ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) – It is now the law! Residents must shelter-in-place here in the Bay Area, at least for a while. 

Although it is mandatory, a sheriff’s office in one Bay Area county says enforcing the order will not be done with a heavy hand. 

It is day one for the mandatory shelter-in-place order impacting multiple counties, trying to limit spreading COVID-19. 

That includes Alameda County where when it comes to enforcing the order, it will be more like a soft shelter-in-place.

“It’s not like we’re going to be putting handcuffs on people because they are violating the health order,” Sergeant Ray Kelly said.

No, instead, Alameda County Deputy Sergeant Ray Kelly says deputies will be out there looking to make sure people are informed.

“I am sure we are going to run into those cases where people are out with no good cause and no good reason. We deal with that anyway when we have our criminal element out and about doing things but officers are going to use their discretion. It is going to be a teachable moment when we explain to people the importance of following the health guideline,” Kelly said. 

From the looks of the empty parking lots in Dublin, with the theatre, shops, and restaurants closed in the usually very busy shopping district, folks appear to be adhering to the stay home unless you’re doing something essential message.

“It looks absolutely like people are following the guideline. They’re doing their social distancing. There is a lot less traffic out here. A lot less people. Kind of hard to believe that we are in the Bay Area,” Kelly said. 

The shelter-in-place is a legally enforceable order under California law. 

Violators may be punished by a fine or imprisonment.

Latest stories: