Emergency order asks Fresno residents to ‘shelter in place’ (with many exceptions)

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The shelter order is from March 19 through March 31

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — The city of Fresno on Wednesday issued an emergency order asking residents to “shelter in place” effective Thursday amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The order continues through the end of the month.

“The intent of this order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible,” the order states.

RELATED: Emergency Order 2020-02

“All individuals currently residing within the City are called to shelter at their place of residence. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence,” the order states.

So essentially, residents may go outside for “outdoor activity,” but residents must comply with social distancing requirements whenever possible.

“Essential businesses” will still be allowed to operate and residents will still be able to go to one of these places.

“Non-essential businesses” are being ordered to “cease all activities at facilities located within the City except Minimum Basic Operations … For clarity, businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home),” the order states.

In other words, residents may only leave their residences to perform “Essential Activities.”

It’s important to note that the city stopped short of saying they would enforce the order by ticketing residents or worse.

The city added clarification by saying, “We are asking [residents] to comply voluntarily. It is not MANDATORY. It is not a SHUT DOWN. We are simply calling on our residents to shelter in place.”

Here are the businesses that the city says are “essential” and “non-essential:”

Essential businesses

  • Healthcare Providers
    • Doctors, dentists, pharmacies, veterinarians, mental health professionals
  • Utility companies
    • Water, power, cable, internet
  • Government services
  • Grocery stores
    • Farmer’s markets, convenience stores, pet supply, drug stores
  • Farming
  • Homeless service providers
  • Media
  • Gas stations and auto repair
  • Banks
  • Hardware stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, HVAC
  • Mailing and shipping services
  • Schools*
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Restaurants (take out only)
  • Office supply stores
  • Transportation providers
    • Airlines, busses, taxi, rideshare
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, children
  • Residential facilities for seniors, adults, children
  • Professional services
    • Legal, accounting
    • Only as needed to assist with legally mandated activities
  • Childcare facilities**

* For purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, observing social distancing

** Providing services to enable employees exempted in the order to work as permitted, and with the restrictions set forth in Order Sections 1.16.21.1 through 1.16.21.4.

According to the order, “All Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open” while maintaining adequate social distancing from employees and customers.

Non-essential businesses

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Movie theaters
  • Amusement centers
  • Bars, nightclubs
  • Salons, barbers, day spas
  • Auto sales
  • Other retail
  • Clothing, bookstores
  • Private clubs
  • Industrial and manufacturing not related to essential functions.

For a more exhaustive list of businesses click here.

“This is not an exhaustive list. For more information, see Emergency Order No. 2020-02 or call 559-621-8400.”

“All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes as expressly permitted herein. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit,” the order states.

The city of Clovis on Wednesday said they were not following suit, but said the city — which neighbors Fresno — “continues to follow the guidelines provided by Fresno County Health Department on this and other matters related to COVID-19.”

“I just attended a Police Chiefs’ meeting where the County’s Interim Health Officer updated the group. According to Dr. Vohra, there continues to be two confirmed COVID19 cases in Fresno County, and they are both travel-related,” Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger. “There are no confirmed community transmission cases in the County at this time. We continue to follow the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s expertise in this situation.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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