Santa Clara County Residents Ordered to “Shelter at Home”

By Robert Haugh

According to Santa Clara County, effective 12:01 am, March 17, 2020 residents are ordered to “limit activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs.”

The order is in effect until April 7.

The County has a good FAQ on this site.

Here are some of the most basic parts of the order:

  • The order restricts travel to essential activities, activities necessary for the health and safety for individuals and their families.
  • Essential businesses allowed to operate during the recommended action include health care operations; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals; fresh and non-perishable food retailers (including convenience stores); pharmacies; child care facilities; gas stations; banks; laundry businesses and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence.

Here’s the definition of “shelter in place:”

The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions listed in the Order. Some reasons you would leave your home are to get food, to get a prescription, to see a doctor, to go to work if your work is essential as defined in this Order, to take your child(ren) to and from childcare that is authorized under this Order, and to help people you care for get the things they need to live and be healthy and safe.

Here’s the advice for parks and playgrounds:

The Order allows you to engage in outdoor activities, provided that you maintain adequate social distancing. While we encourage use of parks, we strongly discourage the use of playgrounds because they include high-touch surfaces, and because it is typically not possible to maintain social distancing at playgrounds.

Here’s a question that’s on a lot of people’s minds:

Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?

No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.


  1. Stop looking for excuses , Do what has been asked of you. Why don’t people understand what it means to stay in place? Stay in your house !!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep yourself and other people safe.

  2. SHELTER IN PLACE??????? BLOOM ENERGY ONLY CLOSED TO ENGINEERS AND HIGHER UPS. Everyone else still working. Claiming they are essential jobs in providing electricity to community. Manufacturing is not an essential job and they do not provide electricity to community residents only a few select companies. They sent everyone home on 3/16 only to call back employees the next day (3/17). Nice to see most of companies doing there part in trying to halt this virus. Too bad BLOOM ENERGY continues to tarnish their reputation. How can they do this, knowingly putting their employees at risk. Showing no concern for employees. If they call in sick they must provide a Dr.’s note. Now showing no respect to the healthcare system. This is not how to act with the issues our community is facing now. The only way to halt this virus is to comply with that orders given…….. SHELTER IN PLACE!!! This should not be taken as an option. The corporate office doesn’t answer the phone, perhaps they are home where they should be.

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