The city of Fresno on Wednesday issued a “shelter in place” order effective Thursday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to KTLA sister station KSEE/KGPE in Fresno.
The directive will be enforced Thursday, March 19, through at least the end of the month. So far, there are two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Fresno County, both of them tied to travel.
“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.
When people do go outside, authorities asked they stay at least 6 feet away from each other “at all times as reasonably possible.”
Essentially, residents may leave their homes for essentials and “outdoor activity” but have to comply with social distancing requirements whenever possible.
“Essential businesses” will still be allowed to operate and residents will still be able to visit them. These include health facilities, utility companies, farms and grocery stores, banks and gas stations, among others.
“Non-essential businesses” are being ordered to shut down operations or have employees work remotely. These include gyms, bars, movie theaters, clothing stores and salons.
The city added: “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.”
The city of Clovis on Wednesday said they were not following suit, but that their jurisdiction — which neighbors Fresno — “continues to follow the guidelines provided by Fresno County Health Department on this and other matters related to COVID-19.”