Six San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions issued a stay-at-home order Friday ahead of the governor’s statewide mandate, restricting activities and limiting capacity at businesses in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 as hospitals and intensive care units see a surge of patients.
The regional order applies to the Northern California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley. The order, which will affect more than 5.8 million people, speeds up the timeline of the statewide regional stay-at-home order announced Thursday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Under the new local health orders, businesses will be required to further reduce occupancy to 20%, and will be required to write and enforce plans to ensure proper face coverings and maximum capacity rules are followed. Restaurants must close outdoor operations and convert to takeout and delivery only. Hair cutting and nail cutting services have also been ordered to close, officials said.
The new health orders will go into effect Dec. 6 and will remain in effect until Jan. 4, Contra Costa Health Director Chris Farnitano said.
"I don't think we can wait for the state's new restrictions go into effect later this month," Farnitano said. "We must act swiftly to save as many lives as we can. This is an emergency."
The Bay Area was projected to be the last region in the state to be subject to the governor’s stay-at-home order, predicted to surpass the threshold by mid to late December. But Friday’s decision means the region will instead be the first.