Monday, March 16, 2020, San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow and six other Bay Area health officers issued a unified order for residents to stay home and limit activity to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and preserve health care capacity across the region.
County health officer’s legal order to shelter in place
The order requires all residents to stay home and limit activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs. It is effective at 12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020, and continues until 11:59 p.m., April 7, 2020, unless modified by the health officer. It provides clear exceptions to allow access to essential services like medical care, food purchases and other necessary activities. Among businesses deemed essential are food retailers, such as grocery stores and convenience stores; gas stations; banks; and necessary supply and repair businesses. All must adhere to strict social distancing requirements.
The updated order requires those who do leave home for essential activities to comply with social distancing requirements; businesses, other than essential businesses, shall cease activities other than minimum basic operations; all public and private gatherings of any size (now including religious services) are prohibited, with very few expressly permitted exceptions; and all travel, other than essential travel and essential activity defined by the health officer, is prohibited.
The order is very comprehensive and very detailed. Please carefully review the San Mateo County EOC press release and the county health officer’s full formal order. Residents with questions are visit the County’s Shelter in Place Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
“The City continues to prioritize the health and safety of all of our residents, businesses, staff and council. The latest update on the novel coronavirus has forced us into a new reality of how to live our daily life. It also reminds us of how our lives today are connected to one another,” said Mayor Cecilia Taylor. “We will respect this legal order and do our part to protect everyone, especially our most impacted population, which now is all of us.”
Further changes to city operations ordered
City facilities remain closed to the public. In response to the latest guidance from the county health officer, City Manager/Emergency Services Director Starla Jerome-Robinson has ordered most employees to stay home through April 7, with few exceptions necessary to ensure public safety and critical support services to maintain minimum basic operations, while adhering to the required strict social distancing.
“Today’s action, and our strong adherence to it, require drastic changes to our daily lives. These necessary sacrifices are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community members,” said City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson.
Continuing and modified services:
For more information and future coronavirus (COVID-19) updates visit menlopark.org/coronavirus and subscribe to “Menlo Park City News” at menlopark.org/notifyme. Menlo Park updates are also shared on the city social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.