Coronavirus: San Francisco, Alameda counties modify stay-at-home order to allow socializing

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Extroverts rejoice! Alameda County and San Francisco are relaxing their stay-at-home orders to allow for socializing in small groups.

Alameda County is allowing residents to form "social bubbles." To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, "social bubbles" are defined of 12 people or fewer from different households. You should only be in one social bubble at a time. (Being in multiple bubbles sort of defeats the whole purpose of a bubble, doesn't it?)

These "social bubble" gatherings should occur outdoors, as it's believed there is a lower risk of transmitting the coronavirus outdoors.

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These groups should remain stable for a period of three weeks before making any changes.

You're also still highly encouraged to practice social distancing and wear a face mask to reduce the risk of contracting the virus even further.

San Francisco doesn't explicitly allow for "social bubbles," but the city released guidelines for residents to socialize safely. "Connecting with friends and family is one of the ways we will get through this health crisis together, but we have to be smart and vigilant," said Mayor London Breed in a press release.

The Alameda County modifications go into effect on Monday, June 8.

The rules also apply to the city of Berkeley, which has its own public health department, but worked with Alameda County on these changes.

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"Residents can expect that outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, and additional outdoor activities (like outdoor fitness classes) will resume in phases in upcoming relaxations to the shelter-in-place restrictions," the county added in a press release.

The relaxed shelter-in-place restrictions come with stricter mask requirements: Residents will have to wear a face covering anytime they're outside, even when exercising, and within 30 feet of other people.

Also starting Monday in Alameda County, childcare facilities can open to all children (not just those of essential workers), libraries can open for curbside pickup, and businesses like pet grooming or appliance repair can resume operations with little person-to-person contact.

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