Bay Area counties issue shelter in place for three weeks

Bay+Area+counties++issue+shelter+in+place+for+three+weeks

Catherine Stites, City Editor

Mayor London Breed announced the new public health order that will require San Franciscans to remain at home with exceptions for essential outings starting at 12:01 a.m, Tuesday March 17th.

Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax emphasized that the response to COVID-19 has always been grounded in data, science and facts. “Today we are ordering that everyone in San Francisco to remain home until April 7th.”

“We need to slow it down,” said Colfax in reference to the spread of COVID-19. He said the public health order is just the new phase in their response.

The top three priorities to fight the spread of the coronavirus are to reduce community spread, protect vulnerable populations and protect healthcare workers.

Colfax asked the community to not overwhelm health systems with non-emergency situations.

San Francisco county will be joining together with five other counties including Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties for this public health order.

“Together we will get through this, and our families and communities health will be better protected,” said Colfax.

Breed said that essential services like police, fire, transit and sanitation will continue and essential places like grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and laundromats will remain open as well. Bars and gyms will close effective at midnight tonight, but restaurants can do take-out orders or delivery. She also said to practice social distancing, to continue washing your hands and sanitize things that are touched regularly. The order can be amended to be shortened or lengthened.

The mayor also announced a Workers and Families First Program this morning, helping workers in the private sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to get paid while sick, or caring for sick family members.

If used in full, the program would support up to 25,000 San Francisco employees.

“Public health comes first in this crisis, but we know that many people have less flexibility to stay home and keep paying their rent if they do get sick,” said Mayor Breed.

For updates, you can text COVID19SF to 888-777 or go to the San Francisco Department of Public Health website.

This page was  updated after a 1pm conference Mayor London Breed held.