Bay Area extends shelter-at-home order again – to end of May

Public health officers across the Bay Area are set to extend the region’s shelter-at-home order. The final order, expected in the next few, days will extend the shelter until the end of May. The existing order would have expired May 3.

Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, and San Mateo County are moving in unison.

While the order is certain to disappoint a number of restless residents, it will include some changes.

“The new order will include limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities,” officials said in an announcement Monday morning.

Health officials do say that social distancing over the last 6 weeks has saved lives and slowed COVID-19 spread.

“Thanks to the collective effort and sacrifice of the 7 million residents across our jurisdictions, we have made substantial progress in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, ensuring our local hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, and saving lives.”

Officials are concerned that easing restrictions too quickly could undo the progress that counties have made.

“Prematurely lifting restrictions could easily lead to a large surge in cases,” the statement said.

Increased testing and contact tracing is essential to the next stage in the battle against novel coronavirus.

“Future easing of restrictions requires that each jurisdiction and various sectors continue to rapidly build critical infrastructure and systems to respond to and control the spread of coronavirus infections.”