Bay Area shelter-in-place order to be extended through May

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

The Bay Area shelter-in-place order is set to be extended through May, as public health officials said Monday the COVID-19 pandemic is still in its early stages and warned that premature lifting of restrictions could lead to a surge in cases.

Later this week, revised public health orders will be issued for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and also the City of Berkeley that largely keep current restrictions but with “limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities,” according to a joint statement by the public health officers of partnering jurisdictions.

Health officers are set to release a set of broad indicators aligned with the state’s framework to track progress and determine further easing of restrictions.

“Future easing of restrictions requires that each jurisdiction and various sectors continue to rapidly build critical infrastructure and systems to respond to and control the spread of coronavirus infections and to ensure the health care system’s ability to meet demand,” CCHS said.

While the Bay Area has done a good job slowing the spread of COVID-19, CCHS said it expects to be responding to the virus “for a long time.”

“The virus spreads easily, testing capacity is limited and expanding slowly, and vaccine development is just beginning,” the public health officers said.