Read the full article by Nick Garber & Patch Staff at patch.com

 

BAY AREA, CA — Several counties in the Bay Area are ordering residents to shelter in place Monday in an extraordinary attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The three-week order, which would likely be the strictest measure taken anywhere in the U.S. against COVID-19, will shutter “nonessential” businesses, while allowing grocery stores, police and fire departments, pharmacies and some other businesses to stay open, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in an announcement.

Residents can still leave their homes but will be required to distance themselves from others while outside, officials said.

The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and last until at least April 7.

Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties all issued the order, and Santa Cruz County announced a similar measure later Monday. The initial six counties had confirmed a combined 273 COVID-19 cases by Monday, officials said.

Residents will still be allowed to leave the house to shop for groceries and other essential services, and public transit will remain open. The order may be enforced if necessary, but officials said they hope that residents will choose to comply.