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Coronavirus outbreak: San Francisco mayor orders residents to stay at home

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city will require people to stay at home except for essential needs in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Breed said the order will go into effect at midnight and will remain until April 7.

Necessary government functions and essential stores will remain open.

In a new conference, Breed urged residents to not panic and not rush out to stores.

She said there is no need to rush out to gather supplies since places like grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and banks will remain open.

“It’s the new normal temporarily to protect public health,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at a news conference. “These measures will be disruptive to day to day life, but there is no need to panic.”

“This is a critical intervention that we know can reduce harm and save lives,” San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said.

People should work from home unless they provide essential services, such as public safety, sanitation, and medical services. Pharmacies and banks will remain open. Restaurants will be open only for take-out, Breed said.

“Your garbage will be picked up, police and fire will remain on the front line, also grocery stores and pharmacies and banks and gas stations will remain open, restaurants will remain open for take-out but non-essential stores, like bars and gyms, will close at midnight tonight,” Breed said.

Non-essential travel is off-limits as well, though if you are out of the county at the time the order goes into effect you will be able to return.  

Police can also enforce this with an arrest for a misdemeanor, however, they say they plan to take the approach people will voluntarily comply and focus on educating those who are not.  

To that end, the city will be launching a PR campaign to let the public know what’s expected of them over the next three weeks.

The dramatic step came as officials across California took increasingly strident steps to separate people and contain the spread of coronavirus, prompting millions of the state’s oldest and youngest residents to stay home Monday.

San Francisco joins five other Bay Area counties issuing this order. The other counties are Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa.

San Francisco reported three new cases Monday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the city to 40.

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