You have likely heard from a wide range of news sources about the newest COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions from all levels of government.
I write today because six Bay Area counties — including San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin Counties — will be putting new “shelter in place” orders into effect at midnight tonight, and I want to make sure you know what they are:
- You should only leave home — by car, bike, scooter, public transit, or anything else — to buy food and other necessary supplies, seek medical care, or provide assistance to family members and friends who need it. Any other non-essential travel is prohibited.
- Non-essential gatherings of any size are now prohibited.
- Essential businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores will remain open; restaurants will serve take-out and delivery only; non-essential businesses such as bars and gyms will be closed.
- Public services such as first responder and safety programs, sanitation, and others will remain in operation.
- You can go outside for walks or exercise, but should remain at least six feet away from anyone you do not live with.
- If you have any underlying health problems, you should stay at home except for health care-related reasons.
These orders will go into effect tonight at midnight, and stay in place until at least April 7.
San Francisco and other Bay Area officials are recommending you take these orders very seriously and voluntarily comply with them. These orders are based on the recommendations of international public health experts, who urge us to do everything we can to “flatten the curve” and stem the spread of the virus.
We all must do our part to keep our community safe and healthy during these stressful times. As Mayor London Breed reminded us in her press conference this morning, grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open — so there is no need to buy excess amounts of food or household supplies. Buy only what you need, and keep your fellow San Franciscans in mind, because we must — and we will — weather this storm together.
Lastly, please remember the common-sense things we should all do: wash your hands regularly for at least twenty seconds; do not leave home if you are feeling sick; avoid contact with sick people and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
I will keep you updated with important announcements, but would also recommend you sign up for San Francisco’s official text updates by texting COVID19SF to 888-777 as soon as you can. For more updates as they happen, you can visit the San Francisco Department of Public Health here.
Our city and state officials are ready to do whatever it takes to keep us safe. Thank you for taking these precautions seriously, and for doing your part.