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Coronavirus Shelter-in-place order extended in Santa Clara County to May 31, with some...

Shelter-in-place order extended in Santa Clara County to May 31, with some easing of restrictions

It’s official: Santa Clara County will continue sheltering in place until May 31. 

The initial shelter in place order began in mid-March and will have gone on for approximately 10 weeks by the time May 31 arrives. Although containment and social distancing efforts anchored by shelter in place measures have flattened the curve and stemmed the local spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, continued sheltering in place is deemed essential by health experts to prevent a situation in which the virus resumes spreading rapidly.

With this extension, however, does come some easing: Construction projects are now uniformly allowed, along with specific businesses that generally function outdoors. As far as the general public goes, some outdoor activities will once again be allowed (see list below…).

The extension pertains not only to Santa Clara County, but to Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and the City of Berkeley. As of yesterday, these 7 jurisdictions had 7,273 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, 266 of which resulted in death.

Area residents can expect the easing of restrictions to remain incremental and gradual, to stave off any renewed momentum of the virus.

Here is the rundown of what is now allowed:

  • All construction projects (in compliance with safety protocols laid out in the order)
  • All real estate transactions (with open houses and viewings limited)
  • Employees permitted to go back to work can make use of open childcare facilities
  • Whole and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other primarily outdoor businesses can open. Restaurants, cafes, and bars are not included in this aspect of the order, even if they offer seating outside. Such food providers can still only offer takeout and delivery.
  • Some outdoor recreational facilities can go back into use, so long as they don’t involve physical contact or shared equipment. Skate parks, for example, can go back into use.

The construction aspect of the new order was championed by County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who convened an ad-hoc committee with leaders from all 7 applicable Bay Area jurisdictions to explore resuming construction.

Note: These local mandates are consistent with the statewide ones. But when in doubt, know that the stricter regulation will prevail.


Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is an acclaimed, award-winning writer-filmmaker and has served as a ghostwriter, speechwriter, or script doctor for over 3,000 clients. His first novel is a dark political thriller called ”Red Dennis" (2020). His first nonfiction book is a guide for helping writers be more productive called ”Ass Plus Seat" (2020). Eric's books can be purchased here.

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