February 8, 2021 Public Health Order:
Public Health COVID-19 Community Townhalls:
On December 3, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a regional stay at home order in response to the continued spread of COVID-19. For the purposes of his order, California is divided up into the five regions depicted below. The majority of SRBX members are within the Greater Sacramento Region.
The Governor’s order specifies individuals who reside in regions with less than 15% of hospital ICU capacity will be prohibited from having private gatherings of any size. The order further closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.
As of Thursday, it was reported the Sacramento region had 22% capacity left in its intensive care units, keeping it (for the moment) above the 15% threshold. However, ICU utilization has been climbing over the past few weeks, and the Newsom administration projected Sacramento Region ICUs may exceed capacity by December 24 if coronavirus infections continue at the recent pace.
Please note this order does not impact the construction industry. All areas of construction continue to be deemed essential, and work on construction projects can continue in all areas of the state.
A copy of the governor’s announcement can be viewed here.
SRBX will continue to monitor information from the governor’s office and will inform members of any significant changes or impacts to the construction industry.
Under another set of changing guidelines, an equity metric system, counties must show a decrease in COVID-19 cases in disadvantaged neighborhoods before indoor activities can resume. All counties must submit a plan to the State and disclose how funds will be invested to stop the spread of COVID-19. Data on Racial Demographics here. Read more here.
All public counters in California remain closed at this time.
SACRAMENTO – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is announcing that seven of its eight test centers around California will reopen today Monday, June 15, 2020. Most of the centers will have expanded hours each day to accommodate an additional test session for applicants.
The test centers, located in Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose, closed on March 19, 2020 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All test centers with exception of Berkeley will open next Monday.
CSLB staff have remained on-duty during the test center shutdown, processing license applications and assisting applicants in their efforts to prepare for their licensing exams. Most applicants must take and pass two exams for licensure. It is typical to have about 4,500 pending exams. While closed, the number of exams waiting to be taken grew to more than 9,000.
It will take some time to get these numbers down, as we will operate with reduced testing capacity to comply with physical distancing requirements. To make up for lost seats, CSLB has turned its Sacramento headquarters hearing room and a conference room at its Norwalk office into auxiliary test centers.
Even so, the number of tests CSLB will be able to administer each day will be 10% less than before the COVID-19 health emergency.
CSLB is taking special steps to make sure test centers are safe for both applicants and staff. They include disinfecting test stations after each candidate finishes their exams.
There are two important items of note for candidates:
Be sure to include your phone number and other relevant information, such as license number, application fee number, and any other information that will help staff provide you a thorough response.
To Reschedule a Cancelled Exam: Exams@cslb.ca.gov
Be sure to include your name and application number. Please note that CSLB is waiving the rescheduling fee for cancelled exams.
Attn: Contractors involved in resolving insurance claims.
During this unexpected and unpredictable pandemic, many insurance policyholders attempting to resolve claims with their insurance companies are also dealing with economic hardship and a lack of access to the California court system. Should you find yourself in this predicament, rest assured the California Department of Insurance (DOI) is addressing the situation head-on.
On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California issued emergency rules governing the California court system during the COVID-19 pandemic. While not all of the emergency rules listed are applicable to claims settlements contractors might find themselves into, there are two that are specific to legal situations an insurance claim might encounter.
The California DOI was informed that some California insurers and other professionals active in the business of insurance claims are unfairly taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis by providing very low settlement offers, all while knowing that the need for claim payouts are high and that recourse to the civil court system within California is currently severely limited.
Taking all of this into account, let’s review parts of the California Unfair Practices Act so you know your protections and can take legal action if needed. The Act outlines several practices that constitute unfair methods of competition, deceptive acts or practices, including but not limited to:
Be advised, the Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara intends to exercise, to the full extent of his authority under the Unfair Claims Practices Act, all available administrative remedies including significant civil penalties against any persons in the California insurance industry who knowingly commits or perform any of the mentioned unfair claims settlement practices set forth in the Act.
Information courtesy of CCIS: https://www.ccisbonds.com/content/87-covid19-protection-for-policyholders-from-unfair-settlement-practices.htm