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San Francisco Bay Area to extend coronavirus shelter-in-place order through at least May 1

Health officers in six counties of the San Francisco Bay Area will soon extend the shelter-in-place order until at least May 1.

Those counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara — were the first in California to issue sweeping restrictions on social movements to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and since then, the state of California has followed suit.

An official announcement is expected Tuesday.

The news underscores that the restrictions are likely going to be in place for some time. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he doubts schools will reopen before the end of the academic year.

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The California death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 142, with officials warning of tough weeks ahead as the number of confirmed cases of the virus continues to surge.

If government is going to restrict your constitutional rights, however compelling the emergency, the courts will demand more than a slapdash order.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said it seemed as if more residents stayed closer to home than last weekend, when too many people streamed into beaches and parks to socialize during the pandemic, and did not keep a distance of 6 feet from others.

Officials across the state responded by closing parks, beaches and parking lots to recreational facilities. The plan seemed to work, apart from a few hot spots. “Definitely an improvement from last weekend. The streets were pretty clear,” Breed said at a news conference. “We may not realize the impacts of this until this is all over, but eventually we will learn, I’m sure, that because of what we have done and how we all have participated in complying with social distancing, it truly has saved lives.”

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San Mateo County officials also saw fewer people outside this weekend after authorities closed all county parks. The rain helped too.

“A lot more people did shelter in place,” said San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy. “People really are grasping the severity of this issue and how the best way to protect yourself and your family is to shelter in place.”

Two weekends ago, some parks were seeing triple the number of usual guests, with people driving from all around and outside the county to visit. Some used the parks to relieve themselves when they found the park restrooms closed, Callagy said at a news conference.

Callagy urged people to stay in their own neighborhoods when seeking outdoor exercise, and keeping 6 feet apart from other people.

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RELATED: This is the Bay Area shelter-in-place order

There are currently more than 6,800 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.

On Monday, Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner announced the first confirmed case of the virus in a district employee. The infection was reported to officials last week.


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