Bay Area stay-at-home order extended, clarified

Bay Area stay-at-home order extended, clarified

San Francisco

Health officers in several Bay Area counties and cities on Tuesday extended a shelter-in-place order through May 3 to try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the region.

The previous order, issued earlier this month, was set to expire on April 7. The new order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and covers six counties -- Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara -- as well as the city of Berkeley.

The county health officers said the order is a complement to the indefinite stay-at-home statewide order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19.

The extended order reiterates that all non-essential businesses will remain closed and also clarifies some of the restrictions on public life in the Bay Area.

It says that the use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas and similar recreational areas is prohibited and must be closed to the public.

The use of shared public recreational facilities, like golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools and rock walls, is prohibited and those facilities must close.

Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment is prohibited unless it solely involves people in the same household.

The new order requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before Friday and says that most construction, both residential and commercial, is prohibited.

The order expanded the types of essential businesses that are allowed to remain open to include service providers that enable residential transactions, like notaries, title companies and realtors.

Also included are funeral homes and cemeteries -- but funerals are limited to 10 attendees.

Moving companies, rental car companies and ride-hailing services that "enable essential activities" are also allowed to remain operational.

All of the businesses that remain open are required to pair down operations to the bare minimum, according to the announcement.

The extension of the order is necessary because of a "significant increase" in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths that are now putting a "strain on health care resources," according to the news release.

As of Tuesday, there were 150 deaths reported statewide from COVID-19.

"Extending the stay-at-home order should reduce the number of sick patients seeking care at one time, giving us time to acquire more medical supplies for providers who will be providing care to people sick with COVID-19," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County.

"The extension will allow doctors and nurses to better treat those who do get sick, and save countless lives," Farnitano said.

Editor's Note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to all online readers. If you'd like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join/.

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