Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. 

Butte County Reopening

PLEASE NOTE:  This page is an active information page. As information is provided by the local work groups, health professionals and the State, it will be updated and added here.

Planning an Event or Performance?

Other than for any required regulatory permitting such as food service operations, Butte County Public Health does not review, approve, deny or make recommendations concerning public or private event plans of any kind. As Butte County continues to open up more, the state has issued new guidance and updated existing guidance for gatherings, private events, indoor events, graduation ceremonies and the like. Any person or agency who is planning, organizing or attending any such event and has questions, should locate the appropriate guidance and review it closely. It is the responsibility of event organizers to review and interpret the State’s guidance and make a determination if they can comply with it.

Guidance Documents can be found at (Google Chrome works best when accessing the State websites):

Blueprint for a Safer Economy

California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier.

Click to learn more about the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Butte County is in the ORANGE tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

How are the regions determined?

The regions were determined by how counties typically request mutual aid from nearby counties during emergencies, hospital system connections and overall proximity. It’s important to note that some counties within a region have a larger population than others. This means they also have more ICU beds to reflect their population.

Workplaces Guidance for COVID-19 Exposure & Diagnosis:

To determine when an employee who has been exposed to COVID or tested positive for COVID may return to work, please refer to the Butte County Guidance for Employers Regarding COVID Exposure. For additional information please refer to the following:

(click to view) Employer Playbook for Safe Reopening

(click to view) Returning to Work/School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis

(click to view) COVID FAQs for Employers

(click to view) COVID Exposure: What Should I Do?

(click to view) Local Self-Certification placard

COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Reporting

AB685 is a new California law that requires employers to notify employees/workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and to report workplace outbreaks to the local health department. A workplace outbreak is defined when an employer identifies 3 or more cases of COVID-19 at a worksite within a 14-day period - the employer is required to report this to their local health department within 48 hours.

Please note: this report is only for businesses and should not be used by the general public to report a business that may have infected workers.

Return to work letters no longer provided

To determine when an employee who has been exposed to COVID or tested positive for COVID may return to work, please refer to the Butte County Guidance for Employers Regarding COVID Exposure. Butte County Public Health (BCPH) will no longer provide return to work or release from isolation or quarantine letters for employers or employees. Due to a sharp increase in cases in Butte County, COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing must be prioritized to prevent outbreaks, stop chains of transmission and respond to cases in persons at highest risk for complications. Because of this prioritization, BCPH may not have specific information about your employee’s COVID infection and will not be able to confirm their release from quarantine or isolation.

COVID-19 Industry Guidance & Assistance

The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) in coordination with CDPH recently launched a new Employer Portal, a one-stop hub for California employers to quickly find up-to-date state and local county COVID-19 guidance by business industry. This website will help expedite locating the most current state and local guidance and will be changing on a regular basis due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access the CA COVID-19 Employer Portal:

What should remain closed in Butte County

The following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:

  • Live audience sports
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities such as bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Nightclubs
  • Festivals

Sectors not listed above will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing. For a full list, and more information on the Regional Stay At Home Order, please visit,

When can schools reopen?

The Regional Stay at Home Order does not modify existing school guidance. Schools that are open for in person instruction may continue to provide in-person instruction as permitted.

As of Tuesday, October 13, 2020, all schools in Butte County may choose to open for in-person instruction effective immediately. Schools who choose to open for in-person instruction must follow the State COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and School Based Programs. The State guidance applies to all schools reopening for in-person instruction including public (traditional and charter) and private schools. 

When Reopening in Butte County:

As the State announces reopening guidance for new sectors permitted to reopen Statewide and additional sectors that may reopen in counties with a local variance once approved by the local Health Officer, the County reminds businesses that in addition to the State reopening guidance all businesses and facilities should also:

  • Establish and implement a COVID-19 Prevention Plan (CPP) pursuant to an Emergency Temporary Standard in place for COVID-19 (California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 8, section 3205(c). Guidance materials are available at:
  • Post a local self-certification window placard in a visible location once all reopening measures have been met.
  • Require employees to wear face coverings when interacting with members of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities,  and in any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance. 
  • Maintain a log if possible, including: customer or participant name, contact information, and time of visit when practicle that may be provided to Butte County Public Health to assist in contact tracing.


Individuals Actions:

  • Anyone who is feeling ill should stay home.
  • Vulnerable (high risk) individuals – should continue to follow the State’s Stay-at-Home Order.
  • Wear face coverings – individuals are required to wear a face covering when in public. See face covering guidance.
  • Continue physical distancing – When in public, maximize physical distance from others (at least six feet).
  • Maintain good hygiene practices – Washing hands, use hand sanitizer, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes.


The State has updated their Gathering Guidance to allow for private gatherings that bring together people from different households. Notably, attendance for gatherings is based on county tier status for the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Please review the guidance that relates to the current Butte County tier status.

Guidance for Private Venues & Events

Distinguished from gatherings with defined guest lists and assigned seating, capacity limitations include provisions for being able to verify testing or vaccination status.

Guidance for Indoor Seated Live Events & Performances

Outlines conditions for indoor seated live events and entertainment with audiences to support a safe clean environment for workers and attendees.

Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies

The State now allows churches to open indoors with modifications:

  • Max 50% capacity
  • Capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended

Face Coverings REQUIRED in all Public Spaces

Cloth face coverings help reduce the spread of coronavirus especially when combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Starting June 18, Californians must wear face coverings in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible. 

View Face Covering Mandate

A significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

Cloth Face Covering Safety Measures:

  • Wash your hands before putting on a face covering
  • Don’t touch your face or the face covering during usage
  • Wash the face covering before using it again
  • Face coverings are not a substitute for staying home or social distancing, especially when ill.
  • The purchase of N95 respirator masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

If you don't have a cloth face covering, you can make your own!


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Butte County Public Health
Phone: 530.552.4000
TTY: 530.538.6588
Fax:        530.538.2165

Report a Health Emergency, 24-Hour Line

E-Mail Public Health:

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Butte County Public Health
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.552.4000

Danette York, M.P.H., Director
Robert Bernstein, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Officer
Public Health Leadership Team