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New Shelter-In-Place Order Implemented On March 31, 2020

On March 31, 2020, a new Shelter-In-Place was ordered by the Health Officer. This new Order replaces the earlier March 17, 2020 shelter-in-place order. Below, a summary of the five (i-v) significant changes made and a link to the Order itself.  (i) When people leave their residence as allowed by this Order, they are ordered in most situations to strictly comply with designated Social Distancing Requirements when interacting with anyone outside their household. (ii) Outdoor recreation activities are further limited and additional recreation facilities must be closed. People cannot participate in outdoor activities that involve shared equipment, such as frisbee, soccer, or basketball, with any person outside of their own household or living unit, and areas with shared equipment and facilities like playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, golf courses, tennis courts, and pools must close. To prevent crowding, San Francisco may adopt further restrictions on use of parks and access to beaches, including possible closure. (iii) What businesses constitute Essential Businesses is further clarified and limited. Essential businesses must maximize the number of employees who work from home and must generally scale down operations that are not considered essential. Businesses that sell food, groceries, or cleaning products combined with nonessential products may continue to operate only if the portion of essential products they sell is a significant part of their business. There is also a new requirement that each Essential Business, such as a bank, grocery store, pharmacy, or restaurant open for takeout or delivery, must prepare, post, and implement a written protocol, in a form attached to the Order, tailored for that business, to protect customers and employees through designated social distance requirements. And Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home are no longer Essential Businesses under the Order and must close stores open to the public in San Francisco. (iv) In addition to continuing to urge government agencies to provide shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness, the Order urges government agencies and other service providers to take steps to protect that population, including requiring social distancing in shelters and other facilities, providing hand sanitation for individuals who remain unhoused and ensuring 12 feet x 12 feet distancing for tents in encampments. (v) The Order provides that only certain limited types of construction are permitted to continue, including healthcare projects directly related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, housing and mixed use projects that includes at least 10% affordable housing, projects that provide services to vulnerable populations, projects required to maintain safety, sanitation, and habitability of residences and commercial buildings; and construction necessary to secure an existing construction site that must shut down. The Health Officer may issue guidance requiring construction site-specific health and safety plans. The Order also provides for San Francisco to limit public works construction to essential public works projects as determined by the City Administrator in consultation with the Health Officer. All other construction is prohibited. Link to the March 31, 2020 Health Order: On March 16, 2020, the City issued a Public Health Order requiring people to stay at home ("shelter-in-place") except for essential needs, the order is in effect until April 7, 2020 and may be extended if necessary.  To read the Health Order, please click here: To stay up-to-date regarding the City's guidelines, orders, or regulations, please click here:

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