News

Bay Area extends — and loosens — stay-at-home orders

Construction activities, gardening work can resume this Monday

The Bay Area's stay-at-home orders will stretch on until at least the end of May, though construction workers, gardeners and outdoor retailers that can accommodate physical distancing can get back to business as early as Monday, county officials announced Wednesday.

The new order in Santa Clara County, which Dr. Sara Cody, the county's health officer issued Wednesday, represents the Bay Area's first attempt to loosen the shelter-at-home directives that health officers across the region issued on March 16, when COVID-19 cases were rapidly climbing and officials were preparing for a larger surge. The order also lifts prohibitions on outdoor spaces such as skate parks, which do not involve shared equipment or physical contact.

Health officials at Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, announced similar measures Wednesday. The jurisdictions had 7,253 confirmed cases and 266 deaths collectively as of Tuesday.

The new order also allows golf courses to reopen, however, golfing remains prohibited by the statewide order, which supersedes the local ordinance. (Editor's note: The state revised its order on April 30 to allow individual golfers who walk the course and do not use a cart.)

But even as it lifts some restrictions, Santa Clara County's approach also reflects the cautious approach that counties throughout California, as well as state officials, have taken to reopening businesses. Restaurants with dine-in service, bars, hair salons and other businesses that are starting to reopen in other states will remain closed in the county — and the state — for weeks, possibly months.

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The new order extends most of the current shelter-at-home prohibitions until May 31. They were set to expire this Sunday.

In making her announcement, Cody highlighted the county's progress in managing the pandemic. The county, she said, now accounts for fewer than 5% of the cases in California and is just a fraction of the nation's case total, which is now more than 1 million. As of Tuesday, the county had 2,122 confirmed cases and 106 deaths related to COVID-19.

Cody said the goal is to move from the types of "broad-based mitigations" that had been in place since March 17 to a "more focused approach" targeting vulnerable populations.

"What we are hoping is because we have been extraordinarily successful in our region in suppressing cases, flattening the curve and decreasing the number of new cases that we have every day, we are hoping to successfully transition to a point where we can be more focused," Cody said at a news conference at the County Government Center in San Jose.

The order also allows nurseries, landscapers, gardeners and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services to reopen (which does not include dining establishments with outdoor seating).

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Cody said the county is basing its modifications to the heath orders on five indicators: whether the number of total COVID-19 cases in the community is flattening or decreasing; whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing; whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment to protect all health care workers; whether the county is meeting its need for testing residents who are in vulnerable populations or in high-risk settings or occupations; and whether the county has the capacity to investigate all cases and trace all their contacts, isolating those who are infected or exposed.

"We have already made significant progress on many of these indicators and we need to make sure we don't slip backwards," Cody said. "Our goal is to gingerly chart a course to be the most health-protective."

The announcement by Cody mirrors in some ways the strategy that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday for reopening business across the state. Newsom said he plans to transition "in weeks, not months" into a stage where some businesses can reopen.

Dr. Sonya Angell, the state's public health officer, said in a Tuesday presentation that this stage, known as Stage 2, will focus on "low-risk sectors" such as retailers that can provide curbside pickup, offices where telework is not possible and manufacturers that had not been deemed "essential" under the existing order.

Angell also said the second stage can include opening more parks and trails, many of which have been closed to the public over the past six weeks because of concern over physical distancing.

Newsom and Angell also indicated that it will be months before the state enters Stage 3 and businesses that require close proximity between staff and customers can reopen.

"Those are things like getting your haircut, getting your nails done, doing anything that has (a) very close, inherent relationship with other people, where proximity is very close. We need a thoughtful process to ensure that people don't put themselves at great risk in doing those activities," Angell said.

What's allowed — and what's not

A modified shelter-at-home order kicks in on May 4 in six Bay Area counties including Santa Clara and San Mateo. It eases restrictions on outdoor businesses, outdoor activities, construction and real estate transactions. Here's a quick summary of what is and is not allowed.

Gardeners and landscapers: Under the March 16 stay-at-home order, gardeners and landscapers were allowed to perform only essential work needed to maintain the safety of a property. Now, they are permitted to resume all work.

Construction: Before, only construction of public infrastructure and of residential developments that included affordable housing was permitted. Now, all construction has been added to the list of "essential business" and thus is permitted.

Real estate: Under the March 16 order, real estate business was not allowed, although the rule that was eased under the county's March 31 updated order, which allowed virtual tours of properties. Now, real estate has been added to the county's list of "essential business." Agents can show a property in person, with proper social distancing and a limit of two clients at a time, even if people still reside in the home.

Outdoor spaces: Golf courses are allowed under the new county order to reopen. On April 30, the state updated its shelter order to state that individual golfers can play so long as they walk the course and do not use a cart. Dog parks remain closed under both state and county orders because they "encourage gathering." Tennis courts are not explicitly mentioned in the county order, but sports in which equipment is shared are prohibited, except when played by members of the same household.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Bay Area extends — and loosens — stay-at-home orders

Construction activities, gardening work can resume this Monday

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 12:19 pm
Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 9:38 pm

The Bay Area's stay-at-home orders will stretch on until at least the end of May, though construction workers, gardeners and outdoor retailers that can accommodate physical distancing can get back to business as early as Monday, county officials announced Wednesday.

The new order in Santa Clara County, which Dr. Sara Cody, the county's health officer issued Wednesday, represents the Bay Area's first attempt to loosen the shelter-at-home directives that health officers across the region issued on March 16, when COVID-19 cases were rapidly climbing and officials were preparing for a larger surge. The order also lifts prohibitions on outdoor spaces such as skate parks, which do not involve shared equipment or physical contact.

Health officials at Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, announced similar measures Wednesday. The jurisdictions had 7,253 confirmed cases and 266 deaths collectively as of Tuesday.

The new order also allows golf courses to reopen, however, golfing remains prohibited by the statewide order, which supersedes the local ordinance. (Editor's note: The state revised its order on April 30 to allow individual golfers who walk the course and do not use a cart.)

But even as it lifts some restrictions, Santa Clara County's approach also reflects the cautious approach that counties throughout California, as well as state officials, have taken to reopening businesses. Restaurants with dine-in service, bars, hair salons and other businesses that are starting to reopen in other states will remain closed in the county — and the state — for weeks, possibly months.

The new order extends most of the current shelter-at-home prohibitions until May 31. They were set to expire this Sunday.

In making her announcement, Cody highlighted the county's progress in managing the pandemic. The county, she said, now accounts for fewer than 5% of the cases in California and is just a fraction of the nation's case total, which is now more than 1 million. As of Tuesday, the county had 2,122 confirmed cases and 106 deaths related to COVID-19.

Cody said the goal is to move from the types of "broad-based mitigations" that had been in place since March 17 to a "more focused approach" targeting vulnerable populations.

"What we are hoping is because we have been extraordinarily successful in our region in suppressing cases, flattening the curve and decreasing the number of new cases that we have every day, we are hoping to successfully transition to a point where we can be more focused," Cody said at a news conference at the County Government Center in San Jose.

The order also allows nurseries, landscapers, gardeners and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services to reopen (which does not include dining establishments with outdoor seating).

Cody said the county is basing its modifications to the heath orders on five indicators: whether the number of total COVID-19 cases in the community is flattening or decreasing; whether the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is flat or decreasing; whether there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment to protect all health care workers; whether the county is meeting its need for testing residents who are in vulnerable populations or in high-risk settings or occupations; and whether the county has the capacity to investigate all cases and trace all their contacts, isolating those who are infected or exposed.

"We have already made significant progress on many of these indicators and we need to make sure we don't slip backwards," Cody said. "Our goal is to gingerly chart a course to be the most health-protective."

The announcement by Cody mirrors in some ways the strategy that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday for reopening business across the state. Newsom said he plans to transition "in weeks, not months" into a stage where some businesses can reopen.

Dr. Sonya Angell, the state's public health officer, said in a Tuesday presentation that this stage, known as Stage 2, will focus on "low-risk sectors" such as retailers that can provide curbside pickup, offices where telework is not possible and manufacturers that had not been deemed "essential" under the existing order.

Angell also said the second stage can include opening more parks and trails, many of which have been closed to the public over the past six weeks because of concern over physical distancing.

Newsom and Angell also indicated that it will be months before the state enters Stage 3 and businesses that require close proximity between staff and customers can reopen.

"Those are things like getting your haircut, getting your nails done, doing anything that has (a) very close, inherent relationship with other people, where proximity is very close. We need a thoughtful process to ensure that people don't put themselves at great risk in doing those activities," Angell said.

What's allowed — and what's not

A modified shelter-at-home order kicks in on May 4 in six Bay Area counties including Santa Clara and San Mateo. It eases restrictions on outdoor businesses, outdoor activities, construction and real estate transactions. Here's a quick summary of what is and is not allowed.

Gardeners and landscapers: Under the March 16 stay-at-home order, gardeners and landscapers were allowed to perform only essential work needed to maintain the safety of a property. Now, they are permitted to resume all work.

Construction: Before, only construction of public infrastructure and of residential developments that included affordable housing was permitted. Now, all construction has been added to the list of "essential business" and thus is permitted.

Real estate: Under the March 16 order, real estate business was not allowed, although the rule that was eased under the county's March 31 updated order, which allowed virtual tours of properties. Now, real estate has been added to the county's list of "essential business." Agents can show a property in person, with proper social distancing and a limit of two clients at a time, even if people still reside in the home.

Outdoor spaces: Golf courses are allowed under the new county order to reopen. On April 30, the state updated its shelter order to state that individual golfers can play so long as they walk the course and do not use a cart. Dog parks remain closed under both state and county orders because they "encourage gathering." Tennis courts are not explicitly mentioned in the county order, but sports in which equipment is shared are prohibited, except when played by members of the same household.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

MVR
Rex Manor
on Apr 29, 2020 at 1:06 pm
MVR, Rex Manor
on Apr 29, 2020 at 1:06 pm
1 person likes this

Gardening never stopped, so no change here. Not enforceable to begin with. Tried to go through proper channels - first the county, who contacted MV law enforcement, which sounds so idiotic for leaf blowing, but if the country believed this type of activity posed a risk, then perhaps it does. But what was most interesting is that nothing was done to stop the landscapers from doing what they normally do. They kept coming week after week. My apartment management company who pays the gardening company knew about the order but kept employing the gardeners, the county just passed my 'complaint' onto MV law enforcement, who basically did nothing.

So this a small thing, but a test case for how little power the county really has over social distancing. It really takes all of us to care about each other, to do what's right for each other. My landlord and the company that manages our building doesn't care about the tenants - I knew this before this crisis, even more clear now. And the gardeners were probably only concerned about their livelihood (but isn't this true for millions of people at the moment?) and not about the tenants who live here (they wore no protective gear).


SRB
St. Francis Acres
on Apr 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
on Apr 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm
9 people like this

Since golfing is still now allowed, are golf courses opening to provide more space for residents to hike, sunbathe....?


Golf course
St. Francis Acres
on Apr 29, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Golf course, St. Francis Acres
on Apr 29, 2020 at 2:29 pm
7 people like this

Yup, gonna be a spa at hole number 7.


Name hidden
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Apr 29, 2020 at 2:39 pm
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Apr 29, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


psr
The Crossings
on Apr 29, 2020 at 5:30 pm
psr, The Crossings
on Apr 29, 2020 at 5:30 pm
15 people like this

So this definitely tells us that the officials here are not doing what they claimed to be doing at the beginning of this, which is making sure we did not exceed the capacity of the hospitals. Now they are involved in "mission creep" - as in trying to keep people from being exposed. Just as foolish as those who act paranoid when standing 6 feet apart while both they and the other person they are near are wearing face covering.

"Months" before being able to be in the same room with a barber or manicurist? Because those people don't wash their hands constantly, clean their tools and often wear face covers anyway? So I suppose it will be years before we are allowed to have the kids return to school or play football or soccer again.

I'm glad to see some motion in the right direction, but it's disappointing to see authorities projecting many more months of quarantine conditions for a virus that we get a firmer handle on every day. It's also disappointing to see so many happy to put others out of work when they have the luxury of staying home without adverse consequences.





The Business Man
Castro City
on Apr 29, 2020 at 6:03 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Apr 29, 2020 at 6:03 pm
1 person likes this

In response to psr you said:

“So this definitely tells us that the officials here are not doing what they claimed to be doing at the beginning of this, which is making sure we did not exceed the capacity of the hospitals.”

As far as the medical dermand is concerned it IS WORKING as of TODAY. You said:

“Now they are involved in "mission creep" - as in trying to keep people from being exposed. Just as foolish as those who act paranoid when standing 6 feet apart while both they and the other person they are near are wearing face covering.”

THAT is contagion CONTROL, and it is the ONLY control we HAVE. Do you have any other method to offer? Please be sincere and demonstrate one. Are you volunteering to get exposed and infected with COVID 19? You said:

“”Months" before being able to be in the same room with a barber or manicurist? Because those people don't wash their hands constantly, clean their tools and often wear face covers anyway? So I suppose it will be years before we are allowed to have the kids return to school or play football or soccer again.”

Again, please provide us with an alternative that is highly effective? It is easy to criticize when you are not providing ANY effective alternative. You said:

“I'm glad to see some motion in the right direction, but it's disappointing to see authorities projecting many more months of quarantine conditions for a virus that we get a firmer handle on every day. It's also disappointing to see so many happy to put others out of work when they have the luxury of staying home without adverse consequences.”

Actually, the results of this disease is likely to either GREATLY kill wealth because of the economic impact on EVERYONE. The President and the Governors are in fact in a NO-WIN situation because in order to promptly maintain control over the medical demand, the current policies will need to be maintained. These people are not willing to tell the people the truth, there is no POSSIBLE way to achieve “normalizing” our life until the treatment or vaccine is proven to work.

And as far as the recent news about remdesivir treatment goes. The results are not as promising as it was headlined. It only worked in 50% of the treatment cases and only improved recovery by 3 days, the untreated recovered in 14 days, and the treated recovered in 11 days. So far the results do not establish a “cause” of HOW remdesivir worked against this disease. The FDA is under pressure to put ANYTHING out there to TRY to improve our situation.

UNTIL WE HAVE A PROVEN TREATMENT OR VACCINE WE HAVE TO GET USED TO THIS SITUATION.


R.F.
Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm
R.F., Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm
8 people like this

From the Washington Post: "Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, suggests learning from Sweden — which never shut down completely — as a “model” for battling the coronavirus." If a World Health Organization official says Sweden is a model then why don't we try following the Swedish model? Who is California's top epidemiologist and what does she have to say about it?

I am about 1000 times more scared of this new police state than I am of COVID-19.



Sweden failed to contain the virus, . .
Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Sweden failed to contain the virus, . . , Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm
13 people like this

> If a World Health Organization official says Sweden is a model then why don't we try following the Swedish model?

C'mon - even Trump says Sweden is a pending disaster. Your buddies on the fringe-right got off the Sweden canard a week ago. Catch up!

btw: it wasn't the Washington Post, it was an editorial from the NY POST. C'mon, man, if ya gonna fib, at least try a little bit to hide yer bogus noise.

Sweden has 5 times the deaths as their neighboring countries.

Even Donnie the Impeached says you're dead wrong:



Donald J. Trump
Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown. As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighboring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443). The United States made the correct decision!
4:45 AM · Apr 30, 2020·Twitter



R.F.
Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 4:46 pm
R.F., Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 4:46 pm
4 people like this

Replying to "Sweden failed to contain the virus":

Sorry about the typo. It was NY Post and not Washington Post as you kindly pointed out. Let me quote my fringe-right buddies at Reuters instead:
"""
Ryan, asked about Sweden’s strategy of shunning lockdowns and allowing most schools and businesses to remain open, said: “If we are to reach a ‘new normal’, in many ways Sweden represents a future model.”

“What it has done differently is that it really, really has trusted its own communities to implement that physical distancing,” he said, adding that Sweden had put in place a “very strong public health policy”.
"""

>Sweden has 5 times the deaths as their neighboring countries.
So you are following Trump over Dr. Ryan at the W.H.O. on how to do lockdowns? If not Trump then who? Fauci? Gavin Newsom? Can you give any scientific references at all that lockdowns are an effective way to save lives? Also, the numbers are not all in yet. The final numbers on deaths per million can only be compared after the outbreaks in each nation are over.

I dont see why politics comes into this. Isnt it about science? We need to use science to estimate the human and economic costs of any given plan.


Sweden failed to contain the virus, . .
Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Sweden failed to contain the virus, . . , Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm
Like this comment

> Can you give any scientific references at all that lockdowns are an effective way to save lives?

Yes. You seem quite fond of the W.H.O. - go visit their site. Start under "guidance".

When the fringe right and the wackadoodles lose every one *including* trump, you know they're grasping at straws.

Sweden? Sheesh. And quit cherry-picking one section from Ryan. “I think there’s a perception out that Sweden has not put in control measures and just has allowed the disease to spread,” Dr. Mike Ryan told reporters. “Nothing can be further from the truth.”



> Also, the numbers are not all in yet.

And yet you want to do something drastic without knowing all the numbers? C'mon. Can't have it both ways.


“Nothing can be further from the truth.”


R.F.
Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm
R.F., Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm
3 people like this

Replying to "Sweden failed to contain the virus":

>Yes. You seem quite fond of the W.H.O. - go visit their site. Start under "guidance".

I couldn't find anything that justifies their approach. Just an old document that said we should do containment. Now that we have more data maybe Dr. Ryan will be updating it to reflect the new Swedish model. If you want to post a link from the W.H.O. (or anywhere else) that explains why Sweden was wrong given what we know now, please do.

>Sweden? Sheesh. And quit cherry-picking one section from Ryan. “I think there’s a perception out that Sweden has not put in control measures and just has allowed the disease to spread,” Dr. Mike Ryan told reporters. “Nothing can be further from the truth.”

I quoted Dr. Ryan because the W.H.O. seems the most likely to disagree with Sweden's approach. The fact that he admits that they may have been right supports my case.

>> Also, the numbers are not all in yet.
> And yet you want to do something drastic without knowing all the numbers? C'mon. Can't have it both ways.

We must do what we can with the numbers we have. I can't find any argument by any epidemiologist that says we are better off under lockdown. I saw two one-hour-long interviews with Dr. Knut Wittkowski and an interview with Sweden's
Dr. Johan Giesecke. They seem to make sense to me. I honestly would like to see a counter argument.


Sweden failed to contain the virus, . .
Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Sweden failed to contain the virus, . . , Monta Loma
on May 1, 2020 at 6:51 pm
10 people like this

> that explains why Sweden was wrong given what we know now, please do.

Sweden - 2,462 dead, and rising
Norway - 207
Finland - 206
Denmark - 443

Look at their curves - Sweden is still going *UP*.

Web Link

> We must do what we can with the numbers we have.

Look at Sweden then = Sweden is still going *UP*.


Randy Guelph
Cuernavaca
on May 1, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
on May 1, 2020 at 7:24 pm
12 people like this

If someone's going to post approvingly about the analysis by Knut Wittkowski, perhaps they should reference his earlier predictions about the pandemic:

"Wittkowski: Of all symptomatic cases. 2% of all symptomatic cases will die. That is 2% of the [25,000] a day. So that is 500 people a day, and that will happen over 4 weeks. So, that could be as high as 10,000 people."

This was in reference to cases in the United States, where we've now seen almost 65K dead Americans from this disease.


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