May 1, 2020
The seven Bay Area Public Health Officers who ordered a shelter in place in mid-March will extend the orders through May 31 while some restrictions are eased and tools to strengthen containment of COVID-19 are put into place. The social distancing intervention slowed the increase of new cases and prevented the anticipated medical surge. As restrictions are eased, it is critical to ensure that growth of cases can be sufficiently contained to protect the health and safety of our community.
All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions.
This next phase reflects regional progress, thanks to the collective action Bay Area residents have taken since mid-March in response to Health Officer shelter-in-place orders. Those actions have saved lives and staved off mass hospitalizations from the COVID-19 virus, which spreads easily and causes severe illness in many people. There is not yet an effective treatment or cure for the disease.
This initial measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases that could overwhelm hospitals for a particular jurisdiction or the region as a whole.
Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols included within the order. All real estate transactions will also now be able to resume, but with continued restrictions on open houses and limitations on in-person viewings. Any employee allowed to return to work at a facility can also access childcare programs that can operate.
Certain outdoor businesses can also begin operating again, and people can visit those businesses to perform work or obtain goods, services, or supplies. This includes wholesale and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services as set forth in the order. Outdoor businesses do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating.
Other activities that can resume under the new order include residential moves and the use of certain shared outdoor recreational facilities that were previously ordered closed, like skate parks, but not others that involve shared equipment or physical contact.
San Mateo County’s order differs from the orders in other counties by restricting outdoor recreation to within 10 miles of a person’s residence. This restriction applies not only to San Mateo County residents but also to residents of other counties who wish to travel to San Mateo County for outdoor recreation.
Residents of other counties are not prohibited from entering San Mateo County for other activities allowed by the order, but this provision, which is consistent with the State order, does prohibit those living more than 10 miles from San Mateo County from traveling to San Mateo County for recreation.
In addition, in San Mateo County, beach parking lots and adjacent parking areas must remain closed to the public for beach access, and local authorities are encouraged to close or prohibit parking in areas adjacent to beaches as necessary to prevent crowds that cannot feasibly comply with the requirements of the order.
San Mateo County’s orders are available here:
These orders are generally consistent with the state’s shelter in place order. On any issue where the local and state orders may differ, the stricter order applies.
All local requirements for social distancing and wearing face coverings remain in effect.
More Info to Come Next Week
With the new Health Order, we know there will be a lot of questions. County Health is working to update their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and expect to have further clarifications by next week.
For now, check out the San Mateo County Health’s website here.
John Irish Goodwin, Mayor
Town of Colma