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The San Francisco Bay Area is taking a huge step to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Later this afternoon six counties will be placed in a shelter-in-place directive by public health officials.
The counties affected include San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda.
The mayor of San Mateo, Joe Goethals, says this move will also close mostly all businesses so direct residents are required to remain at home.
Goethals believes this will be the most restrictive public health initiative in place throughout the rest of America.
The only places that will be open under the shelter-in-place order will be the police and fire departments, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and a few other businesses.
Although residents will be able to go to grocery stores, the mayor is asking residents not to rush and reassured that stores will remain fully stocked.
“Staying home is the best thing that we can do right now,” said Goethals. He said the communities are trying to “flatten the curve” — reduce the speed of the contagion so that there is not a sudden jump in cases that overwhelms hospitals.
It was not immediately clear how authorities intend to enforce the order.
“I haven’t heard anybody taking it more seriously,” Goethals said, “and I just hope that it’s not too late.”
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