Coronavirus-related shutdowns have extended to schools, libraries, a San Mateo County Superior Court case and U.S. Rep. Jackie Spier’s offices.
Dr. Scott Morrow, health officer for San Mateo County, issued an order Friday that requires schools to dismiss students from regular attendance and encourages at-home learning if feasible.
The order begins Monday and continues through April 3 unless amended by the county or state health officer.
“Schools have anticipated and been preparing for this order for weeks,” San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee said in a statement. “Moving an entire system to at-home or distance learning is highly complex and weighty.”
San Mateo County said administrative functions at schools continue. Faculty and staff may use sites to manage at-home learning efforts, including technology support for students and staff — and allow school districts that provide free and reduced meals to students to continue to do so, the county said.
Parents and students who need access to school to retrieve essential items, including medications kept by a school nurse or health aide, should contact their school district or school, the county said.
The closing order applies to all public schools — including charter and private institutions — that educate students in kindergarten through 12th grade within San Mateo County.
Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont said all classes will be offered online starting Monday.
SamTrans is adjusting service in response to local school closures. SamTrans will begin operating a regular, non-school day schedule on weekdays. During the week, routes will not serve stops that are labeled “school days only.” Weekend service will remain unchanged. The transit agency also announced ridership has decreased by about 19% since coronavirus containment efforts began.
Caltrain is also adjusting service after seeing significantly low ridership since efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus began. Morning and afternoon peak hour service will no longer feature Baby Bullet service. Local and limited service will continue to operate as scheduled, as will off-peak service, including midday and weekend service.
One-way and Day Pass ticket sales have declined by approximately 75% from their levels two weeks ago. Caltrain is assessing the impact reduced ridership will have on its ability to maintain operations in the coming months.
The joint powers authority for San Mateo County Libraries decided to close locations starting Monday through March 31. Most outreach and mobile services will also be suspended during that time.
Libraries in Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos and Woodside are in the joint powers authority.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said her Washington, D.C., and San Mateo offices will close doors Monday and switch to telework. Office phone numbers will be staffed and will remain open during normal business hours.
The office closing will be re-evaluated week-by-week, Speier said in a statement.
“Although this virus continues to pose grave challenges to our communities and country,” Speier said in a statement, “I am confident that by working together and taking all the necessary precautions and steps we can mitigate the fallout from this pandemic and emerge a stronger, healthier nation.”
The attorney representing a Redwood City acupuncturist who prosecutors say fondled a patient in 2015 asked Thursday to continue the case because of coronavirus concerns — and the judge agreed to set a new trial date March 17.
Defense attorney Steven Chase said Friday that he is 73 and his client is 70 — ages that make them more susceptible to the virus.
“This was not a delay tactic,” Chase said.
No one in the courtroom was more disappointed than his client, Chase said.
“He wants to be vindicated,” the attorney said.
Half Moon Bay canceled all city events until May 1.
The public counters at city sites are closed until further notice. Appointments by phone will be available.
City parks will remain open, but users are cautioned to use their best judgment, Half Moon Bay said in a statement.
“Prevention and preparedness moving forward is our best defense,” Mayor Adam Eisen said in the statement. “This is the time to plan, not panic. We are in this together.”
San Carlos farmers’ market Sundays are cancelled through March. The Chamber of Commerce and the city will then assess the situation weekly.
San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said a patient with the coronavirus has been admitted to Seton Medical Center in Daly City.
“It has the capacity to play a major role in helping to safeguard us during these troubling times,” Canepa said of the hospital.
Twenty coronavirus cases have been reported in San Mateo County.
Dr. John Redd, a chief medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, told the San Carlos City Council meeting Thursday that 198 coronavirus cases have been reported in California.