All construction can resume under a new regional shelter-in-place order issued Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Shelter-in-place order extended with fewer restrictions

Construction, some outdoor businesses and activities allowed to resume

San Francisco’s stay-at-home order was officially extended Wednesday in coordination with six other Bay Area jurisdictions, but this time with an easing of restrictions to allow for construction, the operation of some outdoor businesses and use of outdoor recreational facilities like skate parks and golf courses.

However, in the case of golf courses, a Department of Public Health spokesperson said that while the new order allows them, the state order still does not and only once that changes could people hit the links locally.

Tennis and other sports that use shared equipment remain prohibited under the new order.

Seven Bay Area health officers, including San Francisco’s health officer Tomas Aragon, first issued the stay-at-home orders on March 17 to slow the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. It was slated to end on April 7 but then later extended to May 3. Now, the order to remain at home is extended to the end of May.

“All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions,” the health officers announced Wednesday.

Health officers in San Francisco and other Bay Area counties, who have collaborated to impose the health orders in their respective jurisdictions, announced earlier this week they would extend the order but said details would come later this week, indicating that it would include “limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities.”

The new order with the easing of some restrictions goes into effect Monday.

“The new order allows us to carefully monitor our progress while building the essential public health infrastructure – such as contact tracing and testing capacity – that will support our gradual reopening and make recovery possible,” Aragon said in a statement.

The statement said that “certain outdoor businesses can also begin operating again, and people can visit those businesses to perform work or obtain goods, services, or supplies,” including “wholesale and retail nurseries, landscapers, gardeners, and other businesses that primarily provide outdoor services as set forth in the order.”

They noted that “outdoor businesses do not include restaurants, cafes or bars, regardless of whether they have outdoor seating.”

“Other activities that can resume under the new order include residential moves and the use of certain shared outdoor recreational facilities that were previously ordered closed, like skate parks, but not others that involve shared equipment or physical contact,” they said.

Santa Clara officials said during a Wednesday press conference that the Bay Area order allows for childcare facilities and summer camps to operate where there are stable groups of no more than 12 children and the groups can’t have any mixing.

Reacting to the new order, Mayor London Breed said in a statement that “the small changes to loosen restrictions on some lower-risk activities are the result of the outstanding job by our residents of abiding by the rules and precautions that have helped keep our community safe.”

“I know this is hard for everyone, but we have to keep our focus on protecting public health every step of the way,” she said.

As of Wednesday, there were 1,490 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco and 23 deaths caused by the illness.

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