- There are new rules to the San Francisco Bay Area shelter-in-place order designed to curb the coronavirus outbreak so the healthcare system is not overwhelmed.
- Residents will no longer be able to access playgrounds, public picnic areas, or dog parks, and funerals must not exceed 10 people.
- The new restrictions came as city officials across the region announced that the order, originally slated to end on April 7, would be extended to May 3.
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City officials across the San Francisco Bay Area introduced new rules for residents as news came of an extended regionwide shelter-in-place order that will now run through April, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Residents will no longer be able to frequent playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, or other recreational areas. Golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, and rock-climbing walls must close. Any sport that requires people to share a ball must be played only among members of the same household. Essential businesses must implement social-distancing protocols by April 3.
The new restrictions are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Residential and commercial construction will be prohibited, with exceptions for affordable-housing facilities, and funerals must not exceed 10 people.
“We are bending the curve,” Dr. Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County public-health officer, said at a Tuesday news conference, according to KTVU. “But it’s not enough.”
These are additional restrictions to what officials originally announced on March 16, when news of the order was made public. At the time, specific public areas were not ordered to close, and residents were not directed to steer clear of them. But after the first weekend of the shelter-in-place order saw mass outings to the region’s open spaces, city leaders reiterated to residents the importance of social distancing. Parking areas at public parks across San Francisco were closed as a result.
Residents, however, can still leave their homes for essential needs, such as for groceries or walks outside, but are asked to limit the number of unnecessary trips and stay close to home.
The region, as well as other parts of the US, is gearing up for an expected surge in coronavirus cases as the number of confirmed cases hit 2,308 in the Bay Area, with 59 reported deaths.
Hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise, but some local health officials say the shelter-in-place order and the enforcement of social distancing may be working. The region, as well as the entire state of California, is attempting to avoid a situation similar to New York’s, where officials didn’t enforce a stay-at-home order until five days after the Bay Area did. The state of New York now has 75,795 confirmed cases, with at least 1,550 deaths.
The Bay Area shutdown is still not a full lockdown like the one Italy has implemented — residents do not have to have government permission to leave their homes. Violations of the order’s restrictions are also still punishable by fines or citations, but law enforcement is still relying on resident compliance.
The order affects six Bay Area counties as well as the city of Berkeley.