Update: Later in the afternoon, on 5/18, the Public Health Department of the County of Santa Clara amended the sheltering in place order to allow for car parades for celebrations and graduations. The updated order is here.
Today, Bay Area Health Officers in the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Francisco, and the City of Berkeley, released a new joint statement regarding upcoming steps for reopening the local economy…
As a result of area residents sheltering in place and following social distancing guidelines, authorities are seeing positive indicators of disease containment. Notably, even two weeks after construction resumed and outdoor businesses restarted, COVID-19 has not shown any local increase in spread. Since two weeks is estimated to be the virus’s incubation period, the stability over this period of time — even with some activities being reopened — is encouraging.
In addition to the lack of increased cases, some indicators are showing a decrease in cases. This is particularly encouraging since increased testing is being carried out. But even as testing increases on a daily basis, the amount of cases is not.
Likewise, the number of hospitalized patients ranges from stable to on the decline, meaning Bay Area hospitals presently have sufficient space and resources for those who need it, complete with a greater amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (it being noted that some healthcare facilities continue to see shortages thereof).
Notably, also, area authorities’ ability to conduct contact tracing has increased in recent days.
With all this in mind, a new order has been issued allowing retailers to open up and sell by way of storefront pick-up. Meanwhile, all manufacturing, warehousing, and logistical operations that function in support of retailers can get back to business, as well.
The statement added, “We are counting on these businesses to consistently follow social distancing protocols and public health guidance to protect their employees and customers as these activities resume. COVID-19 continues to pose a very significant risk to our communities, and that continued vigilance is necessary to ensure that we do not see an increase in spread as more activities resume.”
The prevailing health order that is already in effect does require most Bay Area residents to stay at home.