Six counties in Northern California1 took significant steps toward curbing social interaction by releasing a series of Shelter in Place Orders on Monday, March 16. The Shelter in Place Orders are in effect until April 7, but may be extended depending on recommendations from public health officials. This is a regional approach to slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
The Orders, which are identical in most respects with minimal variation,2 start with the premise that everyone in the region should self-isolate with certain limited exceptions. Those exceptions, for individuals, relate to continuing what county officials deem to be the essentials of daily life. For businesses, the exceptions relate to the business continuity that will enable individuals to continue with those essential aspects of daily life. The Orders require all but certain defined “Essential Businesses” to cease all but “Minimum Business Operations” as of Tuesday, March 17. The Orders are far more restrictive than the governor’s original list of affected businesses which was limited to dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms and fitness studios.
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