The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services and San Joaquin County Public Health Services have issued a new order, effective as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, requiring stricter compliance with the county’s previous stay-at-home order from last week.

Most of the language in the six-page order is the same as the county’s March 21 order, but the new order states that measures put in place last week have been inadequate to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of Friday morning, the county’s public health department reported 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Joaquin County, three times the number reported on March 21.

The order still forbids nonessential travel and orders the closure of nonessential businesses, while allowing travel to and from essential work functions and those trips necessary to maintain health, such as trips to doctor's offices and the grocery store. It also allows homeless people to remain where they are, as long as they maintain safe distances from other people.

The new order deletes a previous exemption that allowed up to six nonrelatives to gather in a private setting.

While people are allowed outdoors to exercise, they’re still encouraged to stay in their neighborhoods, and the new order also prohibits use of playgrounds and other equipment in neighborhood parks.

It also increases the authority law enforcement agencies have to enforce the order. The previous order emphasized that police educate the public on the need for self-quarantine and social distancing, while the new order states that “other means of enforcement may be employed, as deemed appropriate by the law enforcement agency.”

Detailed information on San Joaquin County’s response to the novel coronavirus can be found at San Joaquin County Public Health Services, www.sjcphs.org, or at the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services COVID-19 page, www.sjready.org.

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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