6 Bay Area counties jointly announce shelter-at-home order

Bay Area extended shelter-in-place order eases some restrictions
Image of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, courtesy of the Center for Disease Control, or CDC.

Residents of six Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa, have been ordered to stay home except when providing and receiving essential services or for essential travel, from Tuesday, March 16 through April 7 — an effort aiming to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, only businesses described as “essential” are allowed to operate as part of the legal order signed off by health officers from the six counties, including Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. The order aims to keep residents at home and away from others as much as possible.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are excluded from the order but encouraged to seek shelter. The order permits residents to shop for groceries, attend doctor visitors, participate in outdoor activity with social distancing, and to fetch gas, go to banks, or care for family members.

Essential businesses allowed to operate include:

  • Health care operations
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals
  • Fresh and nonperishable food retailers (including convenience stores)
  • Pharmacies
  • Child care facilities
  • Gas stations
  • Banks
  • Laundry businesses
  • Services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence

In addition, health care, law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action, according to the order.

For the full list, see section 10 in the order, which can be accessed here.

“While the goal is to limit groups congregating together in a way that could further spread the virus, it is not complete social shutdown,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Public Health Officer. “You can still complete your most essential outings or even engage in outdoor activity, so long as you avoid close contact.”

As of Sunday, there were 258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in seven Bay Area counties, more than half of California’s case count. Four people have died.

As of today, there are 34 confirmed cases in Contra Costa County.

“Temporarily changing our routine is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this pandemic,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Public Health Officer. “The Health Officers from the largest jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area are united and we are taking this step together to offer the best protection to our respective communities.”

For more information, visit Contra Costa Health Services’ novel coronavirus page here.