(Reuters) - Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties on Monday ordered residents to stay at home for all but the most crucial outings until April 7 because of the spread of the coronavirus, but said that despite the draconian measures it was “not a time to panic.”
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said grocery stores, banks and gas stations would remain open but “non-essential businesses” such as bars and gyms would close, effective at midnight on Monday.
“My fellow San Franciscans, what we are asking everyone to do is to remain at home for all but most essential outings for your safety and safety those around you,” Breed, 45, said at an early afternoon press conference with other local officials.
She added: “This is not a time to panic.”
The order applies to some 6.7 million people living in San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
As of Monday morning San Francisco County reported 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Six people have died of the respiratory illness in California.
More than 4,200 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across the United States, with more than 70 deaths, according to a tracking system by Johns Hopkins University.
President Donald Trump issued new guidelines on Monday to help fight the coronavirus, including a recommendation that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.
Reporting by Gabriella Borter and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool
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