Bay Area authorities warned residents and business owners that although Gov. Gavin Newsom offered guidance today about how non-essential businesses can start to slowly reopen, such plans are not currently in effect at the local level.

A press release from Santa Clara County reminded residents that the May 4 stay-at-home order is still in effect, and does not permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses. The May 4 order loosened some restrictions on construction and other outdoor activities and businesses, but still requires most residents to shelter at home except to conduct “essential” activities.

The stay-home order was initially enacted Marcy 17 in an effort to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 illness.

As of May 7, there have been 2,281 cases of Covid-19 in Santa Clara County, according to the county’s coronavirus website. A total of 127 residents have died of the illness, and 113 are currently hospitalized. There have been 47 positive Covid-19 cases in Morgan Hill, and 43 in Gilroy. 

The county’s May 7 press release reads as follows:

The Bay Area Health Officers commend the residents and businesses who have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the curve and protect community health in our region. We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste. It is critical to maintain our gains.

Bay Area counties value the Governor’s leadership and support during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, he issued guidance that spells out the state’s expectations for non-essential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity. We will study this carefully.

It is important that our local communities understand that the regional Health Orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. These orders – in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley – loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses. The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8.

Health officers will continue working in collaboration with local elected officials, community and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely, while sustaining the progress we have made to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We appreciate that the Governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level. In our current environment, if a county order differs from a state order, the more restrictive order takes precedence.

We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health. We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems.

The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway. Our communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. We expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations. That is why we are building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. We will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. We will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead.

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