The health and safety of our visitors are of paramount importance to us here in San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.  As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to change at a rapid pace, we have listed the latest in health and travel updates related to our region.

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Special Alerts for San Mateo County & Silicon Valley

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The health and safety of our visitors are of paramount importance to us here in San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.  As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to change at a rapid pace, we recommend you use the links below for the latest in health and travel updates related to our region.

Statewide "Shelter in Place" Order

On March 19th, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for all California residents to ‘stay at home’ amid a coronavirus outbreak. The stay home order is in place until further notice.

Essential services will stay open, however, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, and banks. According to the order, Californians in 16 critical sectors are to continue working despite the order. Those include emergency services, energy and food, and agriculture. To learn more about this, please click here.


Bay Area "Shelter in Place" Order

On March 30th, it was announced that the "Shelter in Place" in the Bay Area will be extended until May 1st.

On March 16th, the Public health officers of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties announced, a legal order directing their respective residents to shelter at home for three weeks until at least April 7th.

The order limits activity, travel, and business functions to only the most essential needs. The guidance comes after the substantial input from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and best practices from other health officials around the world.

The order defines essential activities as necessary for the health and safety of individuals and their families. Essential businesses allowed to operate during the recommended action include health care operations; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals; fresh and nonperishable food retailers (including convenience stores); pharmacies; child care facilities; gas stations; banks; laundry businesses and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence. In addition, health care, law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

Click here to view the official media release.

To read more about clarification on "Shelter in Place" Order defining hotels as an essential service, please click here.

Parks & Beaches Information

As of March 27th, the County of San Mateo closed all of its county parks in order to avoid unnecessary contact during the COVID-19 crisis. This announcement follows the county’s decision to close restrooms, playgrounds, all picnic areas, and visitor centers at all County parks. Parking lots at State of California beaches and parks remain closed. For more information about the County of San Mateo, please click here.

Furthermore, as of March 27th, the parking lots and launch ramps at Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina are closed to the public until further notice, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 25th, the City of Palo Alto announced that it will close parking lots near the city’s three open space preserves: Foothills Park, the Arastradero Preserve and the Baylands in order to prevent crowds at popular recreation areas.

While all three open spaces will remain open for now, visitors will only be able to access them by foot or bicycles. For more information, please click here.

Public Transportation Information


Due to a decrease in ridership through the shelter in place order to reduce transmission of coronavirus, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has started offering limited service hours starting Monday, March 23rd. To learn more about how this may affect your commute, please click here.


It was announced on March 26th that Caltrain will be reducing its weekday train service by more than half amid sharp ridership losses due to the novel coronavirus. The commuter rail service will reduce its daily weekday train service from 92 daily trains to 42 indefinitely, making all local stops between San Francisco and San Jose every 30 to 60 minutes. Caltrain will also suspend limited and baby bullet train service and will operate two trains to Gilroy during the morning and afternoon commute hours.

The schedule changes will begin Monday, March 30th. Weekend service will remain on its normal schedule. For more information, please click here.


Beginning on March 17, 2020, San Francisco Bay Ferry is running reduced ferry service due to public health orders directing residents to shelter in place in order to reduce transmission of coronavirus.

Here are the changes in effect from March 17 through at least April 7, 2020:

  • No service on the Richmond, Harbor Bay or South San Francisco ferry routes
  • Reduced weekday service on the Alameda/Oakland and Vallejo routes -- see schedules below
  • No weekend service on any routes
  • No service to Pier 41 on any routes

Click here to learn more.

Mass Gatherings Information

On order of San Mateo County Health Officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, gatherings of more than 50 individuals are now prohibited in San Mateo County effective Sunday, March 15, 2020.

During the same period, gatherings of fewer than 50 persons are prohibited in San Mateo County unless hosts or sponsors implement all of the COVID-19 risk mitigation measures listed in the order. Click here to view the Mass Gathering Order.

For more information, visit the San Mateo County Health Department website which has updates and recommendations, as does the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

Food & Drink Services

Due to customers’ safety, California Governor announced that all bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and the like must close temporarily due to the threat of coronavirus.

Restaurants have been asked to close their establishments but are allowed to provide food services through pick-up and delivery. To find out more about which restaurants are offering these services, please click here.

Travel Information

San Francisco International Airport, San Jose International Airport, and Oakland International Airport's websites have information on several important changes to immigration procedures and flight schedule changes to/from the Bay Area.

COVID-19 Public Call Center: 2-1-1

2-1-1 is a confidential service accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 180 languages. Callers can get answers to non-medical questions, non-emergency questions about COVID-19 (how residents, schools, and businesses should prepare for COVID-19, as well as ways to prevent the spread of the virus).

You may also text "coronavirus" to 211211 to receive useful information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (after receiving a return text message, residents can enter a ZIP code for county-specific health-related links).

Click here to read for more information about the call center.

What You Can Do

The California Department of Public Health is encouraging everyone to help prevent the spread of this respiratory illness with these everyday actions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.


Additional Resources