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Posted on: May 13, 2020

Special eNews - Local Shelter-In-Place Order Still In Effect

The six Bay Area counties issued a joint statement today in response to the Governor's announcement of the loosening of some restrictions of the state order. Please read the message below:

(Para ver esta carta en español, oprime aquí)

The six Bay Area counties issued a joint statement today in response to the Governor’s announcement of the loosening of some restrictions of the state order. Please read the message below:

Changes to current local health orders — like allowing non-essential businesses to offer curbside pickup — will be evaluated at the local and regional level

Local jurisdictions continue to work on responsible reopening plans that maintain progress in the fight against coronavirus

The Bay Area Health Officers commend the residents and businesses who have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the curve and protect community health in our region. We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste. It is critical to maintain our gains.

Bay Area counties value the Governor’s leadership and support during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, he issued guidance that spells out the state’s expectations for non-essential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity. We will study this carefully.

It is important that our local communities understand that the regional Health Orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. These orders – in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley – loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses. The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8.

Health officers will continue working in collaboration with local elected officials, community, and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely, while sustaining the progress we have made to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We appreciate that the Governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level. In our current environment, if a county order differs from a state order, the more restrictive order takes precedence.

We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health. We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems.

The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway. Our communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. We expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations. That is why we are building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. We will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. We will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead.

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For clarity, here’s what we included in the Mayor’s weekly letter on Tuesday regarding what new elements were revised in the County’s May 4 order, and what the State revised starting tomorrow:

  • Generally allowed under the new order are:
  • Construction (both commercial and residential)
  • Outdoor services such as gardening and landscaping; businesses which primarily operate outdoors such as nurseries and garden centers
  • Moving services (both commercial and residential)
  • Real estate transactions (with virtual components)
  • Activities in shared recreational spaces that do not involve shared equipment and that allow for social distancing, such as golf courses and athletic fields

FAQs and the Revised Order are available online at smcgov.org/shelter-place-faqs.

You likely heard that the State is moving into parts of Stage 2, allowing for loosening of additional restrictions (subject to local orders). Governor Newsom is expected to lay out the groundwork for this at his press conference on Thursday. Beginning this Friday, the State Order allows retail establishments to open with curbside pickup (places like clothing stores, florists, bookstores, and sporting goods stores). The State Order does not include offices, restaurants with seated dining, or shopping malls.

However, here is where this gets tricky: the San Mateo County Order does not allow for the opening of those establishments. Local agencies still retain the option of stricter restrictions if deemed necessary due to the localized spread and movement of the pandemic. If the County feels that the restrictions lifted by the State can be lifted within San Mateo County, they will issue a revised order. If they do not, then the current order still stands and must be complied with locally. If and when the County revises its restrictions, we will be certain to let you know.

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