News and Commentary

CA County Will Not Join Other Counties In Enforcing Newsom’s Stay-At-Home Order Early
San Mateo County
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Correction: This story initially incorrectly stated that San Mateo County was defying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order; instead, the county is following state guidelines but has decided not to enforce the governor’s stay-at-home order early, like other counties in the Bay Area.

On Friday, San Mateo County, which is located south of the city of San Francisco, California, announced that unlike other Bay Area counties, it will not impose Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest stay-at-home order early.

The county stated that it would remain “focused on following the state’s existing metrics and process, while reinforcing the public’s responsibility to comply with existing safety measures – especially avoiding gatherings – to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season.”

“Accordingly, while the County understands and appreciates the measures taken by the other Bay Area counties, San Mateo will not at this time be issuing a new local stay-at-home order and will continue to work with business and community leaders on adherence to existing guidelines,” the county continued. “San Mateo County remains in the purple Tier 1 on the state’s four-tier, color-coded system for restricting and loosening activities.”

County Manager Michael Callagy stated, “We know our residents have sacrificed and patience is growing thin, but we need you to know that you have the power to curb the spread and preserve hospital capacity for those who will need care in the coming weeks. We can get through this together if each of us takes action now to social distance, wear face coverings and avoid gatherings.”

“We acknowledge the reality of the pandemic fatigue that residents are experiencing and the need to find sources of support through this challenging period. Our collective focus must be on finding ways to support each other through this crisis safely while limiting gathering and adhering to face covering,” said Louise Rogers, Chief of County Health.

Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County’s Health Officer, echoed what Rogers stated, saying, “The measures we are taking emphasize individual and collective responsibility. With the vaccine coming soon, now more than ever, this is a critical time to stay focused on the key behaviors that protect our communities.”

In the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara and the city of Berkeley, which will enforce Newsom’s stay-at-home order early, “restaurants in those areas will have to close to indoor and outdoor dining, and bars and wineries must close along with hair and nail salons and playgrounds. Retail stores and shopping centers can operate with just 20% customer capacity. Gatherings of any size with people outside a household are banned,” The Daily Journal reported.

Last Thursday, Newsom instructed “residents living in areas where the ICU capacity fell below 15 per cent to close businesses and remain home for three weeks,” the Daily Mail noted.

“Most of the counties have not yet reached Newsom’s threshold requiring the closures when 85% of ICU beds at regional hospitals are full. But officials said hospitals in the region will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks when Newsom’s order would apply,” The Daily Journal added.

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