Country to open more this week, but shelter-in-place still in effect
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Construction and outdoor activities — including golf — to resume business

County extends shelter-in-place order through May 31, but golf, tennis and pickleball reopen

By Ann Peterson

Managing editor

Some restrictions will ease next week as Rossmoor enters its seventh week of a Bay Area-wide shelter-in-place order.

All construction projects and outdoor activities such as golf, tennis and pickleball will resume starting Monday, May 4, under an extended stay-at-home order that will last until May 31.

The latest order permits landscapers, gardeners and construction, as long as safety protocols are maintained. That means all landscaping work will resume, along with Mutual rehab maintenance including carpentry, roofing and painting, said Director of Mutual Operations Paul Donner. All Handyman services also will be available.

“This is the best news we’ve had in a long time,” said Donner, whose crews have handled essential and sanitation work only for the past month. “This will be good not just for the Mutuals’ bottom line but for keeping on schedule.”

As part of the safety measures, workers will be monitored for illness and must wear masks at all times. Residents also must wear face coverings if they are inside homes where employees must enter to work.

Inspections of manors will resume, but residents cannot be present. Alterations also will be available again, but only by phone.

Donner said outside contractors also have been asked to reduce their hours to 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. out of respect for neighbors who are sheltering in place.

Golf also reopens for business on Tuesday, May 5 – for residents only – with new procedures for checking in and playing on the courses. Director of Golf Mark Heptig consulted with others in the golf industry, including the PGA and state courses already opened, to outline the new safety protocols.


Procedures for Reopening Golf Operation


Customers have to check in one at a time at least 20 minutes before tee times, which are accepted over the phone only. Face masks are required during check-in. Only credit cards are accepted for payment. No club rentals are permitted.

Residents can only play in twosomes and must maintain social distance at all times. Carts are for single riders only, unless from the same household. Every other stall will be open on the driving range to ensure 6-feet of distancing and practice will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes. Practice areas are limited to two people per green and also limited to 30 minutes.

Lessons and tournaments are not permitted. There will be no ball washers or rakes. Players must leave the flagsticks in the hole to maintain contactless play. And gatherings after golf rounds are not allowed.

Any player who does not follow the rules will be asked to leave the facility.

During the closure, residents have taken to walking on the courses throughout the day, which isn’t permitted during golf play for safety reasons. To allow walkers some time on the courses, the last tee time at Creekside will be at 4 p.m. so walking can begin at 6 p.m. daily. No walking will be allowed on Dollar Ranch Course, except on Mondays when golf is closed and both courses are open to walkers.

“I know this is going to be hard for walkers and for golfers, too,” Heptig said during the GRF Board meeting on April 30. “They want to go back to the way things used to be. That’s not possible. We have to take baby steps.”

Tennis and pickleball also will reopen but are limited to singles play only, and like golf, are for residents only. No instruction or tournaments are allowed. Social distancing of 6 feet between people is still required.

Any sports or activities that use “shared equipment or physical contact between participants” are permitted only between members of the same household. It is not known yet whether bocce and lawn bowling can reopen.

Per the order, the pools and dog park must remain closed through at least the end of May.

Also permitted to reopen are wholesale and retail nurseries and some other businesses providing outdoor services. Those do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, even if they offer outdoor seating.

The remainder of the social order remains in place, including the shuttering of all other non-essential businesses and ban on events. Families not residing together also can’t visit one another. And the April 17 order to wear face masks while visiting or working at essential businesses still applies.

This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom also mapped out his most specific framework for reopening California, but none of the four stages he listed had specific timetables.

Currently, the state is in stage 1, building up testing and tracing, while establishing safety guidelines for workforces by industry. Stage 2, which is still weeks away, would include gradually opening some lower-risk businesses and manufacturing, allowing curbside pickup for retail business, increasing access to public spaces and reopening schools and daycares.

Stage 3 would come in a few months, with new safety measures in place as high-risk workplaces reopen, including hair and nail salons, gyms, sports without live audiences, movie theaters and in-person religious services.

Finally, in Stage 4 – once treatments are developed – the highest-risk ventures will resume, from live sports events and concerts to conventions.