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Bay Area orders ‘shelter in place,’ only essential businesses open in 6 counties

Bay Area residents in six counties were ordered to “shelter in place” on Monday, one of the most severe actions so far in the U.S. to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Residents of San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties have been directed to stay in place until April 7, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Santa Cruz County also put a “shelter-in-place” order in for its own residents. 

The notices are not full lockdowns, which would mean individuals would be forbidden from exiting their homes without permission. Sheriffs and police chiefs noted they would not “rush to enforce” the guidelines to allow individuals to adapt. Violations of the “shelter-in-place” orders are a misdemeanor, which results in a fine or jail time. 

Essential services and businesses will stay open, including grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurant delivery and hardware stores. Most workers will need to remain home with the exception of health care workers, emergency responders, utility and sanitation workers. The BART will also continue service for essential travel and SFO will remain open.