San Mateo County does not join other Bay Area counties in imposing stricter stay-at-home orders

by Linda Hubbard on December 4, 2020

While other Bay Area health officials today announced that they would impose new local stay-at-home orders, the County of San Mateo issued a statement saying it “remains 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,” the statement continued, “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. San Mateo County remains in the purple Tier 1 on the state’s four-tier, color-coded system for restricting and loosening activities.

Six counties preemptively implemented new stay-at-home orders today. Santa Clara and Contra Costa orders take effect at 10:00 pm Sunday; San Francisco and Alameda at 12:01 am Monday; Marin at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 8. These order stay in place until Jan. 4

Like all of the region, the state and the nation, San Mateo County is experiencing increased COVID-19 cases, particularly among young adults. The transmission is substantially driven by indoor social gatherings and insufficient face covering.

“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,” said County Manager Michael Callagy. “We can get through this together if each of us takes action now to social distance, wear face coverings and avoid gatherings.”

County officials will continue to collaborate and work with the other Bay Area counties on coordinating and facilitating the availability of hospital capacity.

“The measures we are taking emphasize individual and collective responsibility,” said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County’s Health Officer. “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.”

Dr. Morrow will continue to closely scrutinize County and regional hospitalization data, including the number of available and staffed intensive care unit beds, to determine whether additional local measures should be mobilized.

Closed in counties that announced preemptive shutdowns will be outdoor and indoor dining, personal care services such as hair and nail salons, playgrounds, bars and wineries movie theaters, museums and zoos. Retail, grocery stores and other businesses must limit capacity to 20%.

Photo caption: Outdoor dining remains an option in Menlo Park as of now

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