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Cononavirus and COVID-19 Information for California

Trustworthy information about COVID-19

Bay Area Closures and Restrictions Currently in Place to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus

Current requirements for the state of California as of March 19, 2020 :

On March 19, the Governor of California directed everyone in the state to "shelter in place" in their homes. This means that we are ordered to stay home, except for specific "essential activities, government functions, or businesses". However, anyone "at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care." 

Travel is not permitted, except to carry out those essential activities, government functions, or businesses (see Section 10 of the Order for details). Public or private gatherings are not permitted, except for family members who already live together. People can be outdoors, so long as they maintain social distances of at least 6 feet away from others. Except for essential businesses, people must work from home.

The difference between this and earlier guidance is that "violation or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both."

Among the essential activities for which we are allowed to leave our residences are:

  • activities that are essential for their health and safely, and of their households (including pets), such as "obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home."
  • shopping for essential household goods and services, or to deliver those to others.
  • caring for a family member or pet in another household.
  • medical or health care, broadly defined ("hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services.") but not to visit a fitness center or gym.
  • outdoor activities (like hiking, walking, or running) so long as we keep social distances of at least 6 feet away.
  • working in a business that falls under "Essential Infrastructure" or an "Essential Business", or engageing in an "essential Government Function" (see Secton 10 of the Order for those definitions.)

(For details on what this means for businesses and workers, see this webpage).


Additional recommendations from the State of California as of March 14, 2020

People who are older and/or with other higher risk factors:

  • People aged 65 & older are encouraged to self-isolate in their homes. (See this webpage for explanation of what that means.)
  • Nursing homes should strictly limit the number of visitors to only "essential" visits.


Schools are closed throughout California

Santa Clara County Department of Public Health

Here's where you'll find the latest statements from the County Department of Public Health.

The County's Department of Public Health also posts FAQs (frequently-asked questions) in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese:

California [statewide] Department of Public Health

While individual public health departments in CA counties set out recommended or required actions in times of medical crisis, the state's Department of Public Health coordinates resources throughout California, and collects information about what's happening statewide.

Other Issues / Agencies During this Pandemic

Power :

PG&E stated on March 13 that "PG&E will not disconnect any customer's power for nonpayment during this health crisis." Their CARE program to reduce bills for customers facing economic hardships may also apply (check their website to see if qualify). 


Water Safety (Drinking Water, Waste Water): 


Sewage, Waste Disposal:

To avoid clogs, backups, and other problems with septic tanks, do not flush anything except toilet paper. (Why? so-called "disposable" wipes, paper towels, feminine sanitation products, etc. often contain plastic fibers or other materials that do not dissolve, causing blockages in sewer lines  and build-up in septic tanks.)


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