What Exactly Does ‘Shelter In Place’ Mean?

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read our disclosure policy here

More quarantines and lockdowns are happening and we should most definitely expect more. The reason? To slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom, ordered a statewide order to “stay at home”. This means you are to stay at home except for essential things. Like grocery shopping, or medical care.

The Bay Area of California is on a “shelter-in-place” mandate. They have to stay inside and can only go out for essentials. This affects nearly 7 million people! As of now, it is scheduled to last until April 17th.

This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community. This is a mandatory order.

Mandate from the city of San Francisco

So what exactly does it mean to shelter in place? Basically it’s just what it sounds like. It means you stay at home.


Reasons you can leave your home include only essential activities as mentioned above, which would be groceries and medical care. Also, work if you are still required to go in.


Widespread testing for COVID-19 is not yet available but is expected to increase in the coming days. This order is necessary to slow the rate of spread.

Mandate from the city of San Francisco

If you don’t listen? Well, that is a misdemeanor. You could be fined or locked up, or even both.

We want people to use common sense and to think about how their actions can put others at risk. Voluntary compliance is our goal and most of the city seems to be responding.

Robert Rueca, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department

Prohibited activities during a shelter-in-place order can vary.

According to the order, people that are more vulnerable should not go out at all. That would be those with chronic illnesses that compromise the immune system, minors, and the elderly.

Gatherings outside your home are not allowed. This means, no gyms, no bars, no restaurants. These places have been ordered to close. Food service places can continue delivery and to-go orders.

Traveling is not allowed unless it is essential. This includes your car, bike, public transit, motorcycles, walking, etc. If your job is not considered essential, you should work from home.

Essential jobs include health care, banks, delivery services, grocery stores, and others.


You can still, however, go for a run, a hike, take a walk as long as you practice social distancing. This means staying at least 6 feet from other people.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be clear on how the huge homeless population is supposed to handle this.

There are more than 150,000 homeless people in California. The Governor did say that they would spend $150 million on services to help the homeless.

So, in case your state issues a ‘Shelter In Place’ order, you’ll know what’s expected of you – to STAY HOME.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *