Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced Friday that the city is extending its shelter-in-place order through May 6 and toughening up its enforcement.
The city’s previous shelter-in-place order was in place through April 12.
“All indications I have seen, the people of Fresno are doing an excellent job of sheltering-in-place and social distancing, but we must continue these practices to protect everyone in the City of Fresno,” said Brand in a teleconference.
Brand said that the city is no longer encouraging people to shelter-in-place but is now directing them with potential penalties for failing to do so. All gatherings of any number of people, public or private, occurring outside of a household or living unit are prohibited.
The order also directs all businesses that are still open to use specific social distancing protocols, which include limiting the number of people that can enter a facility at a time, marking six-foot increments inside and outside the business for customer lines, providing hand sanitizer or soap, using contactless payment systems and using disinfectants after each use, employee screening following the health department’s guidelines and all employees are required to wear protective facial coverings.
Brand said all parks will remain closed through the Easter weekend and will reopen on Monday. In an effort to deter people from going to parks over the Easter holiday, the city is hiring private security at the parks to discourage people from going to them.
“We’re hoping that the private security and all the messaging that is going out, that people get the message and be safe and stay at home,” Brand said.
Anyone who fails to comply with the order persistently or egregiously will be subject to a fine. Brand said that acts that will be subject to a fine will be those that put others in serious danger.
Fines could reach a maximum of $1,000, Brand said.
“I know we are asking you to make tremendous sacrifices, but I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t willing to make the same sacrifices myself if I didn’t believe that this was best for the protection of our entire community. My hope, my prayer, is to get people back to work, back to school, and back to normal life as soon as we safely can. I know the people of Fresno can do this, and we can beat this, and not just back to normal lives, make our community stronger, closer and better than ever.”