The City and County of San Francisco, along with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, as well as the City of Berkeley, have just issued “stay-at-home” orders which will go into effect at midnight tonight, March 16, and are slated to remain in place until April 7.

All residents should stay home, “except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job” (see below).  It’s also okay for individuals “to engage in outdoor activity,” including with one’s pet, as long as they maintain a six foot buffer from anyone else. And any individual who is sick, “may [not] go to the workplace or be outside the home except as necessary to seek or receive medical care in accordance with guidance from public health officials.”

The following essential services are slated to remain open while the order is in effect:

  • Hospitals, clinics, healthcare operations, home-care providers and pharmacies
  • Police stations, fire stations, jails, courts, garbage/sanitation, transportation (including Muni, taxis and ride share providers), utilities (water, power and gas), and city offices
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, pet supply and convenience stores
  • Restaurants providing take-out and delivery services, exclusively
  • Gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair shops
  • Banks and related financial institutions
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services
  • Hardware stores, plumbing, electrical, extermination, and other providers that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
  • Legal and accounting services which are necessary to assist in the compliance with legally mandated activities
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to work as permitted

Per San Francisco’s official order (ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER No. C19-07), the violation of which will be a misdemeanor if enforced, all in-person group activities of any size, which includes inviting a non-household member over to one’s home or living unit, are disallowed; all bars, nightclubs, gyms and salons will be closed; shopping for non-essential goods, other than online or virtually, is disallowed; and all unnecessary trips “on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit” are prohibited (which we realize might appear to contradict the ability to “engage in outdoor activity,” but there’s a specific exemption for said activity assuming the aforementioned buffer is employed).

And while exempted from the order, homeless individuals are “urged to find shelter” (which government agencies are being “urged to provide”).

UPDATE: Stay at home orders for all nine (9) Bay Area counties have been issued and will soon be in effect.

UPDATE: Statewide, More Restrictive, Stay at Home Order Issued for CA

UPDATE: Bay Area ‘Stay at Home’ Order Extended to May

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    “…all in-person group activities of any size, which includes inviting a non-household member over to one’s home or living unit”

    So I guess the number of homes on the market has just dropped to zero?

    I’m curious what SS – and just about any other web site not devoted to emergency news coverage – is going to cover for the next 3 weeks or more; economically we just hit rock bottom.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Real Estate agents will be conducting “virtual walkthroughs” of properties online, obviously. Put on your Oculus Go VR headset and take all the tours you want.

      Kidding aside, the number of homes on the market doesn’t go down just because potential buyers can’t view them in person. Agents will be able to keep busy updating the MLS and their proprietary listing websites. It’ll be interesting to see how many deals close in the next few weeks.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Thanks, The comment was, of course, intended to dramatize – in a way relevant to a real estate site – the potential impact of this fiat. Is real estate an “essential service”?? Is it really possible – maybe “realistic” is the better word – to sell a house when sellers, broker/agents, and (would be) buyers can’t (even) leave their own?

        Admittedly this angle on the crisis isn’t my top concern right now – I doubt it is outside of the industry, if even there – but if any of us run out of things to think about in the coming months – while we’re sitting around the house – it can be a fall-back-on topic.

        • Posted by heynonnynonny

          Yes, you picked a strange thing to dramatize.

  2. Posted by ST

    Are city agencies, such as DPW and CPC, still open?

    • Posted by hmmm

      No. Planning is going to be fully shut down. The essential aspects of DPW will still be in service, but a lot of the agency’s functions will also cease.

      • Posted by hmmm

        Correction. Planning’s building will be fully shut and no regular public services available. However I understand planners may be working from home to continue some work to the extent that is practical.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Planning has closed its main office at 1650 Mission, along with the Planning Information Center at 1660 Mission, for the duration of the Order and all hearings have been cancelled through Thursday April 9 (and possibly beyond).

      That being said, project applications (and complaints) can still be submitted via the City’s the City’s Online Permit Center, but processing will likely be delayed.

  3. Posted by hhrrs

    What about dog grooming salons? Should they be closed too?

    • Posted by hhrrs

      grooming your dog cannot be an “essential”.

  4. Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth

    I may eat my words but I’m not seeing a crisis afoot. 40 cases total in SF…out of a population of almost 900,000. Yesterday 3 new cases…..on any graph thus far I’m not seeing a caseload approaching “infinity.” Be interesting to see the number of new cases daily.

    • Posted by Notcom

      The BANG papers actually had a useful editorial yesterday: the issue to a large extent is to not overwhelm the medical system; so the relevant metric isn’t really SF’s population, it’s how many critically ill people SF Gen and all the private hospitals can handle (and that number is a whole lot closer to 40 than 900K!)

      But at any rate, if you’re sheltering in place, it’s a good time to whip out that college stat book you’ve been using as a doorstop and review geometric progression…namely what two to the tenth power equals.

      • Posted by Rstr

        Lol, I love this teachable moment wrapped in sass. Learn!

      • Posted by Notcom

        For those with a morbid turn of mind, or who just want to see math in action, one can use a simple spreadsheet to fit the current fatality stats in the US to an exponential function. I spent a few minutes last night, and came up with an 18.5% daily increase, it seems to be holding up thru today.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Almost nobody is getting tested! That’s by far the #1 reason we haven’t seen a spike in *documented* cases. So yes, you are absolutely going to eat your words.

    • Posted by InformedGuy

      This is to stem the crisis. In the words of every virologist and epidemiologist out there right now (at the least the ones at WHO but what do they know), if you’re reacting to a pandemic, you’ve already lost the battle. If we waited until there were thousands of cases in SF, we’d be f*cked beyond belief.

  5. Posted by emanon

    The Stay at Home Order is not in response to a crisis so much as it is to avoid a crisis.

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