Redwood City – San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow today issued a revised shelter in place order to allow, with restrictions and safety measures, places of worship to hold services and retail stores to allow customers inside.
The order, which goes into effect on June 1, 2020, further aligns the County with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Resilience Roadmap.
The County’s health order also removes the previous limitations on access and activities at beaches in San Mateo County. Beaches may now operate normally, as long as beachgoers adhere to social distancing and face covering guidelines.
For childcare establishments, summer camps, and other educational or recreational institutions or programs providing care or supervision for children, the stable group time requirement has been decreased from four weeks to three consecutive weeks.
This gradual and measured resumption of activity is designed to manage the overall volume, duration, and intensity of person-to-person contact to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County and neighboring counties.
Detailed in Appendix C-1 of the order, places of worship and other businesses now allowed to operate must draw up safety plans, as required by the State of California. Places of worship must encourage vulnerable staff and congregants (those above age 50 or with chronic health conditions) to work from home or participate virtually. Attendance at religious services and cultural ceremonies is limited to a maximum of 25 percent of building capacity or 100 individuals, whichever is lower. Eating and drinking inside the facility is prohibited, as are after-services gatherings. Children must remain in the care of those in their household or living unit and not interact with children of other parties. Activities and services for children (such as shared play areas) must be discontinued if social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained.
Places of worship must mark six-foot increments at a minimum to establish where individuals should stand, and aisles should be designated as one-way to support social distancing.
Retail stores must provide curbside or outside pick-up and delivery options, if feasible. Those providing in-store shopping must, in the required health and safety plan, identify the number of shoppers that can be accommodated in a way that allows shoppers and employees to maintain social distancing. Stores must also implement measures to enforce that limit.
Guidelines for car parades and protest gatherings are outlined in Appendix C-2.
While the order is intended to align San Mateo County with state guidelines, there are additional local requirements for how business is performed. San Mateo County’s order continues to require development, implementation, and posting of a social distancing protocol. The local order also continues to require that everyone who can work from home be assigned to work from home.
“These modifications seek to increase the immunity of the population slowly and methodically, while minimizing death. We are trying to keep equity in mind and minimizing economic damage, while not overloading the health care system,” said Dr. Morrow. “The virus continues to circulate in our community, and the increase in interactions among people that these modifications allow is likely to spread the virus at a higher rate. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 looms large for all of us. The public and open businesses need to fully do their part to minimize transmission of the virus.”
State of California Resilience Roadmap (website)
Face Covering Order (PDF)
Health Officer orders and statements are found at the San Mateo County Health website: https://www.smchealth.org/post/health-officer-statements-and-orders