COVID-19: Six US counties ban unnecessary outdoor activities

Washington: Six counties in northern California’s Bay Area region, including San Francisco, on Monday announced a public health order asking residents to remain home as much as possible, in a bid to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
The order will come into force from Tuesday (March 17) till April 7. It will affect nearly seven million residents of six counties in the Bay Area.
The order asks all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct essential activities, businesses. It also request people to maintain at least six feet of social distancing.
All public and private gatherings, non-essential activities, travels and businesses are banned.
The six counties San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda are all located in Bay Area region, where more than 300 cases of corona have been reported so far.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that the measures were necessary to stop the spread of virus in the community.
“We know these measures will significantly disrupt people’s day to day lives, but they are absolutely necessary,” Ms Breed said in a statement.
“This is going to be a defining moment for our City and 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. I want to encourage everyone to remain calm and emphasize that all essential needs will continue to be met. San Francisco has overcome big challenges before and we will do it again, together,” she added.
“The virus is here in San Francisco. We must practice social distancing to slow it down,” San Francisco health officer Dr Grant Colfax said at a news conference.
So far, more than 80 people have lost their lives due to the virus across the US. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.