Stay home during the coronavirus outbreak

Do your part: stay home. Together we can save lives.

What to do

Last updated Thursday, March 27 at 4:04 pm


Stay home except for essential needs

Everyone is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.

Go out only for essentials

If you need to go out, stay at least 6 feet apart from other people. 

You do not need to stay 6 feet apart from people who live in your household. 

You may walk, bike or go for a run near your home. If you need to get into a car or on public transportation to go for a walk or run, you’re going too far.

Get more information on social distancing

Look out for one another

Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to the virus. 

Check in on people who might be vulnerable. Look out for anyone who may be isolated during this time. Call, email, or talk through the door. 

Limit face-to-face interactions with anyone particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

This order is in effect until April 7. It may be extended by public health officials.









La Ciudad ha emitido una orden de salud pública requiriendo que personas se queden en casa, a menos que tengan necesidades esenciales. Poblaciones vulnerables deben de quedarse en casa. Todos deben de estar en casa y solo salir para comprar mercancía o comida, conseguir medicamentos, el cuidado de un familiar o amigo, recibir atención medical, o un trabajo esencial.

Está permitido caminar a fuera mientras mantenga seis 6 pies de distancia y no están en un grupo. 

Está orden esta efectivo hasta al 12:01am del 7 de abril.

Cambios vendrán dependiendo las recomendaciones de los oficiales de la salud pública.


Ang San Francisco Public Health ay nagpahayag ng direktiba para sa mga tao na manatili sa kanilang tahanan.

Para sa mga taong may karamdaman o kondisyong medikal, maaari po lamang na manatili sa bahay liban sa pagbili ng pagkain, pangangalaga ng pamilya o kamag-anak, pagbisita sa doktor, o pagpasok sa trabaho na esensyal sa komunidad.

Maaari pong maglakad sa labas, huwag lang pong magtipon bilang grupo. 

Ito po ay opisyal na pahayag mula sa San Francisco Public Health hanggang ika-7 ng Abril.

Tiếng Việt

Thành phố đã đề xuất một Điều Luật Y Tế yêu cầu người dân ở nhà trừ trường hợp có những nhu cầu thiết yếu.

Những người dân yếu hơn buộc phải ở nhà.  Mọi người đều nên ở nhà trừ trường hợp đi mua thức ăn, chăm sóc cho người thân hoăc bạn bè, khám bệnh, hoặc đi thực thi một công việc thiết yếu.

Ra ngoài đi dạo vẫn ổn nếu bạn không đi chung với một nhóm.

Điều luật này có hiệu lực từ Ngày 7 Tháng 4.

Điều Luật này có thể sẽ gia hạn tùy thuộc vào khuyến nghị của các nhân viên y tế.

Public Health Order

The City issued a Public Health Order requiring people to stay home except for essential needs. 

Find out more about the Public Health Order and what it means for San Franciscans

Read the full Health Order.

Vulnerable populations

Vulnerable populations must stay home. People who are over 60 or have a chronic health condition are the most vulnerable to this virus. 

Get more information on how to care for older and vulnerable neighbors in the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out how to stay healthy for older adults.

Going out

Leaving your home for essentials

Leave your home only to buy essential items like food and medicine. Limit your exposure to the virus. Limit the amount of time you are out of the house. Only have 1 person go out.

Get more information about going out during the coronavirus outbreak


Do not visit friends or family if there is no urgent need.

Social distancing

When you have to go out, stay 6 feet apart from other people.

Get more information for older adults

Working during the coronavirus outbreak

Unless your work is an essential function, you cannot go to work. You may have the virus and not know it. You might get it and risk infecting those you live with.

Many businesses are not permitted to operate under this Order.

Essential businesses are allowed to operate. Check if your business is essential

Find out more about working during the coronavirus outbreak

Transportation and travel

Do not travel, unless you have to, for essential activities or business.

Get more information about travel, parking, public transportation, rideshare services, rental cars, air travel during the coronavirus outbreak

You can travel in and out of the Bay Area only to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses, or to maintain essential governmental functions.

Otherwise, do not travel. Travel puts you and others in the community at risk.

What's open

Only essential businesses can be open during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Find out what businesses are essential

Find out what City services are available during the coronavirus outbreak

Order delivery whenever possible.

Health care and healthcare settings

Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.

Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures must be cancelled or rescheduled.

If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center.

Get more information on health care and healthcare settings during the coronavirus outbreak

Schools and childcare

All schools in San Francisco are closed.

SFUSD schools are closed through May 1.

Schools may provide distance learning to their students. 

Find out more about schools and childcare during the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out about free meals from the San Francisco Unified School District.  

Operating a business

Check if your business is essential

Essential businesses can remain open if they abide by social distancing requirements. Non-essential businesses can only perform basic operations.

If you are an essential business, you must follow social distancing at your business

Construction during the coronavirus outbreak

Find out which construction projects are essential and will continue, and get information to keep construction job sites safe.



You can walk your dog. You can go to the vet or pet hospital if your pet is sick.

Remember to distance yourself at least 6 feet from other pets and owners. 

Staying active

Fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities must be closed.

Stay indoors and not in close contact with other people.

You can engage in certain activities outdoors. You should not play sports indoors or play team sports.  

Sports that are permitted (as long as you keep at least 6 feet from anyone else and don’t share equipment):  

  • yoga on your own (no sharing blocks or mats)
  • running alone or with others with distance
  • riding your bike (alone or with distance)
  • walking (alone or with distance)
  • stretching
  • swimming in the ocean or in your own pool/hot tub
  • shooting baskets by yourself, or hitting a tennis ball against a backboard

Not permitted: 

  • any team sports where there is any contact or where a ball or other equipment is touched by multiple people (soccer, baseball, basketball, Frisbee, etc.)  
  • swimming in a communal pool

If you go outside

You can go outside for essential needs or to get some quick exercise while social distancing, but then you need to go home. If you go outside, do so as little as possible.


This is a legally enforceable order issued under California law. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.

Special cases

What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”?

Sheltering in place is the extension of the social distancing.  There are some differences.  Sheltering at home means:

  • stay home (stay unexposed)
  • only go out for essential services
  • stay 6 feet or more away from others
  • don’t gather

The other concepts from social distancing will continue to apply when you are out shopping or walking or going to the doctor.  These include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces, not going out if sick, and staying at least six feet away from others.


Can the Order be changed?

Yes.  It was important to get this Order in place quickly given the spread of the virus in the Bay Area.  However, it can and will likely be updated as conditions warrant.

Please be sure to check the City and County website regularly to learn about updates and sign up for the text alert service: text COVID19SF to 888-777.

We will also be sure to work with the media to share important updates and information.  

Who issued the Order?

This Order was issued by Health Officers of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties and the City of Berkeley.  Those health professionals have the authority under state law to issue Orders to protect the health and welfare of everyone in their respective jurisdictions.  

Why is this Order in place?

This Order was issued by Health Officers of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties and the City of Berkeley.  Those health professionals have the authority under state law to issue Orders to protect the health and welfare of everyone in their respective jurisdictions.  

This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the Bay Area.  At this point in the global pandemic, the virus has a foothold in all the jurisdictions that issued this Order.  There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people. 

Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed.  We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill.  Our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services.  For those reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus.  Doing so will “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed.  If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.

We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community.  The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.

Why now?

This Order is being issued now because the infection rates in the Bay Area have reached a level that means the situation is either critical or will be soon.  Some jurisdictions believe their health care systems may start becoming overwhelmed in the next week.  For those jurisdictions, the spread has to be stopped immediately.  For the other jurisdictions in the Bay Area, which are just a week or so behind, now is the time to take the strongest action possible to avoid allowing the disease to reach the point in the next few weeks that may overwhelm the health care system.  The sooner these extreme measures are taken, the more effective they are because of how the virus spreads.

Why is the County Public Health Officer issuing an order that shuts down so many businesses in my community?

The Public Health Officers of the six largest counties in the Bay Area have been closely monitoring the rapidly accelerating situation with COVID-19 and it is clear that if we do not take very strong and aggressive action to slow down the spread of the disease, there will be substantial harm to members of our community.

Additionally, our hospitals and particularly our intensive care units could be overwhelmed with patients. We are taking this action to save the lives of the many higher-risk people in our community who are particularly susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19, and may die if we do not act now to slow the spread and make sure our hospitals do not get overwhelmed with a flood of patients over a short period of time.

The Order also protects everyone’s ability to seek emergency health care when needed.

What factors put me more at risk for bad outcomes from the COVID-19 virus?

Anyone of the age of 60 is at additional risk, with the risk becoming higher the older you are above that age.

Also, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed the following conditions as being additional risk factors for serious outcomes from the COVID-19 virus:

  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners).
  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by the person’s doctor.  This includes a patient who has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis.
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by the person’s doctor (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis).  This includes when the person has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because of liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, or has HIV or AIDS). 
  • Current pregnancy or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks.  
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus).
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disOrders and mitochondrial disorders).
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions, including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury. 
What if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to someone who was?

If you have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you will need to be isolated to protect those around you.

If you were exposed to someone who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you should quarantine for the recommended time in order to not expose others if you happen to have the virus yourself.

Will all business offices and stores be required to close? What are “Essential Businesses”?

No, “Essential Businesses” may stay open and their employees may leave home to go to work.  Examples of Essential Businesses include:

  • Healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, medical and mental health clinics, doctor offices, pharmacies, health care supply stores, and other health care facilities. 
  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other store groceries.
  • Food cultivation
  • Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities.
  • Banks and related financial institutions.
  • Garbage and sanitation services and collection.
  • Hardware stores, and plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety and sanitation.
  • Schools, for distance learning and providing meals.
  • Laundromats and laundry service providers.
  • Restaurants and other prepared food facilities, but only for delivery or carry out.
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate; 
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences; 
  • Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  •  Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted, subject to certain conditions discussed below.
What do I do about my job, which requires me to go to work?

Many businesses are not permitted to operate under this Order.  Essential Businesses are allowed to operate.  A list of Essential Business is above.   If your work is not an Essential Business, you are not permitted to go to work and your employer is not permitted to require you to attend except for Minimum Basic Operations (discussed above).  You may work from home if your work permits.

I work for Apple, Google, or another large technology company that provides products and services that the public needs to access critical services. Is my company being shut down?

No.  However, most employees will need to work from home.  Anyone who must work onsite to maintain “Essential Infrastructure” for the community or to maintain “Minimum Necessary Operations” as described in the Order may continue to work in the workplace so long as they are maintaining social distancing.

Will this order prevent companies working on vaccines and testing for COVID-19 from continuing to do that work?

No.  The Order specifically excludes all healthcare related functions, including not just hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers, but also all of the companies that supply them with goods and services.

Who counts as a family member?

A family member includes anyone you live with, anyone who is a legal relative of yours, or anyone you treat as a family member.

How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services.  However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must instead be delivered or taken away for consumption.

Can I keep working from home?

Yes, as long as your employer permits it.

Are Community Benefit District (CBD) employees who do street cleaning and other sanitation related efforts considered part of an essential service?

Yes, for public sanitation purposes. Social distancing protocols apply.

What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?

This is a legally enforceable order issued under California law. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.

Can bicycle repair shops remain open?

Yes. Bicycle repair businesses, including mobile bicycle repair businesses, may continue to operate. Social distancing requirements apply.

I’m scheduled to move (change my residence) in or out of the city. Do I need to cancel?

You are not required to cancel. Moving companies may continue to operate. Follow social distancing. We strongly recommend self-isolating when you arrive at your destination to not put others at risk.

Can financial services, such as payroll processing companies, continue to operate?

Yes. Both banks and related financial institutions can operate.

Payroll processing for all businesses can also continue, whether the businesses are operating or not. Businesses that have been required to temporarily close their physical operations in San Francisco can continue to process payroll under the allowance for minimum business operations.

Can plumbers perform work at a home or at an essential business, like a grocery store or other store that sells food?


Fuel supply and other essential supply chains

Does this order disrupt the fuel supply chain? Should I be stocking up on fuel? What about other essential supply chains, such as food? 
The Order does not disrupt California’s fuel supply and fuel providers are open for business, including:

  • Refineries
  • Pipeline operators
  • Distribution terminals
  • Tanker trucks
  • Fuel wholesalers

In addition, the Order does not disrupt California’s food or hardware supply, and grocery and hardware stores are open for business.

Volunteer at blood banks or food pantries

Can people leave home to volunteer for blood banks? What about volunteering at food pantries?

Yes. Blood banks provide essential healthcare operations and are exempt from the Order.  Similarly, food pantries are essential businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.  People may leave their homes to work or volunteer at these facilities.  As with all permitted travel, however, individuals should comply with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible.


Can select playgrounds be used if Recreation and Parks puts in place extra staff to regularly sanitize equipment and enforce social distancing?

No. Unfortunately, it is not possible to maintain adequate sanitation and social distancing at playgrounds to prevent children from picking up or spreading the virus.

Essential businesses permission

Does the Order require any business or person exempt from the order (such as someone operating an essential business or seeking or performing healthcare) to seek permission, or send a letter, to continue operating?   

No.  Essential Businesses and others exempt from the Order do not need to seek permission from or give notice to the City in order to continue operating.  They should not interrupt operations in response to the Order.

AA meetings

Can AA meetings continue?  

AA meetings are essential to health and are therefore permitted to continue under the Order.  Individuals are encouraged to use online AA meetings to the greatest extent possible.  If online meetings are not available or individuals feel that an in-person meeting is essential to their health and well-being, they may attend in-person.  In person meetings should comply with social distancing requirements.

Dog walkers

Are dog walkers allowed?

If nobody is at home to walk the dog because they work for essential businesses or provide essential services, or if the dog’s guardians are incapable of walking the dog for medical reasons, then dog walkers are permitted to walk the dog.  Otherwise, dog walkers are not permitted.  Dog walkers should comply with social distancing requirements—with respect to themselves and the dogs in their care—to the greatest extent feasible, which may require reducing the number of dogs walked at a time.

Social distancing at essential businesses

For businesses that may operate under the Order, is social distancing required, or recommended?

Businesses that continue to operate under the Order are strongly encouraged to comply with the social distancing requirements set forth in the order to the greatest extent feasible, but may continue to operate even where strict compliance with all aspects of the requirements are not possible.

Pastors over 60

Can a pastor over 60 go out to church and do video live streaming on Sunday under the shelter in place order?  Are attendees allowed if social distance can be maintained?  
Individuals over the age of 60 are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, but the Order does not prohibit people over the age of 60 from going outside.  A pastor may go to church to live stream a religious service, but no individuals are permitted to attend the service in person.

Blood donation

Can blood donation continue? 

Yes. Blood donation is essential to health care.  Blood banks provide essential healthcare operations and are exempt from the Order.  Blood banks should be sure to follow FDA regulations and guidance pertaining to blood banks, including FDA advice on the COVID-19 virus.

Business impacts

This order impacts my business. Why was my business included in activities that are prohibited or limited? 

The virus that causes Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) is easily transmitted, especially in group settings. It is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety.  Because of the propensity of the virus to rapidly spread from person to person, the need to protect all members of the community and the Bay Area region (especially including our members most vulnerable to the virus and also health care providers), and the physical damage and property loss due to the proclivity of the virus to attach to surfaces for prolonged periods of time, the Order temporarily closes or restricts businesses in order to minimize the imminent threat that is creating an immediate menace to public health.  Only businesses that provide essential goods or services are permitted to continue operating under the Order. All others are being temporarily prohibited or limited to protect the public health.

Airport concessions and airline clubs

What restrictions are intended to apply to airport concessions and airline clubs?   SFO has (1) food and beverage concessions in the form of sit-down restaurants and “grab-and-go” establishments; (2) news stand retail establishments; (3) retail stores; and (4) airline clubs/lounges.
Under Order C19-07, airport operations are “Essential Infrastructure.”  Airport operations, as Essential Infrastructure, require “Essential Businesses.”  Airport concessions that sell newspapers may continue to operate. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food may also continue to operate for delivery or carry out.  Sit-down restaurants may continue to operate if they can provide take-out meals; they may also offer seating within their premises so long as social distancing requirements can be maintained, such as by removing tables and chairs to assure at least six feet between customers.  Airport concession specialty retail stores are not essential businesses.  Airline clubs/lounges may continue to operate only so long as airlines can assure social distancing is maintained.

Open houses, rentals and sales

Are broker open houses or tours of occupied residential units allowed?  Can landlords continue to market and rent units during the shelter in place? Obviously they would abide by the order, maintaining appropriate distances, hand washing etc.

Landlords and brokers may continue to market and rent units.  Individual tours of uninhabited residences are permitted, but in-person tours of inhabited residences and open houses are prohibited.  Landlords and brokers are strongly encouraged to use virtual tours and to conduct all business remotely (e.g., to sign documents in counterpart and exchange electronically by, for example, taking and sending pictures of signature pages with smart phones).  Social Distancing Requirements should be followed whenever in-person business has to be conducted.

Storage units

Can I still access the necessary items in my self-storage unit?
Self-storage facilities are not essential businesses but that they can maintain minimum business operations and allow people to access their units to the extent they are accessing them for medical or related needs, or in furtherance of a scheduled move out of the City.

SF Stay Home Order vs state order

I heard that there is a statewide shelter in place order. Do I still need to comply with San Francisco’s Order?
Yes. In addition to the statewide order, the County Health Officer’s March 16, 2019 Order remains in effect.  All residents must comply with the restrictions in both the County and State Orders.  If the restrictions in the two orders are different, you must comply with the stricter of the two orders.

Selling essential and non-essential goods

I operate a store that primarily sells non-essential goods, but that also sells a small fraction of essential goods like food, or products that allow people to work from home. Can I continue to sell products to customers at my storefront?
No. Your store may deliver items directly to customers’ residences.  Other than that, you may only maintain minimum basic operations, such as security and safeguarding of your inventory.

Landscaping services

Can landscaping services continue? 

Landscaping services may continue only if they are necessary to protect the safety, sanitation, or operation of essential businesses or residences, such as weed abatement and other fire prevention, tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition, or clearance of irrigation infrastructure.  Landscaping for cosmetic purposes may not continue.  Landscapers performing services under contract with governmental agencies should consult the relevant agency to determine whether their services are deemed essential.

Mail and post offices

Am I allowed to go to a mail drop off/post office to mail packages?
Yes. Businesses that provide mailing and shipping services are essential businesses within the meaning of the Order, and travel to essential businesses is permitted under the Order.  But individuals are urged to delay all non-essential shipping and to comply with social distancing requirements during any permitted outings.

Essential business employees

Are all employees in an essential business exempt, or just essential employees in an essential business? Should all employees continue to come in (like HR or back-house staff)? 
Everyone who can stay home or work from home without compromising the operations of essential businesses and services should do so.  

Office workers

Is there further guidance on whether office workers who can work from home should work from home?

Yes. Everyone who can stay home without compromising the operations of essential businesses and services should stay home and work from home.  

HVAC businesses

Are heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) professionals—many of which provide services to the healthcare industry; the food supply chain; cooling for data and information technology centers; and essential heating, cooling, and refrigeration needs for vulnerable populations—considered essential businesses?  

In general, yes.  The Order allows “Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses” to continue operating.  Commercial service would not be allowed unless it was for an essential business.  HVACR professionals should comply with social distancing requirements when providing services.

Car dealerships

Car dealership are open to repair vehicles.  Are they allowed to sell vehicles? Provide home delivery services?

Car rental agencies and car dealerships can operate to the extent necessary to provide vehicles for Essential Travel, Essential Business or Essential Activity but should comply with social distancing requirements.

Places of worship

Stay home. 

For your safety and the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Places of worship can offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference.


Funerals may proceed with the minimum number of attendees possible. No more than 10 people may attend a funeral. Follow social distancing requirements.

Last updated March 27, 2020