Coronavirus regulations: Those already working from home now ordered to shelter in place

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- On Monday, Santa Clara County officials reported two new deaths related to COVID-19. The victims, a man in his 80's and another in his 50's. Their deaths bring the total to four, countywide.

In a move to combat the spread of COVID-19, Santa Clara County joined six other counties, plus the City of Berkeley, in ordering people to shelter-in-place until at least April 7th.

San Jose middle school teacher, Davis Ngo shared video of his new work view. The footage showed a computer in a small corner of his bedroom.

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When Ngo and his co-workers were ordered to work from home on Friday, he imagined he'd lesson plan at parks and other isolated spaces over the next three weeks.

However, Monday's order to shelter-in-place has forced him to stay put.

"I shouldn't be going outside too much," Ngo said. "I need to find a place inside my house to work."

He lives in Alameda County, another impacted by the order to shelter-in-place.

According to California's Health and Safety Code, any violation of the order is considered a misdemeanor. More details on the order here.

"In this particular case, a lot of us are just really settling in to really figure out this whole ordeal," Ngo added.

He said he and his colleagues are trying to maneuver through the process one step at a time. Crafting lesson plans they can approach over the Internet, and considering activities like virtual field-trips.

"We didn't really get too much time to think about it," he said. "Right now, I think all the teachers, what they're doing- just like any regular human being- they're preparing for this shelter-in-place."

He anticipates that as time goes by, they'll refocus and consider curriculum.

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Elsewhere, and still over FaceTime, Jose Mendoza said he's worked from home for the last three weeks.

Mendoza is a post-production coordinator at MasterClass in San Francisco, and he lives in San Jose.

His work-spaces vary around the house, and preparation takes into consideration his wife, their newborn baby and three-year-old son. All of whom are now spending their days at home.

"I actually just got back from my son's preschool," Mendoza explained. "I picked up a bunch of activity packets, which are going to keep him busy for at least three weeks."

Mendoza said his family is fortunate to have both parents at home during these uncertain times.

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"My wife is still on maternity leave, so she's able to help out. I'm also able to help her out," he said. "But even in those three weeks, we're still trying to figure out a rhythm or routine that works."

"We are just going to keep adapting to it," he added.

Mendoza credits his executive team for getting ahead of the virus. Again, weeks in advance.

"I feel like when everyone was starting to start working from home, we were already at almost full speed," he added.

"At the end of this, you'll have been working from home for about a month and a half," ABC7 News inquired.

Mendoza answered, "Yeah! Hopefully that's it, but we'll see."

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For those just beginning to work from home, Mendoza said it's helpful to keep a video chatroom activated.

"You're not even talking, you're just working, but you have people on your screen just so you can chat around," he said. "And when we have our all-hands meetings and you see 128 faces on the screen- like Brady Bunch style- it's kind of nice to see that your co-workers are there."

For Milpitas resident, Jared Oliva, he, his fiancé and their roommate are all working from home.

He explained they're happy to shelter-in-place for the safety of their older relatives.

"I had a family birthday on Sunday, and I uninvited my grandma because of COVID, and she was totally fine," he said. "She said I love you on Facebook and that's good enough for me right now."

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Oliva works for Forrester Research in San Francisco. He usually takes BART every day, but was ordered to work from home on Friday.

He and his fiancé stocked two refrigerators in preparation.

Oliva described Monday's morning meeting with his team.

"We all looked like the Brady Bunch, and we were all having coffee together," he said. "And we were kind of just talking about our weekends, what our plans are business-wise, and some of our goals for the week."

He described, "Kind of like a normal stand-up meeting, but all digital and all on a screen."

Unfortunately, COVID-19 development has caused a few disruptions. Including forcing Oliva and his fiancé to renege on other commitments over concern.

"Wedding planning," he said. "2020? You better forget it. We are pushing it out to 2021 at the earliest. Just no way."

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