UPDATED 4:25 p.m.: San Mateo County announced today that Health Officer Scott Morrow is planning to issue a new health order on May 18 that aligns county rules with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state plan, opening up curbside business for retailers in the county next week. 

The announcement came with a warning from Morrow that it is still not safe to interact with others and that social distancing and mask requirements are still in place.

“The public and open businesses need to fully do their part to minimize transmission of the virus,” Morrow wrote in the statement. 

At his press conference today, San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy said the move is an effort to align with the state’s current shelter-in-place order. It’s not the only Bay Area jurisdiction meeting the state’s regulations: San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced today her city will also allow curbside retail business starting Monday. 

Newsom has said that counties are free to issue their own shelter-in-place orders that are more restrictive than the state one, but loosening beyond state regulations requires a jurisdiction to meet a set of standards that prove the disease is waning in the area and that it is adequately prepared for a resurgence. 

Callagy said San Mateo County is unlikely to pass the many-pronged test because its death and case rates continue to hold steady. Among other metrics, the test requires zero deaths due to the disease and no more than one COVID-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days. According to the latest numbers, in the last two weeks, the county has seen 385 new cases and 15 deaths. 

“We’re not going to be able to meet (the state requirements) soon, or maybe ever,” Callagy said.

The official change to the county’s shelter-in-place order allowing retail stores to operate curbside and delivery business, along with the reopening of some logistics and manufacturing businesses, is slated to come later this week. Stores looking to reopen under the revised order can visit this website to see state guidelines on reopening. 


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