Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media
From March 17 to April 7, residents in seven counties and one city in the Bay Area have been ordered to “shelter in place” in order to halt the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus disease.
The Bay Area jurisdictions are the city of Berkeley and San Mateo, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.
Public health officials announced the move in direct response to the growing number of people testing positive for COVID-19. As of March 17, an estimated 187,990 people worldwide have tested positive for coronavirus disease and over 7,000 of those infected have died.
Across the United States, there have been a total of 4,534 cases and 89 deaths.
In California, so far, 450 people have tested positive and there have been 11 COVID-19 related deaths..
While San Francisco residents are still waiting for more information about how this order will affect their lives, some on Twitter have opted to find the humor in this otherwise dire situation.
“When shelter-in-place takes [effect] in San Francisco, each afternoon everyone in the city will stand on their balconies as a community and pitch their startups,” stated Chris Albon, director of data science at Devoted Health on Twitter.
Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed in an address on Monday that he agreed with San Francisco’s order to ban unnecessary gatherings.
“It just makes sense to me at this point,” Newsom said.
This order is not technically a lockdown as residents will be allowed to grocery shop, keep doctor’s appointments and other essential meetings for the three weeks this order is set to be in effect.
“The most important thing you can do is remain home as much as possible,” stated San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “There is no need to rush out for food or supplies, as these stores will remain open. We’ll meet this challenge and we’ll get through it together.”
Under this order, when residents do leave their homes they are urged to stay at least six feet away from other people in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Law enforcement will be present in communities to “ensure compliance” with this order, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.