Protesters walk along Broadway Street in King City to call for an end to shelter-in-place orders Friday, May 1, the same day Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno extended the orders to last at least until May 31. (Photo by Sean Roney)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County’s shelter-in-place order has been extended through May 31, announced Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno on Friday.

The updated Shelter-in-Place Order goes into effect May 4, when the previous order was set to expire. The new order also includes a few modifications, which were “determined in part by using a risk-based analysis,” according to Moreno.

These modifications include:

  • Easing of restrictions on construction, golf courses and golf driving ranges, which are subject to the health officer’s requirements for operation.
  • Providing clarification on residential transactions, including rentals, leases, home sales and vehicle sales. 
  • Permitting plant nurseries, landscaping and gardening as well as drive-in church services. 
  • Allowing fabric and craft stores that sell supplies for the purpose of creating face coverings, gowns and personal protective equipment to operate.

All activities permitted in the order must comply with physical distancing requirements, specific activity limitations and all orders related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to Monterey County’s latest report, the number of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased to 213 as of April 29. Five residents have died from the respiratory disease, while 50 have since recovered in the county.

The majority of those infected with COVID-19 are from the Salinas area (139), with the others from the Peninsula and Big Sur area (30), South County (32) and North County (12), according to the most recent data available.

Moreno said the new order represents a phased approach for Monterey County businesses and residents to begin to engage in additional activities that pose a lower risk of spreading the virus. 

“A phased approach to removing restrictions will allow our county to continue to slow the spread of virus and keep pressure off our health care system,” he said. “Easing some restrictions, when combined with recent increases in testing capacity for COVID-19 and the use of face coverings, can continue to slow the spread of the virus while allowing some residents to return to work.”

Moreno reminded that residents are still required to stay home unless they are participating in essential activities. He said residents are encouraged to go outside for exercising while practicing social distancing and adhering to outdoor activity limitations included in the order.

“Monterey County residents have shown that we can slow the spread of the virus and protect our older friends and family members and people with chronic medical conditions,” Moreno said. “Thank you for your efforts to protect the health and safety of our county.”

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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