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COVID-19 Capacity Limitations

Last content update:  10/10/2020

MANDATORY CAPACITY LIMITATION INSTRUCTIONS

 
STEP ONE: Determine whether your facility is subject to a specific Health Officer capacity limitation.  

The following facilities are currently subject to capacity limitations: 

  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Indoor gyms and fitness facilities
  • Indoor dining facilities
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor cardrooms
  • Any facility hosting an indoor gathering (including places of worship, movie theaters, and private residences)

If your facility does not fall into one of the above categories, it is not subject to a specific Health Officer capacity limitation, and you do not need to follow any further steps listed on this page.  You must still limit the number of people inside your facility to ensure that everyone is able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from everyone outside their household at all times.

If your facility does fall into one of the above categories, proceed to Step Two.


STEP TWO: Calculate your capacity limit. 

Capacity limitations apply to every room or area in your facility in which members of the public spend time or engage in regulated activities.  See the FAQ section below for more information.  Rooms or areas that are subject to capacity limitations are considered “capacity-limited rooms/areas.” 

To determine the maximum number of people who can be inside any capacity-limited room or area at the same time, you will need the following information: 

  1. The type of facility (for example, “museum”);
  2. The normal maximum occupancy for each capacity-limited room/area that has a posted maximum occupancy;
  3. The square footage of each capacity-limited room/area that does not have a posted maximum occupancy.

    Note: Gyms, fitness facilities, and family entertainment centers will need the gross square footage for each capacity-limited room/area; all other facilities will need the net square footage for each capacity-limited room/area.  See the FAQs below for information on how to calculate both kinds of square footage.

 Once you’ve collected this information, use the calculator tool below to determine the maximum number of people who may be inside each capacity-limited room or area in your facility at the same time.  If your type of business is not listed here, your business is not subject to a Reduced Maximum Capacity under the Health Officer Order.

Maximum Capacity Calculator

Does the room/area have a posted maximum occupancy?

 

Type of Business

Maximum Occupancy:

STEP THREE: Create Reduced Maximum Capacity signage for your facility.

After you calculate the maximum number of people for each capacity-limited room/area in your facility, create Reduced Maximum Capacity signs for each capacity-limited room/area.   Each sign must clearly state the maximum number of people who may be inside that particular capacity-limited room/area at the same time under the Health Officer Order.  For each room/area, you will need to create one Reduced Maximum Capacity sign for each entrance.  A template is available below.

NOTE: Under the Revised Social Distancing Protocol, all Reduced Maximum Capacity signs must be completed under penalty of perjury.  This means that everything written on the signs must be truthful and accurate to the best of your knowledge.  Knowingly posting Reduced Maximum Capacity signs that include false information is a crime. 


STEP FOUR: Post Reduced Maximum Capacity signage at the entrance to each capacity-limited room/area.

Post your Reduced Maximum Capacity signs at all entrances to the corresponding capacity-limited rooms/areas.  The signs must be clearly visible to anyone entering the room/area. 


STEP FIVE: Make sure your Reduced Maximum Capacity signage stays up to date.

Capacity limitations may change if the County moves to a different tier of the State’s Blueprint or if a change is ordered by the County Health Officer.  Check the County Public Health Department website regularly to make sure you always know the current Health Officer capacity limitation for your facility.  If the Health Officer capacity limitation for your facility changes, update your Reduced Maximum Capacity signage immediately and post it so customers and staff know the accurate Health Officer capacity limitation. 

 

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CAPACITY LIMITATION CHART

This chart explains the numbers used to calculate the Health Officer capacity limitations for each type of capacity-limited facility.


Type of Business​ Current Indoor Capacity Percentage Limitation (for rooms with posted maximum occupancies)​ ​Current Indoor Density Limitation with Capacity Percentage Limitation (for rooms without posted maximum occupancies)
Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums​​ ​50% ​1 person per 60 net sq. ft.
Gatherings (including places of worship, movie theaters, and private residences)​ ​25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer ​1 person per 60 net sq. ft. or 100 people, whichever is fewer
​Gyms and Fitness Facilities ​25% ​1 person per 200 gross sq. ft.
Indoor Dining​ ​25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer ​1 person per 60 net sq. ft. or 100 people, whichever is fewer
​Family Entertainment Centers (only open indoor for naturally distanced activities) ​25% ​1 person per 200 gross sq. ft.
​Cardrooms ​​25% ​1 person per 44 sq. ft.
 


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MAXIMUM CAPACITY SIGNAGE TEMPLATE

 

Reduced Maximum Capacity Sign 

Download Reduced Maximum Capacity Sign (PDF)

 

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CAPACITY LIMITATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:


Which rooms in my facility are subject to capacity limitations?
Capacity limitations apply to every room or area in your facility in which members of the public spend significant time or engage in regulated activities.  Here are some examples of rooms that are likely capacity-limited for each type of facility:

  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums: Galleries, exhibit halls
  • Indoor gyms and fitness facilities: Exercise floors, fitness areas, group fitness rooms, locker rooms
  • Indoor dining facilities: Dining rooms, lobbies
  • Indoor family entertainment centers: Activity or entertainment areas
  • Indoor cardrooms: Gaming areas
  • Any facility hosting an indoor gathering (including places of worship, movie theaters, and private residences): Gathering areas

The above list is not all-inclusive, and other rooms may be subject to capacity limitations as well depending on how your facility is laid out and how it is used.  Generally, restrooms, hallways, and other rooms where members of the public don’t spend much time are not subject to capacity limitations, but physical distancing must always be maintained.

If a room in my facility isn’t subject to a capacity limitation, do I still have to limit the number of people who are inside of it at the same time?

Yes.  You must always limit the number of people inside each room to ensure that everyone is able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from everyone outside their household at all times.

Do personnel/staff members count toward the Health Officer capacity limitation?

Generally, yes.  For most industries, the Health Officer capacity limitation sets the maximum number of people who may be in any capacity-limited room/area.  This includes both members of the public and personnel/staff. The only exception is for dining facilities, where the capacity limitation sets the maximum number of customers.  Personnel/staff do not count toward the capacity limitation for dining facilities.



My facility is a dining facility, and it has multiple rooms that are used regularly by customers.  I calculated the maximum capacity of each room, and when I add the maximum capacities together, the sum is more than 100.  Can I have more than 100 customers inside my facility if I make sure that each room/area does not exceed its calculated capacity limit?

No.  For dining facilities, the absolute maximum number of customers who may be inside the facility as a whole is 100.  You may not exceed that number under any circumstances.  Please see the Mandatory Directive for Dining, Bars, Wineries, and Smoking Lounges for more information.

My facility is a gathering space, and it has multiple rooms that are used regularly by gathering attendees.  I calculated the maximum capacity of each room, and when I add the maximum capacities together, the sum is more than 100.  Can I have more than 100 people inside my facility if I make sure that each room/area does not exceed its calculated capacity limit?

Yes, but only if you follow all the rules for holding multiple indoor gatherings.  These rules are listed in section 7 of the Mandatory Directive for Gatherings.

How do I calculate gross square footage?  What about net square footage?

Gross square footage is the total square footage of a room/area.  For most rooms, this will require multiplying the length of the room (in feet) times the width (in feet).  To calculate the net square footage, you must calculate the gross square footage, then subtract all the areas of the room/area that are not open to the public (such as employee-only storage areas) or are not available for active use (because fixtures like boilers or art installations are in the way).

Where did the density limitation numbers in the capacity limitation chart come from?
The density limitation numbers are based on the California Building Code and other public health considerations.

What is a “posted maximum occupancy,” and how can I find it?

All rooms/areas within commercial buildings have a maximum occupancy that is determined by the Fire Marshal based on the California Building Code.  The maximum occupancy sets the limit on how many people can use the room/area at once under normal circumstances (but note that the current Health Officer Order sets more stringent requirements on some facilities, as explained above).  Under the Building Code, in some rooms/areas, the maximum occupancies must be posted near the main exit.  Most rooms used for assembly, dining, and drinking will have posted maximum occupancies.

One of the rooms in my facility has multiple uses, and the different uses are subject to different capacity limitations.  How do I determine which capacity limitation applies?

If a room is being used simultaneously for multiple activities that have different capacity limitations, you must apply the strictest capacity limitation that applies to any of the room’s activities.  For example, if an indoor museum hosts a gathering in one of its galleries, the capacity limitation for gatherings will apply because it is stricter than the capacity limitation for museums.

My facility has multiple rooms that are used regularly by customers. The only posted maximum occupancy sign I have at my facility applies to the entire facility, not to individual rooms.  How do I calculate my capacity limitation?

Generally, as explained above, the capacity limitation calculation should be conducted for individual rooms/areas.  However, if you have a posted maximum occupancy for your entire facility, you may use that number and calculate one maximum capacity for the entire facility.  But you will need to take steps to spread out your customers and staff to make sure that they are evenly spread throughout the facility and do not cluster together in any particular room.  

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Last updated: 10/13/2020 6:20 PM