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Further Guidance from Bay Area Cities and Counties on Shelter in Place Orders

CATEGORY: Special Bulletins
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education, Public Education
PUBLICATION: LCW Special Bulletin
DATE: Mar 17, 2020

We previously reported on the Shelter in Place orders announced by public health officials on March 16, 2020, which go into effect on March 17th at 12:01am  through April 7th.   These orders were announced by public health officials from the 6 Bay Area Counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, as well as the City of Berkeley.   During this announcement, public health officials explained that local jurisdictions would determine which essential businesses can remain open within their jurisdictions, and how to implement the directives of regional public health officials.   Since this announcement, the Santa Cruz County Health Department has also ordered that all residents shelter in place starting Tuesday through April 7, 2020.

We are providing you with additional guidance that has been issued by these local jurisdictions.

All eight  of these jurisdictions have issued orders stating that “Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities— are permitted to stay open during only for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.”

Childcare facilities that enable workers to perform essential services are permitted to remain open, if:

“[C]hildcare is carried out in “stable” groups of 12 or fewer children (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day); (2) children shall not change from one group to another; (3) if more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room; (4) groups shall not mix with each other; and (4) childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.”

Below we have provided information regarding where individual county orders and FAQs can be accessed, as well as information that has been provided regarding the operation of schools and childcare facilities within these counties:

1. Contra Costa County.   Contra Costa County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county.  This order is accessible here: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/HO-COVID19-SIP-0316-2020.pdf.  The county also published FAQs, which are accessible here: https://cchealth.org/coronavirus/pdf/Stay-Home-Order-FAQs.pdf.

2. San Francisco City and County.  San Francisco County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county. The FAQs clarify that all schools are required to stop holding classes at physical locations within the county.  However, schools within the county may provide distance learning to their students. The FAQ’s also state that employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students. Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced price lunches, which many schools are doing.

3. Santa Clara County.  Santa Clara County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county.  The county also published FAQs, which are accessible here: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx.  In these FAQs, the county provides the following guidance regarding school closures:

“The County Superintendent of Schools and the superintendents of each public school district in the County has closed its schools to students for three weeks for the purpose of creating long-term plans to operate in ways that will facilitate social distancing, provide all necessary hygiene and cleaning supplies, ensure adequate staff time and resources to follow public health guidance, and create plans in the event of significant staff shortage due to illness.

Other schools, preschools, and childcare providers in the County may choose to remain open.  If a staff member or student at one of those schools or childcare centers is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Public Health Department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school, preschool or child-care facility is warranted.”

The FAQs state that for those schools and childcare centers that do remain open, they must take the following steps:

  • Teachers and staff with any fever and/or respiratory symptoms should not come to work. Teachers and staff should self-screen (i.e., check themselves for subjective fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough) for symptoms each morning before interacting with children.
  • Ensure sick leave policies that allow teachers and staff to stay home if they have symptoms of respiratory infection.
  • Implement staggered recess times to limit the number of children who are together; and, if possible, group recess by classrooms to reduce opportunities for mixing.
  • Consider alternatives to group programming within the facility including any large or communal activities such as assemblies and sporting events. Alternate approaches that limit close contact may include conducting assemblies via webcasts or intercom announcement and limiting the number of spectators who can attend sporting events.
  • Limit visitors to the facility by not allowing those with symptoms of fever and/or respiratory infection.

 4. San Mateo County Health. San Mateo County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county.  This order is accessible here: https://www.smcgov.org/sites/smcgov.org/files/HO%20Order%20Shelter%20in%20Place%2020200316.pdf.

5. Marin County.  Marin County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county. The county also published FAQs, which are accessible here: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/faqs?combine=&field_categories_target_id=16.  These FAQs state the following regarding guidance for schools: “This Order requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within the County. However, schools may provide distance learning to their students. Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students. Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced price lunches, which many schools are doing.”

6. Alameda County.  Alameda County Health Services issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county. The FAQs state: “This Order currently requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within the County. In general, schools cannot be open for in-person instruction. In order to support distance or remote learning, and other school services, schools may allow their employees to come to work.”   The FAQs also state that schools may allow their employees to come to work to support any continuing free and/or reduced price-meals and other essential services.

7. City of Berkeley.   The City of Berkeley also issued an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the city.  The order is accessible here: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Health_Human_Services/Level_3_-_Public_Health/city-of-berkeley-health-officer-order-to-shelter-in-place.pdf.  The city also published FAQs, which are accessible here: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/uploadedFiles/Health_Human_Services/Level_3_-_Public_Health/2020-03-16-shelter-at-home-order-faq.pdf.    The FAQs state: “This Order requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within the City of Berkeley. However, schools may provide distance learning to their students. Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students. Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced-price lunches, which many schools are doing.”

8. Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz County Health Services issues an order on March 16th regarding shelter in place directives within the county.  This order is accessible here: https://www.santacruzhealth.org/Portals/7/Pdfs/Coronavirus/Shelter%20in%20Place%20Order%20March%2016%202020.pdf.