Stay-at-home order with new restrictions extended through May 3

by Contributed Content on April 1, 2020

Editor’s note: This following notice is from the City of Menlo Park.

On March 31, 2020, County of San Mateo Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow, along with along with six other Bay Area public health officers, extended the stay-at-home order through May 3, 2020, to preserve critical hospital capacity across the region.

While the March 16 order seemed to reduce the rate of transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it is not enough. There has been a significant increase in the number of positive cases, hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19, which is beginning to strain local health care resources. (Editor’s note: The cases rose about 25% from March 31 (309) to April 1 (388).

The health officers have determined that more and stricter social distancing is needed to slow the rate of spread, prevent deaths and stop the health care system from becoming overwhelmed.

The new stay-at-home order will supersede the previous countywide shelter-in-place order and go into effect at 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 31. It is a complement to the ongoing statewide stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month.

Like the previous local order, this extended order requires people to stay at home except for doing essential activities, such as grocery shopping. Nonessential businesses will remain closed.

Residents are encouraged to review the County’s Frequently Asked Questions for the stay-at-home order. The new order adds some clarifying language around essential business and activities, as well as some new directives, including:

-Do not travel more than 5 miles from your home to a recreation area.
-Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas and similar recreational areas is prohibited. These areas remain closed to public use.
-Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools and rock walls is prohibited. These facilities remain closed.
-Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment must be limited to people in the same household.
-Essential businesses must scale down operations to essential components only, maximize the number of people working from home and must develop and post a social distancing protocol before April 3
-Essential businesses list is expanded to include service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, Realtors, etc.); funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and rideshare services that specifically enable essential activities
-Landscapers and gardeners are not allowed to perform general cosmetic landscape work. They are only allowed to maintain habitability, sanitation and safety (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition).
-Construction—residential and commercial—remains prohibited in Menlo Park, with only approved health/safety exceptions.
-Funerals are limited to 10 or fewer attendees.

“Our message remains the same: stay home. Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community,” said Mayor Cecilia Taylor. “Essential activities are not group basketball or soccer, children’s playdates in cul-de-sacs, or visiting your grandmother. They are weekly grocery runs, pharmacy visits and medical necessities.”

In additional to previous actions by the City of Menlo Park, we continue to closely monitor park visitors and social distancing in public places. Social distancing is the most powerful tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. Further actions will be taken as necessary to protect public health and support the health officer’s latest order.

For more local Menlo Park updates, please visit the city website at For health officer updates from San Mateo County Health, visit

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