Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area initiated a shelter-in-place mandate Monday that will force businesses, including Apple stores, in the area to temporarily shut down for three weeks. The goal is to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Nearly 7 million people will be forced to stay inside except to visit grocery stores, pharmacies or doctor’s offices. The new mandate means Apple stores in the area will remain closed longer than Apple’s originally intended time frame. The company initially intended to reopen its stores on March 27.
San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties are taking part in the new mandate, which will stay in place until at least April 7. Apple headquarters and a number of retail locations will be impacted by the order that is being put in place to stem the COVID-19 outbreak.
San Francisco shuts down
“My fellow San Franciscans, what we are asking for everyone to do is to remain at home for all but the most essential outings for your safety and the safety of those around you,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at a news conference Monday.
The new orders are the most restrictive yet in the United States. Authorities directed people in the Bay Area to stay home as much as possible and limit social interactions. President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that gatherings larger than 10 people should be discouraged across the country.
In the last four days, the Bay Area saw the number of reported COVID-19 cases double to 251. The actual number of infections is expected to be much higher, since only limited testing is currently available.
Police chiefs and city sheriffs are being called on to to ensure compliance with the order. Local authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle they wouldn’t rush to enforce the directives, though, as people get used to the changes.