Shelter In Place Extended To May 31 – Some Restrictions Eased
On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Contra Costa County’s Health Officer, along with six other Bay-Area Health Officers, issued an extension of the mandatory Shelter in Place Order through May 31, 2020. The new order, which takes effect at 11:59 p.m., May 3, 2020, also allows for the relaxation of some of the current restrictions in place, particularly those pertaining to outdoor activities.
According to County Health Services, the majority of the restrictions from the Shelter in Place Order will remain. However, some areas will be eased, with limitations. These include:
Changes to Businesses Allowed to Operate:
- Construction projects, both residential and commercial, may resume, provided they comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols issued with this order.
- Outdoor businesses may resume operations, and residents may visit those businesses to obtain goods and services. This designation includes businesses such as nurseries, landscapers, pool service, and agricultural operations. These businesses are expected to continue to comply with all social distancing requirements. NOTE: Restaurants with outdoor seating do NOT qualify as outdoor businesses.
- Commercial and Residential real estate transactions may resume, with restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.
- Childcare establishments, summer camps, schools and other educational and recreational programs can operate to provide care and supervision to children to allow persons in essential businesses, outdoor businesses or performing minimum basic functions to have access to childcare. These businesses are expected to continue following restrictions specified in the order.
All businesses operating in the county must continue to comply with social distancing protocols. This includes having employees and customers wearing face coverings when either working at or visiting the business establishment.
The County recommends that those businesses that have not yet been allowed to reopen should begin planning on how they will implement needed social distancing protocols for when they resume operation.
Essential Activities and Travel:
All residential moves are now allowed to proceed.
- The new order allows the use of shared outdoor recreational facilities that do not encourage gathering or contain high-touch equipment. This would include tennis and pickle ball courts, skate parks, shooting and archery ranges, and athletic fields.
- Play areas at area parks will NOT reopen to use as they are considered ‘high touch’ facilities and pose a risk of virus transmission.
COVID-19 INDICATORS AND HOW THEY WILL BE USED:
Contra Costa Health Services will be monitoring data on the coronavirus and may ease or expand restrictions based on key indicators. These indicators include:
- New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per day
- Capacity of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the county
- Supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel
- Ability to quickly and accurately test person for COVID-19
- Ability to conduct case investigation and contact tracing and quarantine those who have had contact with confirmed cases.
Why Aren’t More Businesses Being Allowed to Open?
(From the County’s FAQs) Thanks to the collective effort and sacrifice of the 7 million residents across the Bay Area, we have made progress in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, ensuring our hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases April 29, 2020 and saving lives. This progress allows us to ease some restrictions to allow lower risk outdoor businesses and outdoor activities to resume, so long as they strictly comply with social distancing requirements and other protections in the Order. The Order also adds certain business activities to the essential business list, including construction and commercial real estate transactions—that have become critical as we gradually head into a period of expanded economic activity in which more space to accommodate increased social distancing will be necessary.
However, at this stage of the pandemic, we need to maintain most of the restrictions of shelter-in-place so that we do not lose the progress we have achieved. Lifting too many restrictions too soon could easily lead to a large surge in cases and result in avoidable hospitalizations and deaths, and it may also lead to longer-term economic harms.
Is the Shelter in Place Order Mandatory?
It is mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor) not to follow the Order.
The updated Shelter in Place Order is available online, as is an Executive Summary. Both are available at www.coronavirus.cchealth.org. For those with questions or seeking clarification of the Shelter in Place Order, the county has set up a help line at (844) 729-8410.
The Town of Danville has information and resources for local residents during the coronavirus outbreak. That page is www.danville.ca.gov/coronavirus.