After Santa Clara County issued a shelter in place directive, effective March 17, lots of people came forward asking us: does this mean we cannot go outside?
It's a fair question, but the short answer is: you can absolutely still go outside.
There are some parameters, like practicing safe social distancing (6 feet between everyone, folks), but you are by no means cooped up in your home for the remainder of the time which the directive is in place.
Here are some questions we've received, and here are some answers to help you out.
1. Can we go outside to exercise?
-- YES. We encourage you to maintain your health, both physically and mentally, during this time. Go for a run, go for a walk, or ride your bike. You can do this in your neighborhood, or along local trails, or at local parks. Just please practice safe social distancing.
-- Please be aware, in an effort to further minimize the spread of the virus, all park buildings, restrooms, playgrounds, and similar equipment are temporarily closed through April 7. Playgrounds are "high touch" surfaces and should really be avoided at this time.
2. Can we go to the store, or to the post office?
-- Yes. These places and more have been deemed essential businesses. For more on what constitutes and essential business, visit the County's FAQ page.
3. Will the police stop me if I am out by myself?
-- No. Mountain View Police officers will not stop you if you are out on your own. Feel free to wave hello, it's a great way to show that we're all in this together.
4. What happens if I see a business that I think is violating the shelter in place directive?
-- First and foremost, the amount of vehicles you see in on place may not indicate any violations. Please, again, see the County FAQ page we listed above about what businesses qualify as "essential." If you believe that a large group of people gathered are violating social distancing best practices, call 650-903-6344.
5. Can I go to beaches, or take my dog for a walk?
-- Yes, you can.
As we get more questions in, we'll do our best to answer them. For now, though, know that you can go outside, are encouraged to, even, and just remember: wash your hands, cover your mouth, keep that 6 feet between one another.