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Shelter in place orders go into effect for millions of Californians because of coronavirus

Staying connected despite social distancing
Staying connected despite social distancing 04:38

Millions of people in California woke up to a new normal on Tuesday: They are ordered to shelter in place for the next three weeks over the coronavirus outbreak. 

Shelter in place orders have been issued for seven counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Cruz — which are home to about 7 million people.

The orders say "Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both."  

Sergeant Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department said they expect most people to stay home over the next three weeks, but that deputies will step in if people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions, which are some of the most stringent in the country.

"It's really unprecedented times. We've never dealt with anything like this in most of our lifetimes," Kelly said, CBS SF Bay Area reported.

San Francisco Police Assistant Chief Mike Redmond said, "There will be a lot of education, and talking, and things like that before there is any type of enforcement."

Under the restrictions, non-essential travel is banned and people are being told to work from home or stop working unless they provide an "essential service," like those in the health care industry and law enforcement officers, CBS SF Bay Area reports.

"These measures will be disruptive to day-to-day life, but there is no need to panic," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Monday. "Essential government services like our police, our fire, out transit and sanitation will continue," Breed said Monday.

"Grocery stores, and pharmacies, and banks, and gas stations will remain open. Restaurants will be open for takeout only," she said, adding that non-essential businesses like bars and gyms were closing at 12 a.m. Wednesday.

Read the shelter in place orders for:

Public health officials around the Bay Area have confirmed at least 258 cases of the virus, including at least three deaths. The Bay Area accounts for more than half of the confirmed cases across the state of California, CBS SF Bay Area reported.

"Temporarily changing our routine is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this pandemic," said Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody."

Trump and Pence give coronavirus update 12:55
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