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The San Francisco Bay Area shelter-in-place order is being extended through May

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  • The shelter-in-place order in the San Francisco Bay Area is being extended through May.
  • The regionwide order, which was the first in the US, had already been extended once from its original deadline of April 7 to May 3.
  • The news comes as residents have already been isolating inside their homes for weeks now to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.
  • But until factors including widespread testing and contact tracing are considered, reopening is unlikely.
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The shelter-in-place order for the San Francisco Bay Area is being extended through May — past its previous deadline of  May 3.

In a joint press release issued by public health officials across the Bay Area, the modifications to the order — to be officially made later this week — will include "limited easing of specific restrictions for a small number of lower-risk activities." An expiration date has not yet been announced, but the order will be enforced through the month of May.

Mayor London Breed said in a Friday news conference that an extension was likely.

"What that means is another few weeks or even a month of asking you all to comply and to remain at home and to continue to follow the social distancing orders that we put forth," she said at the Friday news conference, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The news comes as the city, as well as the rest of the US, continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. The regionwide order was the first in the country to be enforced on March 17 in response to the coronavirus disease.

The order has already been extended once to May 3, past its original expiration date of April 7. Residents are directed to remain inside their homes as much as possible and can leave for essential items, like to go grocery shopping or to go for a walk. The city now requires people to wear masks while in public, specifically when in the vicinity of essential businesses such as grocery stores or restaurants.

Another Bay Area county, Solano County, north of San Francisco, had already extended its shelter-in-place order through May 17. For the most part, Bay Area counties have been following the same recommendations from public health officials on how to modify the shelter-in-place orders in their respective locales.

There are 1,424 confirmed cases in San Francisco, with many coming from nursing homes and homeless shelters, including MSC South, San Francisco's largest shelter. The shelter experienced an outbreak in early April, when 100 people tested positive for the disease.

A reopening plan detailed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom said multiple factors — including widespread testing and contact tracing — would need to be considered before restrictions could eventually be relaxed. Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order on March 19.

San Francisco public health director Dr. Grant Colfax on Friday said that the "curve is flat" in the city, but that doesn't mean life can return to normal just yet.

That reality is especially stark for those that have been grappling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. The mayor said on Friday that her office expects the city's unemployment tally to reach 100,000 in the near future, or one in every nine residents, as reported by Curbed SF.

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* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution

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