Alwaght- San Francisco Bay Area ordered residents to stay home beginning Tuesday except for taking care of essential needs due to the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor London Breed announced.
Two weeks ago, keeping at a distance from other Americans was merely a suggestion. Now, after US coronavirus cases jumped by more than 3,000 over six days, at least a dozen city and state leaders have turned those suggestions into orders.
"The new public health order that we're announcing will require San Franciscans to remain at home with exceptions only for essential outings," she said. "These measures will be disruptive to daily life, but there is no need to panic."
It's the largest city to impose an in-home curfew or other stay-home order in the US so far. Similar orders will apply in several San Francisco Bay Area counties until April 7, she said, although she added that the date could change depending on the advice of health officials.
Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, gas stations and essential government services will remain open, as will restaurants, but only for takeout and delivery orders, Breed said. Bars and gyms will close. "Your garbage will be picked up," she said.
Effective at midnight, San Francisco will require people to stay home except for essential needs.
Necessary government functions & essential stores will remain open.
Failure to comply will be a misdemeanor, Police Chief Bill Scott said, but he and other officials said they're hoping for voluntary compliance.
It appeared to be the most extreme measure taken nationwide in response to the pandemic, echoing similar steps taken in several European and Asian cities.
"The virus is here in San Francisco. We must practice social distancing to slow it down," Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city's Public Health Department, said at the news conference.
"Every hour counts," he said.
On Monday, there were 3,349 cases of coronavirus in the US. That number jumped by more than 1,100 in about 24 hours, reaching 4,466. The number of deaths climbed by more than 20 in that time frame and reached 87.