California Highlands Exempt from CA COVID-19 Executive Order
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order telling citizens to stay in place to avoid the further spread of COVID-19 in an emergency press conference on Thursday. The order applies to all California citizens and requires them to stay home and avoid leaving their homes except for “essential activities.” The order comes as a part of the social distancing model that has been the chief method American officials have sought to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
However, the order does make provisions that allow California Highlands Addiction Treatment to continue to serve people that need treatment for substance use disorder. The order allows residents to leave their homes for essential activities, business, and government functions. One of the provisions allows for activities related to maintaining health and safety, which means you are allowed to leave your home to get medicine or see a doctor.
For that reason, the order has not affected the services offered at California Highlands, and we are continuing to operate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines concerning COVID-19.
Addiction treatment falls under the purview of essential health care. As the virus continues to disrupt day to day life, people with substance use disorders need help and support to work toward and maintain sobriety. People in the recovery community often require access to medical care and social support to treat biomedical issues and to avoid relapse. California Highlands remains committed to serving people with SUDs and others in the recovery community. We are also closely watching how COVID-19 develops, and we’re heeding the orders and recommendations that are coming from the CDC and other official sources.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is the model of virus prevention that involves avoiding physical contact that might spread the virus. It involves limiting non-essential social contact and maintaining a distance of six feet when you encounter other people. The purpose of social distancing is to slow the advance of COVID-19 to accomplish several important goals. First, it helps keep the virus away from vulnerable people like the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, or other pre-existing issues that make catching the virus very dangerous.
Second, it helps keep instances of viral infections low enough for hospitals and clinics to handle the influx of patients. For the average healthy person, COVID-19 isn’t life-threatening with medical treatment. But if too many people get it at the same time, they may not be able to get the treatment they need at overwhelmed healthcare facilities. Third, it helps buy doctors and researchers time to find new effective ways to treat the virus.
What Else is Allowed Under the Order?
In addition to health-related activities, under Governor Newsom’s order, you can also leave your home to get necessary supplies for yourself, family, or household like food or other supplies. You can also engage in outdoor activities like walking or hiking as long as you maintain social distancing guidelines. You can leave your home to care for family members in other households or to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities, or other vulnerable people.
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The order also allows people to continue to work away from home if they work in essential services like services related to healthcare, infrastructure, public maintenance, gas and auto repair, banks, child care, and others.
American Psychiatric Association. (2017, January). What Is Addiction? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
CDC. (2020, March 13). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, July). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. (2020, March 20). Governor Gavin Newsom Issues Stay at Home Order. Retrieved from https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/19/governor-gavin-newsom-issues-stay-at-home-order/
The White House. (2020, March 17). What is Social Distancing? from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlyxz2X97Do