“Safer At Home”: What You Need to Know

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents immediately to heed current state public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the state public health officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Californians.

In accordance with this order, the state public health officer has designated the following list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.


Pasadena residents are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.

View City of Pasadena Safer at Home Order for Control of COVID-19.


  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store.
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities.
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first).
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru.
  • Care or support a friend or family member. A family member includes anyone you live with, anyone who is a legal relative of yours, or anyone you treat as a family member.
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise—just keep at least six (6) feet between you and others in the community.
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary.
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies.


  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this order.
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need.
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out.
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility.

Safer at Home - What You Can and Can't Do List (English)
Safer at Home - What You Can and Can't Do List (Español)
Safer at Home - What You Can and Can't Do List (中文 - Chinese)
Safer at Home - What You Can and Can't Do List (հայերեն - Armenian)

Is this order mandatory? What happens if I don’t comply?

Yes. This is a legally enforceable order. It is against the law to violate this order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.

Why is this happening now?

The Safer at Home Order was issued because it is urgent that we slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

The virus spreads easily, and this order is intended to prevent the spread of this disease from overwhelming our healthcare system. The goal here is to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we have adequate health care resources for those who get sick with COVID-19 and those who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.

What is the difference between “safer at home” and “social distancing”?

"Safer at home" is a stricter form of social distancing. There are some differences. "Safer at home" means:

  • Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
  • Only go out for essential services
  • Stay six feet or more away from others
  • Don’t gather in groups

The other concepts from social distancing will continue to apply when you are out shopping or walking or going to the doctor. These include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces, not going out if sick, and staying at least six feet away from others at all times.

When does the order go into effect and how long will it last?

The Safer at Home Order goes into effect immediately after midnight, starting at 11:59 p.m., Thursday, March 19, 2020. For a 24-hour period following the effective date above, employees and business owners will be exempt to allow access to their workplaces to gather belongings, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. Such workplaces shall remain closed to the public in accordance with this order.

The order is currently set to expire on April 19, 2020. The duration can be either shortened or extended by the mayor. We want to be sure the order is in place for only as long as necessary, and the mayor, in coordination with the Pasadena Public Health Department, will be closely monitoring the situation every day in order to determine what adjustments are appropriate.

What are essential services and what businesses that will stay open?

The following essential services remain open:

  • Gas stations;
  • Pharmacies;
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants;
  • Post offices;
  • Banks;
  • Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services;
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners;
  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities;
  • Residential facilities and shelters for homeless residents, disabled persons, seniors, adults, children and animals;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted from Stay at Home Order to work as permitted;
    • Childcare facilities that remain open should employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements.
    • Babysitters may also come to the house to care for minors of parents working in essential sectors.
  • Hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dentists, mental and behavioral health providers, alcohol and drug treatment providers, veterinarians, and other licensed healthcare facilities; and
  • More. See full list of essential businesses.

What about infrastructure and construction?

Individuals may leave their residences to provide any services or goods or perform any work necessary to the operations, maintenance and manufacturing of essential infrastructure, including without limitation:

  • Construction of commercial and institutional buildings, and residential buildings and housing;
  • Airport operations, food supply, concessions, and construction;
  • Port operations and construction;
  • Water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil extraction and refining;
  • Roads, highways, public transportation and rail;
  • Solid waste collection and removal;
  • Flood control and watershed protection;
  • Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services); and
  • Manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential to the supply chains of the above industries.

Can the order be changed?

Yes. It was important to get the Safer at Home Order in place quickly given the spread of the virus in Southern California. However, it can and will likely be updated as conditions warrant. Follow updates at cityofpasadena.net, and sign up for COVID-19 email updates at cityofpasadena.net/covid-19-updates. We will also share new updates with the media.

What if I need to visit a healthcare provider?

If you are feeling sick, first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center.

Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you have deemed that you have an actual emergency.

For purposes of this order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any healthcare provider, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research facilities, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care providers, mental health providers, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries with medicinal permits, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers. Healthcare providers do not include exercise gyms and similar facilities.

Are financial resources available to help me during this time?

Yes. Please refer to the following links:

LA County Department of Public Social Services Financial Resources for Residents Impacted by COVID-19

Disaster Assistance Loans for LA County small businesses impacted by COVID-19

LA County Tax Collector COVID-19 FAQs

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Coronavirus Tax Relief

Can I still get deliveries from online stores?

Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services. Just keep six feet between you and the person delivering the item.

Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?

Yes. Pasadena's Safer at Home Order identifies businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences may continue to operate. But keep your social distance by staying six feet from the person delivering the item.

Can I use ride share, on demand service, or a taxi?

Only for essential travel. You should avoid being in a vehicle with many other people. In circumstances under which such transportation is needed,  you must practice social distancing, cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, use hand hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after rides. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers, like Uber and Lyft, providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes are expressly authorized in the Safer at Home Order.

Can I take public transportation (bus, subway, train)?

You can now ride Pasadena Transit and Dial-A-Ride to work, the grocery store, the doctor's office, and any other essential travel destination for FREE. All Pasadena Transit monthly passes will be automatically extended and honored until further notice. All Pasadena Transit vehicles are cleaned thoroughly at least once per day. This means that every surface from floor to ceiling is disinfected.

When using public transit, maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others.

View Metro updates and service adjustments.

Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?

No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open and are frequently restocking. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.

What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick?

If you are feeling sick, please first call your primary care doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before going to the hospital. Check online resources like the CDC website if you are worried that you or a loved one has the COVID-19 virus. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you have deemed that you have an actual emergency. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick and needs to go to the hospital or a medical provider? How can I protect others?

If possible, walk or drive yourself to the hospital or medical provider. If someone else in your home is sick and can drop you off, that is another good option.

If you have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like a surgical mask or N-95 mask, you can wear that to prevent exposing others. If you don’t have that, you could use a temporary method such as wrapping a clean scarf around your mouth and nose to try to reduce droplets when you cough and sneeze. Although this is not an approved method, it is something you can do to try and limit exposure to others.

What about routine, elective or non-urgent medical appointments?

Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures must/should be canceled or rescheduled. If possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely.

Contact your healthcare provider to see what services they are providing.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

Yes. Be sure that you protect them and you by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.

Additional public health guidance for individuals with access and functional needs.

What if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to someone who was?

Individuals who have COVID-19 (a positive COVID-19 test OR a presumed diagnosis by a healthcare provider) are required to self-isolate for at least seven days and until 3 days after symptoms are gone.

Individuals who have had contact with someone with COVID-19 must quarantine themselves for 14 days since their last exposure to that person to prevent potentially exposing others to the virus.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have additional questions, or visit cityofpasadena.net/COVID19.

Understanding Isolation, Quarantine, and Self-Monitoring
Pasadena Public Health Officer Isolation Order
Pasadena Public Health Officer Quarantine Order

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

Generally no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the Safer at Home Order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities. If you need more information, please contact the facility directly by phone. This is difficult, but necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients.

Does the order allow me to have my children in childcare? Will my daycare be shut down?

Childcare facilities may only operate if they comply with the conditions of the Safer at Home Order as they related to child care. Among these conditions, children must be cared for in groups of 12 or fewer, groups of children may not mix with each other, and providers may not circulate between groups.

Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?

Yes, but only if they provide essential services as described in the order. This would include non-profit operating food pantries, providing housing and services for homeless residents, and many other critical services.

What is Pasadena doing to address COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness?

The Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness is carefully monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 in collaboration with the Pasadena Public Health Department and taking appropriate preventative and preparation measures informed by federal, state and local guidelines.

These measures include but are not limited to securing and placing hand washing stations across the city in areas that are accessible to our homeless neighbors; procuring and siting a mobile shower service to meet the basic hygiene needs of our unsheltered neighbors; working to assemble hygiene kits that contain information on available resources, including the location of hygiene facilities; and utilizing hotel/motel rooms to provide immediate accommodations to seniors and other high-risk groups with underlying health conditions.

For more information, visit https://pasadenapartnership.org/covid-19/ .

I am currently on vacation outside the city—Does the order allow me to return home?

Yes. You should maintain social distancing on your way home, and then you will be subject to the limitations in the Safer at Home Order. If you prefer to stay indoors at your current location, you are encouraged to follow this order while outside the city of Pasadena in order to protect yourself and others.

What happens if I leave the city to go on a planned vacation?

The Safer at Home Order requires that you stay in your place of residence. Traveling runs the risk of spreading the virus to other areas and exposing new populations. Do not travel. As explained above, if you live outside of the city of Pasadena, you are allowed to travel to and from work if your work is essential business, or if you need to travel to Pasadena, for another essential service like medical appointment.

I’m visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?

If you have a car and can return home via travel, you may do so if you are following social distancing protocols. If you have a flight or other travel, you should check first with the carrier to see if they are still operating and what protocols they recommend. You are strongly encouraged to shelter in place when you arrive at your destination to avoid infecting anyone else in your home community.

If you need to stay longer, coordinate with your accommodations as best you can.

What do I do about my kids? I have to work.

The Safer at Home Order allows you to take steps necessary to take your children to authorized childcare. Otherwise, you should address childcare needs as you are able given the constraints of the situation.

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Learn more.

How will I entertain my kids? Can we go to the playground or arrange playdates?

Do your best to entertain your children with games, reading, puzzles, and TV/videos at home. Engage them in educational online tools. However, you should NOT take them to the playground or arrange playdates. Children are not able to maintain social distance, and even adults are prohibited from socializing with friends in this manner. It is essential that we stop the spread of the virus by not having in-person social interactions.

Can I leave home to exercise?

You can still walk, run, hike and bike in your neighborhood as long as you continue to practice social distancing of 6 feet. This means avoiding crowded trails and parking lots.

Can I go to the gym or health club?

No. Gyms are ordered closed.

Can I still visit State Parks?

To help reduce crowds, State Parks is modifying operations at some parks, including closing vehicular access and parking lots to reduce density of visitors. A list of closures can be found at www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve. Everyone has the responsibility to “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.

For information on National Parks, please visit their website here.

What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?

You are permitted to provide care or to help with getting supplies for loved ones. But don’t provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and, instead, find someone else to do it. If you are sick, please try to self-isolate or take other steps not to expose anyone else to your illness.

Can I go to the store (grocery store, market, corner store, food bank, etc.) to buy food and other things?

Yes, you can go to the store to buy food, drinks and goods for yourself, for those in your home, and for anyone else that needs help. This also includes medical supplies at a pharmacy and supplies at a hardware store.  When out of your house always maintain six feet of distance from other people.

Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?

Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, water retailers, produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?


Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?

Yes. You can shop for anything that is related to health care, office supplies, hardware supplies, and at businesses listed as essential in the Safer at Home Order. You should minimize unnecessary trips

Can I go to the bank?

Yes, but avoid unnecessary trips.

Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?


What are the social distancing guidelines I still need to follow?

The best way to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid groups (stay at least six feet away from others).
  • Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least six feet away.

When practicing social distancing, how far should I stay away from others if I must be away from my home?

At least six (6) feet, which is appropriately two to three steps away, including if you are on the bus or train. This is why it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities--you want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing.

What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?

You should still try to maintain a least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. Be sure when you are in line that you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on.

I work for an essential infrastructure organization--can I leave home to go to work?

Yes. “Essential Infrastructure” includes, but is not limited to, water, sewer, gas, electrical, roads and highways, construction, public transportation, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provisions of essential infrastructure for competing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?

No. Entertainment venues like these are not permitted to be open during this order.

Can I go to a restaurant, cafe, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice location?

Yes, but only to pick up food or drinks. You cannot dine-in or eat or drink at the facility. Patrons will not be permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.

Is my favorite restaurant, cafe, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other food service location open?

Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food to the public are encouraged to stay open, but only to provide delivery and carry out. Patrons will not be permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.

I don’t cook—how can I purchase meals?

Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments may remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout. You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.

How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must instead be delivered or taken away for consumption.

Can I walk my dog/pet?

Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from other pets and owners.

Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?

Yes. Please call first to determine if there are any restrictions in place.

What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?

Call your plumber or building manager. The Safer at Home Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, exterminators and building managers to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit hardware stores, which are allowed to stay open under this order.

Can I keep working from home?

Yes, as long as your employer permits it.

What if I want to go to work and I’m not sick?

Unless your work includes an essential function, you cannot go to work. You may have the virus and not know it, or you might get it and risk infecting those you live with.

What if I'm not able to pay my rent due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19?

On March 17, 2020, the Pasadena City Council adopted a resolution ratifying the City Manager’s Second Supplement to the Declaration of a Local Emergency, and establishing a moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent by tenants impacted by COVID-19. The moratorium prohibits landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. Tenants are required to repay any back rent within six (6) months of the expiration of the emergency period.

View additional information and FAQs.