Bay Area Narrows SIP Orders
On March 31, 2020, six Bay Area counties in Northern California adopted amended “shelter in place” orders in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). These orders are important to all businesses in the Bay Area, but also to everyone else as they could be a preview of what is to come.
Like the prior orders adopted during the week of March 16, 2020, the March 31, 2020 orders each generally require that residents stay home unless they are engaged in work which the orders define as “essential.” Importantly, the March 31, 2020 orders significantly restrict and reduce the definitions of “essential” work. For instance, under the San Francisco order, most construction is now prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response, affordable housing; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency, shelters and temporary housing, projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals, construction necessary to secure an existing construction site, and limited essential residential or business repairs. In other words, the March 31, 2020 orders ban most residential and commercial construction. As another example, businesses that supply products needed to work from home are no longer “essential,” and must cease operations.