Hanson Bridgett LLP

Effective at 12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020, six Bay Area counties plus Santa Cruz have ordered individuals who live in those communities to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, all businesses except for “Essential Businesses” have been ordered to close. Certain construction activities, however, are exempt from the Shelter-in-Place orders, including housing projects and public works.

Geographic locations

The following counties are currently affected:

  1. Alameda
  2. Contra Costa
  3. Marin   
  4. San Francisco 
  5. San Mateo
  6. Santa Clara
  7. Santa Cruz


The orders will continue to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020. However, the Health Officer in each county may change this, so check for updates regularly.

Construction activities exempt from order

Work on “Essential Infrastructure” is exempt from the Shelter-in-Place Orders. “Essential Infrastructure” includes, but is not limited to, work on the construction of housing and public works, as well as:

  • airport operations;
  • water, sewer, gas, and electrical;
  • oil refining;
  • roads and highways;
  • public transportation;
  • solid waste collection and removal; and
  • internet and telecommunications systems.

Individuals may leave their residences to work on these jobs.

Social distancing measures required

Businesses that continue to operate during this period must implement “Social Distancing Requirements” to the extent possible. These requirements include maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. Thus, job sites that remain open should install additional handwashing stations and/or hand-sanitizer stations at each project site.