Governor's State "Shelter in Place" Order How It Applies to the Pool & Spa Industry

Just as California Pool & Spa Association (CPSA) had completed the work to interpret the various local “Shelter in Place” orders, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order on March 19. The executive order exempts from the directive individuals “needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.” The initial press reports and articles only list a small number of businesses and services as essential services that are exempt from the order. However, the State of California has adopted the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response to govern what industries, services, and workers are critical and exempt from the “Shelter in Place” order.

As for the swimming pool, spa, and hot tub industry, CPSA believes the order provides guidance applicable to service and maintenance, distribution, construction, and manufacturing.



There are four areas within the CISA memorandum that provide support for distributors to maintain at least some employees at their place of business as “essential” to provide products or services to support:

Health Care/Public Health: 

#5 distributors of cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sanitation supplies.

Public Works:

#3 workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers that provide services that are necessary to maintain safety sanitation and essential operation of residences.

Other Community Based Government Operations and Essential Functions:

#9 workers at operation centers necessary to maintain other essential functions, i.e. sanitation.


#5 workers who support the production and transportation of Chlorine…


Service & Maintenance

Exemptions are supported by the following references:

Public Works

#3 workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers that provide services that are necessary to maintain safety sanitation and essential operation of residences.

Other Community Based Government Operations and Essential Functions

#1 workers to ensure continuity of building functions.


Building & Construction

There is no specific reference to building or construction in the Federal CISA memorandum. However, in the Governor’s Executive Order, Governor Newsom included:

“Construction, including housing construction” – Although it’s been confirmed by the Governor’s office that “all construction” is exempt from the stay-at-home order, some builders have reported that some counties will not likely issue a building permit for pool construction as an essential business. However, if the completion of a pool is necessary to obtain an occupancy permit for a residential property, it may well be considered “essential” as housing is an essential industry.



Exemptions are supported by the following references:


#1 workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chain, including workers at chemical manufacturing plants…

#5 workers who support the production and transportation of Chlorine…

Since construction is allowed, the supply chain for equipment starts at the manufacturer. Additionally, circulation and filtration are essential for proper sanitization and maintenance of pools and spas. The CISA Memorandum, see exert below, is not authoritative or exhausting. It allows industry partners to make their own interpretation or judgment of critical operations.



An exert from the CISA Memorandum is cited below. If you would like to read the memorandum in its entirety, visit

As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16, President Donald Trump issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that: 

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. CISA uses trusted partnerships with both the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure resilience assistance and guidance to a broad range of partners. 

In accordance with this mandate, and in collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector, CISA developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance. 

The attached list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continue critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works. 

We recognize that State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are ultimately in charge of implementing and executing response activities in communities under their jurisdiction, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role. As State and local communities consider COVID-19-related restrictions, CISA is offering this list to assist prioritizing activities related to continuity of operations and incident response, including the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions. 

Accordingly, this list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself. 

In addition, these identified sectors and workers are not intended to be the authoritative or exhaustive list of critical infrastructure sectors and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response. Instead, State and local officials should use their own judgment in using their authorities and issuing implementation directives and guidance. Similarly, critical infrastructure industry partners will use their own judgment, informed by this list, to ensure continued operations of critical infrastructure services and functions. All decisions should appropriately balance public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. 

CISA will continue to work with you and our partners in the critical infrastructure community to update this list as the Nation’s response to COVID-19 evolves. We also encourage you to submit how you might use this list so that we can develop a repository of use cases for broad sharing across the country.