7 Million Ordered To Shelter-In-Place In San Francisco Area

The mayor of San Francisco took an unprecedented step and ordered the lockdown of the city for three weeks beginning Tuesday at midnight.

The City will legally prohibit residents from leaving their homes except to meet basic needs including visiting the doctor, or buying groceries or medicine, until at least April 7, Mayor London Breed announced Monday.

The dramatic restrictions, imposed under a city-issued Public Health Order, will also require non-essential businesses like bars and gyms to close. But pharmacies, banks and other businesses that perform an “essential” role for society will be allowed to remain open.

In a statement ahead of a City Hall press conference with city officials, Breed urged the public to remain calm and emphasized “that all essential needs will continue to be met.”

“This is going to be a defining moment for our city,” Breed said. “We all have a responsibility to do our part to protect our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus by staying at home unless it is absolutely essential to go outside.”

Police Chief Bill Scott said at the press conference that violations of the order are punishable by a misdemeanor, but “that is an absolute last resort.”

“We are going to take a compassionate, common-sense approach,” Scott told reporters. “We are looking for voluntary compliance.”

“This is not about a criminal justice approach to a public health issue, this is about educating the public,” Scott added.

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