REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) — Diners in Redwood City were getting their last meal out until further notice Thursday night as San Mateo County prepared to join the rest of the Bay Area for the COVID stay-at-home order starting at midnight.
The heat lamps and tables are up on Broadway in Redwood City for the last time this year as San Mateo County prepares to move into the now Bay Area wide stay-at-home order due to the hospital region’s ICU capacity dropping below 15% as of Wednesday.
“We’re in lifesaving mode and the numbers don’t lie,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.
With the shutdown set to go into effect at 11:59 Thursday night, residents were rushing to get last-minute haircuts. Stylist Ashley Yulinger is preparing to work as late as possible to maximize the number of clients she sees.
“We’ve had a lot of people contacting us to get in today, before we’re able to close down, so I’ve actually extended my day, I’ve got a really long day ahead of me. Lots of coffee,” she told KPIX 5.
At Nick the Greek on Broadway, revenue is already down 50 percent this year due to COVID.
“To be honest, I look at the bright side of things. But I can’t say that I’m not worried. I definitely got bills to pay; gotta worry about family,” said employee Mark Alvarado.
Across Broadway, Nighthawk won’t be attempting takeout or delivery meals. That means manager Randy Luster has to face a cold, hard reality.
“As of midnight tonight, I will be laid off for at least three weeks,” Luster said.
While a good portion of the Bay Area decided to adopt the state’s stay-at-home order well before the region’s ICU capacity had dropped low enough, San Mateo County decided against the early closure. Last week, the county’s health officer explained why it followed the state’s guidelines instead.
In a lengthy statement posted Monday, health officer Dr. Scott Morrow raised several reasons why he has not signed on with neighboring counties in issuing stay-at-home orders preemptively.
“Being in the purple tier, the State has already put significant restrictions on businesses and the public space in San Mateo County. I am aware of no data that some of the business activities on which even greater restrictions are being put into place with this new order are the major drivers of transmission,” Morrow said, raising concerns it could drive certain activities indoors, raising risk.
The stay-at-home order has a tentative completion date of January 4, 2021, but the region will have to remain under the order if ICU capacity stays under 15 percent, in accordance with the state’s restrictions.