ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF CONTRA COSTA
SUSPENDING INTAKES AT HOMELESS SHELTERS
SOCIAL DISTANCING AT HOMELESS SHELTERS
DATE OF ORDER: April 14, 2020 Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code, § 120295.)
SUMMARY OF THE ORDER California is in a State of Emergency because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a substantial danger to the health of the public within the County of Contra Costa (“County”). COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. This Order is issued based on scientific evidence and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19. The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County place it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 and no specific treatment. The Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa has determined that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 among persons living in large homeless shelters, and that the shelters must be depopulated temporarily to help slow COVID-19’s spread and prevent the healthcare system in the County from being overwhelmed. On April 14, 2020, the depopulation of Bay Area Rescue Mission located at 200 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond CA 94801 (“the Shelter”), will commence.
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTIONS 101040 AND 120175 OF THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF CONTRA COSTA (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- Commencing on April 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., the owner and operator of the Shelter (collectively “Shelter Operator”) and all staff members and volunteers who work in the Shelter shall suspend the intake of persons to reside at the Shelter, including but not limited to accepting applications, conducting interviews and background checks, or otherwise authorizing any person to stay overnight at the Shelter if the person is not a resident of the Shelter as of the time and date set forth above.
- To the extent that the Shelter Operator currently provides or arranges for services to be provided to residents of the Shelter or other homeless persons, other than providing space for overnight stays, those services may continue to be offered, but only on the condition that all participants practice social distancing as set forth in Paragraph 3.
- All residents of and other persons who enter the Shelter shall practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet away from all other persons while in the Shelter.
- This Order shall become effective at 2:00 p.m. on April 14, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.
- Copies of this Order shall promptly be: (1) made available at the Office of the Director of Contra Costa Health Services, 1220 Morello Avenue, Suite 200, Martinez, CA 94553; (2) posted on the Contra Costa Health Services website (https://www.cchealth.org); and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy.
- If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, then the reminder of the Order, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Order are severable.
- Questions or comments regarding this Order may be directed to Contra Costa Health Services at (844) 729-8410.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Chris Farnitano, M.D. Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa Dated: April 14, 2020