Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area this afternoon declared a shelter-in-place COVID-19 coronavirus-related mandate that affects close to seven million residents, as well as businesses in the area. That includes Apple Stores in the area.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa, along with the city of Berkeley, have told residents they must stay inside, venturing out only for necessities. The six affected counties include Apple’s headquarters and numerous additional offices, as well as multiple Apple Stores.
The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order is the most restrictive in the United States at this time and has been put in place to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. While 251 cases of the virus have been reported in the area, infectious disease experts believe there could be hundreds and possibly thousands of cases in the area that are undiagnosed due to lack of testing.
Residents must work from home unless their job includes essential services like sanitation, medical services, and public safety. While pharmacies, grocery stores, and banks will remain open, restaurants are to be open only for take out. Veterinary services, gas stations, hardware stores, and other shops are permitted to remain open, but other types of stores will close.
Non-essential gatherings of any size are also banned, as well as any non-essential travel “on foot, bicycle, scooter, automobile, or public transit.”
Apple on Friday closed all of its retail stores across the United States for a two week period. While Apple had planned to reopen its stores in the Bay Area as soon as March 27, the order will delay any store reopenings in the area until April 7 at the earliest.