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Police, medical experts warn of weekend restrictions across Bay Area

Bay Area

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KRON) — We’re days away from new shelter in place orders in six Bay Area counties.

Restrictions will be eased, certain businesses and parks deemed low risk will reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. But law enforcement and medical experts say we cannot let our guards down.

We’re not out of the woods yet — we’ve been hearing that a lot. Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s concerned about a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

Law enforcement says people could be cited if they violate public health orders.

“We’re asking for people to abide by the safety order. Do not travel, stay in your hometown to conduct those items and those activities that are allowed,” Sausalito Police Cpt. Bill Fraass. Please feel free to exercise, feel free to get out and walk, take bike rides.”

Cpt. Fraass says officers have given plenty of warnings to non-residents over the last several weeks.

After overcrowding in popular areas, the city has closed 4 public parking lots on weekends and holidays to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If contacted, non-essential travelers can be cited $500.

“Officers still need a legal reason to contact an individual and ask for identification and detain a person and conduct an investigation so it’s not just based on hey I walk up to people randomly and just start asking questions, it’s all based on lawful contacts in conducting individuals,” Cpt. Fraass said.

Bay Area Public Health officials announced new stay at home orders to last through May for everyone living or working in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and the city of Berkeley.

The new orders begin Monday, May 4.

Certain outdoor businesses considered low risk can operate.

Restaurants, cafes or bars are not included.

Businesses like nurseries can reopen,

But on Thursday we found people shopping for plants in Walnut Creek.

It is encouraged to go outside but do it in your own neighborhood and stay away from crowds.

“We now know the importance of wearing a face mask both to protect ourselves from the inquiring infection and if we happen to have the virus ourselves to prevent ourselves from preventing it to others,” Dr. Jeffrey Martin said.

Dr. Jeffrey martin is an epidemiology professor at UCSF. He says we’ve learned more about the transmission of COVID-19.

“We know now that there is even you know the threat of it being transmitted through what we call aerosols which can travel farther than what we call respiratory droplets,” he said.

While the amount of transmission in the Bay Area has been relatively small compared to the world, Dr. Martin says don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal of flattening the curve.

“We could if we let our guards down have another raging wildfire,” he said.

Once the new order goes into effect next week, you can expect law enforcement to continue to go with the educational approach first but if they find anyone clearly violating public health orders, they can face a hefty fine depending on the jurisdiction.

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