‘Shelter in Place’ hits Contra Costa County


Spencer Batute

Amidst growing coronavirus concerns, Brentwood shoppers take extra precautions as they swoop down on local markets, leaving bare shelves and low stocks. Photo taken March 14.

Katie Loughran, @Katie__Loughran

Contra Costa County is among five other Bay Area counties to be put under a shelter-in-place directive by county public health officials. This includes all Contra Costa Community College District sites, like Los Medanos College. 

The directive follows the increasing number of COVID-19 reports in the area. As of midnight, Tuesday, March 17, citizens in the affected counties are required to stay in their homes with the exception of going out to get essential needs. 

The order put in place aims to increase social distancing by having individuals isolate themselves, therefore eliminating the extended reach of the virus and slowing the spread. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.” The directive is said to take place until April 7.

Residents in the affected areas are still allowed to leave their homes for essential activities. This includes things like picking up prescriptions and medications or purchasing groceries. Those who do partake in essential activities are encouraged to remain at least six feet apart from others, wash their hands frequently, avoid physical contact and cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health released orders stating, “The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements […]  All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and creates an immediate menace to public health.”

Furthermore, the order states that any violation or failure to comply with the directive is considered a misdemeanor and may result in imprisonment, fines or a combination of the two. 

39 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been reported in Contra Costa County with zero deaths, as of March 17. For more information and updates, visit https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/.