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Bay Area shelter-in-place order extended until May 3

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Directive expected to go past original April 7 end date

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
An aerial view from a drone shows an empty Interstate 280 in San Francisco on March 26.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At a press conference, Mayor London Breed announced extended shelter-in-place orders to last until at least May 3

The extension also affects Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, and San Mateo.

Breed also said the past weekend was “definitely an improvement” on social distancing and that “the streets were pretty clear.”

The original stay was scheduled to remain in place until at least April 7.

Several Bay Area counties, including SF, announced this a shelter-in-place for all residents in mid-March. Under the order, people are expected to stay in their homes.

Residents may leave their homes only to meet basic needs such as buying groceries, getting medicine, or visiting a doctor. And people with essential jobs (e.g., grocers, medical) must travel to work. Denizens will be allowed to take strolls to take out pets to use the bathroom, but people are asked to remain at least six feet away from other people at all times.

“This is going to be a defining moment for our city,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in a written statement, during the first shelter-in-place order. “We all have a responsibility to do our part to protect our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus by staying at home unless it is absolutely essential to go outside.”

The directive, prompted by concerns over COVID-19, applies to San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties, which have “a combined population of more than 6.7 million.” The order is statewide, with many other U.S. states and other countries following similar measures.

Homeless residents are exempt from the order as officials try to find ways to house them. The hospitality industry in San Francisco has offered approximately 8,500 rooms for the city to use (either free of charge or at a reduced rate) to house shelterless people.

Mayor Breed has urged residents not to panic, noting that grocery stores, gas stations, banks, laundromats, farmers markets, food banks, sanitation, convenience stores, and other essential services will remain open. Bars, clubs, and gyms will be closed.

Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s director of health, said at a March 16 press conference, “Our response has been grounded in data, science, and facts. Based on what we can predict, now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks.”

As many people stayed holed up inside their homes, restaurants have shuttered due to lack of business (though many still remain open for take-out and delivery). Along with medical professionals and sanitation workers, grocers have turned into the real heroes of this ongoing saga, making it a point to go to work and help people buy essentials, despite staffing shortages.

Curbed SF will continue to update as the story unfolds.