• The San Francisco Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order to contain the coronavirus will likely be extended from April 7 to May 1.
  • The news comes as the Bay Area prepares for an expected surge in confirmed cases.
  • There are currently 1,903 confirmed infections in the region with 48 reported deaths.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The San Francisco Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order will likely be extended through May 1 as a surge in coronavirus cases is anticipated in the coming weeks.

“In all likelihood, we’ll have another shelter in place order early this week,” Cindy Chavez, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, said Sunday during a press tour of facilities that will house some of the region’s homeless, according to The Mercury News.

Sources told The Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle that the deadline of the regionwide order will be pushed back from April 7 to May 1, with an official announcement likely coming Monday. The extension, as The Mercury News reports, may include modifications to the type of outdoor activities that are allowed, as well as what qualifies as nonessential businesses.

The Bay Area currently has 1,903 cases of the coronavirus, with 48 reported deaths, but that number is expected to surge. 

“I am sad to have to say the worst is yet to come,” Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s public health director, said in a press conference last week. “Every community where the virus has taken hold has seen a surge in coronavirus patients who need to be hospitalized. We expect that to happen in San Francisco in a week or two or perhaps less.”

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Cities including San Francisco have requested more hospital beds and ventilators to accommodate the expected spike in the number of patients. The state of California has provided 1 million masks for healthcare workers and first responders in the city. Drive-thru sites for the testing of the coronavirus disease have been set up around the Bay Area, including in San Francisco, to increase testing capacity. 

On March 16, city officials across the Bay Area announced that a 3-week shelter-in-place order would go into effect on March 17 and would end on April 7. The order directs residents to stay inside their homes as much as possible and to only leave for essential needs, such as to go grocery shopping or to buy medicine. 

The Bay Area also falls under a statewide stay-at-home order issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 20, which he said would last up to 8 weeks.

The Bay Area order, which affects 6 counties, was one of the first in the US to enforce social distancing as a means to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. The move is an effort in what has come to be known as “flattening the curve,” or slowing the spread of the virus as much as possible so the healthcare system is not overwhelmed.

The region is serving as a model for the rest of the country, as Politico reports, in terms of how effective such social distancing practices can be — and how soon life may return to normal.

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