COVID-19 extends Bay Area and Monterey County’s shelter-in-place

In the past few weeks there has been a drastic surge of positive COVID-19 cases. As of April 1, six counties in the Bay Area region reported 2,645 confirmed cases, with Monterey County reported having 53. The six counties that started the state’s shelter-in-place order on March 17 include Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state-wide order soon after on March 20.

Across the state, residents of CA and students of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) are feeling the impacts.

On March 30, Mayor London Breed of San Francisco announced she was extending the county’s original date of April 7. The extension lasts until May 3, however another extension is not unforeseen. “The likelihood that this May 3 date will be extended is possible,” Breed said.

The remaining five Bay Area counties followed suit with Breed’s extension of the May 3 end date.

Throughout the state, beaches, parks and movie theaters have closed, and large crowds of people have been prohibited from gathering in hopes to eliminate COVID-19’s risk of infection. Many schools are closed for the remainder of the year, while some schools have formatted to virtual instruction – CSUMB included.

On April 5, more than 12,838 cases in CA were confirmed – a staggering number that is increasing daily.

Monterey County, CSUMB’s home, enacted a shelter-in-place order on March 19. The county declared on April 3 the extension of the order, with the end date currently listed as May 3, coinciding with the Bay Area’s recent decision.

Despite having a statewide shelter-in-place, people seem to be ignoring the importance of staying at home. On April 4, the Monterey police department cited and released four people congregating in an apartment.

Those needing to engage in public for essential work or errands are expected to follow the clearly-stated social distancing practices. Social distancing requires the minimum of 6 feet gaps between non-family members, frequent hand-washing, avoiding handshakes and properly covering coughs or sneezes.

With people’s hope for the spread of COVID-19 to decrease, members of largely affected communities need to be prepared for the possibility of seeing a shelter-in-place order past summer. Stanford biology professor, Erin Mordecai commented on how long the potential time to eliminate the risk could take.

“We estimate that the shelter-in-place would have to remain in place for about five months or more in order to actually completely suppress the epidemic,” Mordecai said.

Currently, no California counties have issued an extension of the shelter-in-place order surpassing the May 3 date.

While the shelter-in-place is effective, social distancing is crucial to implement. The Center for Disease Control states symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can take anywhere from two days to two weeks to appear, depending on the time of exposure.

Making careful decisions of limiting outside exposure when essential work or priorities are not required creates the opportunity of combating COVID-19’s growth. The hopeful outcome of the May 3 extension will be resuming life as normal, with no fear of COVID-19 infection.

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