County officials in the Bay Area issued the strictest rules in the country amid the COVID-19 outbreak on Monday, announcing a “shelter in place” order in six Northern California counties -- San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Contra Costa.
The measures take effect at 12:01a PT on Tuesday and will last for three weeks, affecting a combined population of 6.7 million according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The orders ban non-essential gatherings of any size as well as most travel, with the exception of things like shopping trips, essential medical care, and providing aid for family or friends. It also includes orders for everyone to work from home, with the exception of first responders, utility providers and other essential service personnel, and other provisions similar to what cities like Los Angeles and others have given with regards to bars, restaurants and gyms closing, health and dental care appointments to be done remotely if possible. Neither L.A. City nor L.A. County has indicated at this time that it will issue similar orders in the future.
Today on AirTalk, we’ll check in with a reporter in the Bay Area on the latest as the “shelter in place” orders go into effect. We’ll also talk to an epidemiologist to answer your medical questions.
For comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, including our no-panic, fact-checked guide to navigating the virus in Southern California, click here.
Shruti Gohil, M.D., professor of medicine and associate medical director for epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine’s school of medicine