SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area public health officials have added new restrictions to what residents are allowed to do as they shelter in place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, plus the City of Berkeley (which operates its own public health department) made a joint announcement that shelter-in-place orders would be extended to May 3. On Tuesday night, Sonoma County joined the six other counties in extending the date to May 3. Napa and Solano counties have not announced such extensions, as of Tuesday evening.
San Francisco was the first jurisdiction to announce the extension on Monday where Mayor London Breed said the stay-at-home order would be prolonged to at least May 1. Santa Clara County followed with a briefing Tuesday morning outlining the finalized extended joint jurisdiction orders to stay at home.
The initial stay at home order started on March 17 and was set to end on April 7, however, as President Trump extended social distance guidelines to April 30, the Bay Area soon followed.
In addition to the restrictions put in place for the original three-week shelter-in-place order, officials are now requiring new rules:
What is considered an "essential business" has been expanded to include:
These additional restrictions apply for the duration of the stay-at-home orders, which have been extended to May 3 in those six Bay Area counties. Non-essential businesses will still be closed and restaurants and cafes are only allowed to provide take-out service.
The extension and new restrictions come as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise around the Bay Area. The number of cases in the nine counties topped 2,300 Tuesday.
"Our hospitals are beginning to fill with COVID-19 patients. They need more time. We need to do more to give our healthcare facilities and providers every advantage we can so they can care for us when we need them, whether for COVID-19 or for any other acute healthcare need," said Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "Every unnecessary contact with another person increases the chance that the virus may spread from one person to another."
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said, "We know we've got thousands of families right now that are struggling without a paycheck. Physical separation does not mean social isolation. This is a time for our community to embrace the shared sacrifice, to embrace this moment."
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen reiterated that the updated restrictions are in the best interest of the community, health care workers and loved ones.
"It is very often hard to measure the result of a good deed. Your good deed, your sacrifice, your civic duty, will be measured in lives," Rosen said. "Someone's grandfather, someone's mother, someone's child will survive this pandemic, because you've done the right thing. Those are the stakes."
Mixed reaction to closing dog parks; Grocery stores prepared
Tuesday there were strong reactions to the strengthened shelter-in-place measures.
Nat Amare is a father who lives in the East Bay and says the closure of dog parks and recreation areas makes for more challenging times.
"That's definitely more than what I expected cause currently people are stuck at home with their kids and their dogs," he said.
Amare and others do agree that if it helps the greater good than he's all for it, "I would assume it's based on some valid data and I hope it is and if it is, what it takes is what it takes."
Dan Schwab had similar thoughts. He's okay with the closures but is still puzzled on how it will help.
"Closing the dog park seems draconian, like do we need to do that? You think when you're walking on the trail how often do you get within six feet of people?" he questioned.
Some of those stricter requirements are on grocery stores that must have a social distancing protocol in place by Friday. Those that we spoke with at the El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company say they already require distancing outside and inside, they scrub carts, and will scrub knobs and handles in the store every 30 minutes instead of 60 starting Wednesday.
"We start that tomorrow just had our operations meeting and decided we're going to do every half hour," says manager Pierre Jones.
For everything you need to know on the Bay Area shelter-in-place, read more here.
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