REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County’s health officer on Thursday issued a legal order prohibiting mass gatherings of 250 or more persons in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Scott Morrow’s order goes into effect Friday, March 13 at 11:59 p.m. and will last until 11:59 p.m. on April 3.
“Limiting mass gatherings,” he said, “is critical in slowing the spread of the disease and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.”
“The order applies to public and private gatherings and includes exceptions for houses of worship, museums, malls, hospital and medical facilities, and the normal operations of hotels and airports,” the county’s statement read.
In addition to the order, the county is using space at the San Mateo County Event Center to house two individuals in RVs who need alternative housing and do not warrant hospitalization. The event center, like all fairground sites, is designated by California Office of Emergency Services to be used for emergency medical response purposes.
“The County understands that some of our residents require our help to socially distance themselves for an appropriate amount of time and we want residents to know that we are taking all steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of both those individuals and the greater community,” said County Manager Mike Callagy.
The county has brought in 20 RVs to the site, where up to 20 people can individually live in the RVs in a safe, secure and temporary situation. The units have kitchen and bathroom facilities. Human Services Agency employees will provide on-site support to monitor those individuals’ medical needs.
The county’s mass gathering restriction follows similar orders this week in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. It also comes after the urgings from California Governor Gavin Newsom to end large gatherings through the end of the month. There are 20 cases of the novel coronavirus in San Mateo County.
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