Newsom Issues Executive Order Authorizing Public Health Officials to Join Safe at Home Confidential Address Program

This week, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-80-20 taking action on a series of items related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the order allows local health officers and other public health officials to participate in the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home Confidential Address Program. The order acknowledges the numerous threats and other harassment experienced by local public health officials, including threats and harassment targeted at their places of residence, which “threatens to chill the performance of their critical duties.”

CHEAC released the following statement in light of the Governor’s order to protect public health officials:

“Governor Newsom’s executive order recognizes that the work of local public health directors and public health officers is crucial to saving lives in California, and that we must be free to make decisions based on science and in the best interest of the public without facing threats and harassment.”

“We are grateful Governor Newsom has acted to protect public health officials and our families who have sacrificed dearly as we’ve worked around the clock for the last seven months with one goal in mind: saving lives.”

“While we are seeing positive trends in COVID-19 containment, we are fighting a relentless virus and the flue season around the corner calls for maintaining vigilance. We look forward to continued partnership with Governor Newsom and the administration to continue our progress so that California may reopen safely.”

—Mimi Hall, CHEAC President and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Director

Newsom’s executive order also authorizes the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) to gather information to assess the impacts of the pandemic on health care providers and health care service plans. The order also extends authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through March 31, 2021, and extends other provisions related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).