MONTEREY COUNTY (CBS SF) — Monterey County confirmed two cases of novel coronavirus Tuesday and said it will enact a shelter-in-place order at midnight Wednesday, following suit with seven Bay Area counties trying to curb the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
The two cases were confirmed at the Monterey County Public Health Laboratory after COVID-19 testing began on March 6, and the lab has conducted nearly 100 tests since then, according to the county. They were likely transmitted through international travel, the county added, and they are now isolated at home until they are cleared by the Monterey County Health Department.
Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County’s Public Health Doctor, said in a statement that the county has been preparing for the virus since early January.
“We anticipated that we would see cases of COVID-19 in our county,” Moreno said. “Now, we must continue to practice behaviors that will reduce the spread of all respiratory illnesses including COVID-19.”
The shelter-in-place order will last through midnight on April 8, and will shutter non-essential businesses and services.
Essential services include first responders, hospitals and clinics, jails, garbage and sanitation, transportation, utilities for water, gas and power, and most government offices, according to the county.
Grocery stores, food banks, and take-out and delivery restaurants will remain open, along with hardware stores, electricians and plumbers, banks, sanitations services, laundromats and cemeteries.
Closed businesses will include dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios. Group activities, public and private gatherings will be prohibited.
Transportation will be open only for essential travel, will continue on a limited basis and riders will have to maintain a six-feet distance apart.
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“Temporarily making these drastic changes to our lives and routines may be frustrating, but it is critical to slowing the spread of this virus,” Moreno said. “We must weigh the loss of some freedoms we enjoy with the ability to separate healthy people who may not show symptoms from those at risk who may be inadvertently exposed.”
Monterey County made this decision Tuesday, one day after Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties announced their own shelter-in-placeorders until April 7.
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