'Shelter in Place' Orders Go In Effect at Midnight

'Shelter in Place' Orders Go In Effect at Midnight

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said grocery stores, banks and gas stations would remain open but "non-essential businesses" such as bars and gyms would close, effective at midnight on Monday.

A livestream of the announcement will be viewable at 1 p.m. on the Facebook page of Santa Clara County Public Health Department. While public transit remains operation for only essential travel, people are expected to keep six feet apart.

Goethals did not say how the order will be enforced, however the language says that a sheriff or chief of police will be in place to "ensure compliance", the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"We know these measures will significantly disrupt people's day to day lives, but they are absolutely necessary", Breed said in a news release.

Santa Clara County has been the epicenter of the virus in California, with officials saying 52 of those cases were a result of community spread.

Under the terms of the order, homeless people are exempt, but encouraged to find shelter and all non-essential gatherings and travel - "on foot, bicycle, scooter, automobile or public transit" - are canceled. Across the USA, there are more than 3,800 cases and 66 deaths. The shelter-at-home order follows new data of increasing local transmission of COVID-19, including 258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4 deaths shared by the seven jurisdictions, as of March 15.

The Bay Area has one of the highest amounts of coronavirus cases in the USA, with 114 as of Monday morning.

The order affects the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa, as well as the city of Berkeley.

The new, multiple-county legal order comes one day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered older adults ages 65 and older to stay home.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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