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Shelter-at-home order covering St. Helena takes effect Friday

Shelter-at-home order covering St. Helena takes effect Friday

From the Complete coronavirus coverage from the Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan series
  • Updated

The shelter-at-home order taking effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 20, requires most Napa County residents, including those in St. Helena, to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The order, effective through April 8, carves out exceptions for “essential activities” like buying groceries and other necessary supplies, going to medical appointments, and engaging in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, biking – as long as people maintain six feet of social distance and avoid gatherings of 50 or more.

People can also go to work if they are employed by an “essential business,” a category that includes grocery stores, farmers markets, farms, wineries and breweries in order to preserve inventory and production, gas stations, banks, auto repair shops, hardware stores, plumbing businesses, electrician businesses, taxis, restaurants for drive-through, takeout and delivery only, laundromats, dry cleaners and newspapers.

A complete list of essential businesses is available at

The order is mandatory, and violations are considered a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. However, “the intent is not for anyone to get in trouble,” according to a county fact sheet.

You can still take your kids outside to play, said Police Chief Chris Hartley.  “You’ve just got to pay attention to the six-foot rule and not get into any large gatherings.”

“This is new to all of us,” Hartley added. “If we remain calm and keep the lines of communication open, we’ll all get through this together.”

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