March 18, 2020
I hope this finds you, your families, friends and coworkers safe and well. These are indeed unprecedented times. On Monday, my partners and I authorized all ECG personnel to work, via our real-time collaboration technology, remotely from home. THIS SHOULD NOT IMPACT OUR CONTINUING SERVICES, NOR HINDER ECG's ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OR SERVE YOU. You can still reach any ECG employee by calling ECG’s main line, our respective ECG direct dial numbers, or our cell phones. Likewise, we continue to be connected by email and text. The only slight improvement is you can now attach a document of any size to a text directed to our respective ECG direct dial numbers.
It turns out this decision was warranted. Shortly before noon yesterday, the Orange County Health Officer issued an order banning all “public and private gatherings of any number of people, including at places of work, occurring outside a single household or living unit.” The order also temporarily shuts down bars and all onsite dining. As one might expect, a lengthy list of “Essential Activities” are exempted. These include certain governmental offices, first responders, "[h]ealthcare operations (e.g. hospitals) and essential infrastructure,” grocery stores, gas stations, those who deliver food and essential services, care for the disabled and elderly, “[p]rofessional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.” etc.
Such extreme action, however, seems to have been a mistake. To further illustrate the fluidity of the situation, around seven p.m. yesterday the Orange County Operational Emergency Operations Center issued a press release softening the order's harsh pronouncements. In sum, we are now told yesterday’s action was “NOT an order to shelter in place … [and] not a lockdown.” The press release also states, ‘[i]t is important for all Orange County businesses to remain open while practicing social distancing consistent with the Governor's guidance.” Finally, it states “the County will be issuing an amended Health Officer's Order.”
Either way, please note, with some exceptions, most local federal and State courts have shut down or severely cut back on operations. Please feel free to call us or consult court and government office websites for updated, rapidly developing information.
We will endeavor to continue to keep you informed. In the meantime, to the extent possible, stay home, avoid crowds, practice good hygiene, stay safe and above all keep your sense of humor!