVID-19 pandemic, Sacramento County and the State of California both announced orders that require residents to stay at home except under very limited circumstances.
Here’s what that means:

I. The stay-at-home orders

What do they do?

Basically, the orders require everyone to stay at home as much as possible so we can maintain a physical distance from one another. This means that everyone is required to stay at home, except when it is necessary to get food, services, supplies, care for a relative or pet, get health care for yourself or a family member, engage in limited outdoor activity, or go to work for certain essential businesses. It’s OK to order food from restaurants for pick-up or delivery.

This also means that when you are not at home, you must practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people, even when outdoors.

Read the full Sacramento County Public Health Order.

Read the full State of California Order.

Why are we doing this?

This is necessary to reduce and slow down the spread of the coronavirus in our community.

Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in Sacramento to act immediately.

If everyone works together, we should be able to adjust to the new rules over the next few weeks. We know that there will be a lot of questions and concerns. This is a major step being taken to protect public health.

Please be patient and kind to one another. Together, we will get through this, and our community’s health will be protected.

How long will we need to stay home?

We will need to stay at home as long as it is necessary to meet public health challenge before us. State and County public health officials will notify the public when the stay-at-home orders are no longer needed.

Where does this apply?

The State order is in effect across all of California; the County of Sacramento also issued an order for the county.

Is this mandatory or is it just a recommendation?

Yes, it is mandatory. These are legal orders issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order (although the intent is not for anyone to get into trouble; the goal is to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19).

The Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department have said they are not making traffic stops, or stopping individuals, solely for the purpose of determining where they are going or if people are conducting essential business.

Nevertheless, it is critical for everyone to follow the orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the entire community.
All persons, businesses and other entities are required to comply.

II. Guidance for Residents

What can I do under the orders?

First of all, please continue to do the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds or use hand sanitizer, as frequently as possible.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes (into your sleeve or elbow, not into your hands).
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces regularly.
  • Do not shake hands.

Can friends and family come in for a social visit?

No. For your safety, their safety, and the safety of the community, everyone should stay at home to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and avoid people outside of your household.

Can workers come in to do repairs to my house?

Yes, plumbers, electricians and exterminators may keep working and providing their services to the public, provided such services are necessary for the operation of your home.

Can I go out to go shopping?

Yes, but only to go out to get food and essential supplies.

Stores that sell food are allowed to say open. This includes, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks and convenience stores. You can also order food for delivery or takeout from restaurants that provide it.

You may also go out to stores that sell household consumer products such as cleaning supplies, personal care products and hardware.
While you are out, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from other patrons while shopping and waiting in line.

Can I go out for health care?

Yes, you can go to hospitals, medical clinics, dentists, pharmacies, mental health providers, and related healthcare providers. This also includes veterinary care and other health care services for animals. We do not want you to avoid any necessary health care.

However, here are some tips to save medical resources for those who really need them during the state of emergency:

  •  Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning and elective procedures should be cancelled or rescheduled until after the state of emergency. 
  • If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline or an urgent care center.
  • If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.
  • When possible, have the drug store deliver your prescription medicine to your home.
  • Avoid all social interaction outside the household when sick or demonstrating symptoms.

What other services may I go out for?

You can go out to use other services that are necessary. Businesses providing necessary services include:

  •  Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Mailing and shipping services, post office boxes
  • Veterinary hospitals and clinics
  • Funeral homes

While you are out, remember to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from others.

Can I go out to care for my pets?

Yes, you can take your pet out for a walk, go out to get food and supplies for your pet, and go to the veterinarian or pet hospital if your pet is sick.
Remember to stay at least six feet away from other pets and owners while you are out.

Should I stockpile food and necessities?

No. Buy normal quantities of these items. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone. You will continue to be able to purchase these items as you need them. For prescriptions, work with your health care provider to ensure that you have enough of the medication you need. If you can get your prescription mailed to you, you should do that.

Can I still order things online and get them delivered?

Mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences may continue to operate under the State and County orders.

Can I go out to care for an elderly or disabled family member or friend?

Yes. However, be sure that you protect yourself and them by following social distancing guidelines:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds or using hand sanitizer, as frequently as possible
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), and
  • Do not shake hands.

If you are in a vulnerable population (65 or older or with an underlying health condition) contact friends, family or others you know who can provide support. They are allowed to assist you in obtaining necessary food, supplies and services.

Can I go visit people in health care facilities?

Most visitors are no longer allowed in health care settings. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 years old or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance.

Can I go to my place of worship?

No. For your safety and the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Places of worship can offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming or teleconference.

Can I go out to exercise?

Yes, certain outdoor recreation activity is allowed, including, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, biking, running or equestrian activities, in compliance with social distancing requirements. However, use of recreational facilities that encourage gathering, including, but not limited to, playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, barbecue areas, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock parks, climbing walls, pools, spas, shooting and archery ranges, gyms, disc golf and basketball courts is prohibited outside of residences.

Can I travel?

You can only travel for the following reasons:

  • To do activities that are allowed
  • To return to your home
  • To comply with law enforcement or a court order
  • To care for a family member or pets that cannot care for themselves
  • To attend a funeral with 10 other people or fewer
  • To move residences
  • For COVID-19 testing, or travel to blood banks or blood drives
  • To manage after-death arrangements
  • To avoid homelessness
  • To avoid domestic or child abuse
  • To facilitate parental or custody arrangements
  • To avoid exposing others to infection

Otherwise, do not travel. Travel puts you and others in the community at risk.

Can I use public transportation?

Yes, but use public transportation only for essential travel.

Can I take a taxi or a rideshare service?

Yes, but taxis, rideshare services and rental cars are only allowed for essential travel.

Can I go to work?

If you work for a business that is considered essential (see below), you may go to your worksite. All employees should follow appropriate social distancing and enhanced hygiene practices.
If you work for a business that is not considered essential (see below), only “minimum basic operations” are allowed on site. However, you may continue activities that are performed from home.

Government employees and contractors can continue to go to work if they are designated by their employer as providing and carrying out essential government functions.

Will government services continue?

Essential City and County government services will continue. These include:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
  • Garbage/sanitation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities (water, power and gas)
  • Certain city offices

Are any businesses required to be closed?

Yes, these businesses must be closed under the stay-at-home orders:

  • Bars
  • Wineries and brew pubs
  • Restaurant dining rooms (home delivery and takeout are allowed)
  • Gyms
  • Bingo halls
  • Card rooms

III. Guidance for Businesses

I’m a business owner, can I keep operating?

All businesses with a facility in the County that are designated as “essential businesses” may continue to operate. All essential businesses are encouraged to remain open. However, essential businesses are directed to maximize the number of employees who work from home. Essential businesses shall practice proper physical distancing, including but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line. Businesses engaged in a mix of essential and non-essential activities must attempt to scale business down to only essential activities.

What is an essential business?

Essential businesses are:


Hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. This includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

Essential infrastructure

Construction, airport operations, water, sewer, flood control, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection, processing and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications and web-based services).

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish and poultry. This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non- grocery products.

Household Goods Stores

Stores that sell household consumer products, such as cleaning and personal care products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.


Food and beverage cultivation, processing and distribution, including but not limited to, farming, ranching, fishing, dairies and creameries. Wineries and breweries may operate in order to preserve inventory and production, not for retail business.

Social Service Providers

Businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for people who are economically disadvantaged or otherwise in need.


Newspapers, television, radio and other media services.

Automotive Services

Gas stations and auto supply, sales, auto-repair and related facilities.

Financial Institutions

Banks and related financial institutions.

Hardware stores

Bicycle Services

Bicycle-supply, sales, bicycle-repair and related facilities.

Household Services

Plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities and essential businesses.

Gardening/landscaping services

Arborists, landscapers, gardeners and similar service professionals, but only to the limited extent necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, operation of businesses or residences, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public (such as fire safety).


Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.

Educational Institutions

Public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities -- for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions.

Laundry Services

Laundromats, dry-cleaners and laundry service providers.

Real Estate

Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases and home sales) with certain restrictions.


Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or take out.

School Food Service

Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site.

Business Supply Stores

Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home or businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, but only to the extent that they support or supply these essential businesses. (This exemption shall not be used as a basis for engaging in sales to the general public from retail storefronts.)


Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.


Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in the County order.

Home Care

Home-based care for seniors, adults or children.

Residential Facilities

Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults and children.

Professional Services

Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.

Childcare Facilities

Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees who are allowed to work. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:

  • Children must be in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
  • Children shall not change from one group to another.
  • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
  • Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

What if you’re not an essential business?

All non-essential businesses (any business not listed above) may continue activities that employees or contractors perform from home. However, all activities at facilities located within the County must cease, except for the following minimum basic operations:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, ensure security, process payroll or related benefits or for related functions.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
  • Employees must maintain a distance of six feet from each other.

Are essential businesses required to establish a social-distancing plan for employees and customers?

Yes. The public-health order from the County of Sacramento requires all essential businesses to “prepare, post and implement a Social Distancing Protocol at each of their facilities.” A template for the protocol is attached to the order as Appendix A, and a copy of the plan must be provided to each employee performing work at the facility. 

The protocol may include the following:

  • Limiting the number of people permitted to enter an establishment at any one time
  • The formation of lines
  • Provision of soap and hand sanitizer
  • Provision of contactless payment 
  • Regular disinfection of fixtures
  • Prohibiting customers from entry if they are exhibiting any symptoms