Sacramento County officials issue ‘stay at home’ legal order to prevent spread of coronavirus

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — To prevent the spread of coronavirus, Sacramento County will be under a “stay at home” order from the public health officer, directing all individuals living in the county to stay at their place of residence except for essential activities.

This is a legal order but officials stopped short of explicitly calling it a “shelter-in-place” order. 

The order is will begin at 11:59 p.m. Thursday and is expected to last at least through April 7.

“As of tonight, March 19, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. or one minute before midnight, the Sacramento County Health officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, is directing all individuals in the county to stay at their place of residence except for essential activities,” said Sacramento County Department of Health Services Director Dr. Peter Beilenson.

Under the new order, attending a private gathering of not more than six non-relatives in a place of residence is allowed and considered an essential activity.

Essential activities are defined as:

  • Engaging in activities or perform tasks essential to health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members, such as, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
  • Obtaining necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as food and other grocery and cleaning products. 
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined, such as walking, hiking, biking, running or equestrian activities.
  • Performing work to provide essential products and services at essential businesses and government entities as well as other nonprofit organizations.
  • Caring for a family member or pet in another household.
  • ​​Attending private gatherings of not more than six nonrelatives in a home or place of residence. Social distancing should be practiced at all times at such gatherings.

Social distancing should still be practiced at all times at such gatherings.

California Grocers Associated President Ronald Fong said at the news conference that grocery stores will remain open and urged shoppers to not over-buy but to resume their normal grocery shopping habits.

“I think it’s important to reiterate that about 80 plus percent of all cases around the world, in the United States are actually asymptomatic, without symptoms or only mild symptoms,” Dr. Beilenson explained. “So the key here is really to decrease the number of new infections and the potential spread to those who are more at-risk. That’s the real reason that we’re doing this stay at home order.”

The number of confirmed new infections has spiked in the county, with 45 as of Thursday and three deaths.

“It’s not intended to inspire panic. It’s to underscore the importance of what it means when we say, ‘Please, stay at home because we do have a global pandemic, in our community.’ And it’s all about slowing the transmission of the virus at this point,” said Sacramento County District 1 Supervisor Phil Serna.

Wednesday, the Yolo County Public Health Officer issued a similar county-wide shelter-in-place order.

Tuesday, six Bay Area counties — San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda — also asked residents to stay indoors.

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