SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Yolo County public health officer has issued a countywide health order for residents to shelter in place from March 19 to April 7, unless extended by the public health officer.

The order goes into effect at 12 a.m. March 19, and limits “activity, travel, and business functions to only the most essential needs and is intended to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), protect those most vulnerable to the disease, and preserve local healthcare capacity,” the statement, which was issued Wednesday, says.

“We need to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable people from the harmful impacts of the virus,” said Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman.

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A similar health order was issued in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties as well as the City of Berkeley.

The order defines essential activities as those necessary for health and safety for individuals and their families.

It also defines essential government functions as “Healthcare, and Infrastructure are allowed to operate, including law and safety and Essential Businesses, such as those that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life such as: fresh and non-perishable food retailers (including convenience stores); pharmacies; child care facilities; gas stations; banks; laundry businesses; restaurants and other facilities that prepare food and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out; businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies necessary to operate or ship/deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residents; and any form of agricultural production and processing, including the cultivation of products for personal consumption or use through farming, ranching, livestock, and fishing, including, but not limited to, transportation, manufacturing, chemicals, equipment and services; and the services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence.”

The order is enforceable by law, but a spokesperson said “the intent of Yolo County is not to punish members of the public. Rather, the role of law enforcement is to educate and inform with legal action reserved for significant violations.”

For detailed information about COVID-19 and further guidance regarding the order, you can visit www.yolocounty.org/coronavirus.

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