Shelter in Place FAQ for Piedmonters

The City has received several questions about the Shelter in Place Order and what it means for residents in Piedmont. Please note that as orders are put in place the answers to these questions may change-check back frequently. Please refer to the Alameda County Shelter in Place FAQ and the Alameda County Extension of the Shelter in Place Order for more information. If you would like to submit a question click here and we will do our best to answer it.

  1. Am I allowed to leave my home while the order in in effect?

  2. Yes, but with strict conditions. The intent of the shelter in place order is to ensure that the maximum number of people shelter in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible to slow the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on delivery of critical healthcare services to those in need. You may leave your residence only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Travel, to work for Essential Businesses, or to perform Minimum Basic Operations for non-essential businesses.

  3. Why are Piedmont parks closed?

  4. The intent of the Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people stay home to slow the spread of the virus! The Piedmont Police Department has observed numerous and frequent violations of the original shelter in place order where groups of people were congregating in our parks requiring officers to enforce the social distancing provisions of the Order. The City took the step to close all parks in an effort to support the intent of the Order and protect Piedmont residents.

    The Police Department views the closure of the parks as essential to the enforcement of the new order. Closing all parks provides clarity for the public and for the police department.

    Attempting to close only the dog parks (fully mandated by the updated order) while leaving other parts of parks open would be confusing for the public, result in increased clarification calls to our 911 center, increase police officer staff time in interpreting and explaining boundaries to the public, and will not accomplish the intent of the order, which is to limit areas where people are attracted to congregate.

  5. What if people enter Piedmont parks? How will the Piedmont Police enforce the order?

  6. The Police Department has enforced the order to this point by verbal admonishments and warnings, however, citations may be given at the discretion of an officer.

  7. Is this mandatory or just guidance?

  8. Yes, it is mandatory. These orders are issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor with up to $1,000 in fines or six months imprisonment) not to follow the Orders (although the intent is not for anyone to get into trouble).

  9. What are Essential Activities?

      • Activities to perform tasks important to your health and safety, or to the health and safety of your family or household members (including pets), for example obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional.

      • Activity to obtain necessary services or supplies for yourself and your family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, for example, food, pet supply, or products necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, and operation of your residence.

      • Outdoor recreational activity, such as walking, hiking, bicycling, and running, in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements and with the following limitations:

      • Outdoor recreation activity must be in conformance with any restrictions on access and use established by the Health Officer, government, or other entity that manages areas to reduce crowding and risk of transmission of COVID-19.

        Regarding outdoor recreational activity:

        • Use of playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, and similar recreational areas is prohibited.

        • Use of shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, and rock walls is prohibited.

        • Sports or activities that require use of shared equipment, like frisbees, basketballs, baseballs, and soccer balls, may only be engaged in by members of the same household.

  10. My Contractor is scheduled to start a remodel next week. Can I go ahead with my project?

  11. No. You must defer your remodel or renovation project unless it is necessary to restore your home to a safe, sanitary, and habitable space.

  12. I'm in the middle of home renovation project, can work continue?

  13. No. All construction projects in Piedmont must cease immediately. Under the provisions in the March 31st Order issued by the Alameda County Health Department, no current active building permits in Piedmont meet the requirements to be considered an Essential Activity and therefore all must shut down immediately. There are very few exceptions to this requirement. Please contact the Planning & Building Department at (510) 420-3051 with any questions. The City is working no notify all active building permits that work must cease immediately. See Building, Construction & Landscape Restrictions

  14. Is my garbage being picked up?

  15. Yes, if it fits in the bin it will be picked up. If it does not fit in the bin, pickup will be deferred until after the emergency declaration has ended.

  16. How will I get food and medicine I need if I must “Shelter in Place” in my home?

  17. The Order specifically allows people to leave their home to buy food, purchase medicine, and purchase other necessary items. It also directs businesses selling those items to remain open, and allows employees of those businesses to keep working and ensure those businesses are operating. Essential businesses that remain open must follow industry-specific guidance issued by the County Health Officer related to COVID-19.

  18. Are Piedmont Play Fields Open?

  19. No. All parks in Piedmont (including Dog Parks) are closed as of April 1. Click here for up to date list of closures.

  20. Can my kids play together in our yard?

  21. Nothing in the order prohibits members of a single household or living unit from engaging in Essential Travel or Essential Activities together.

  22. Are the Piedmont Tennis courts open?

  23. No. All City Facilities are closed until further notice. Click here for up to date list of closures.

  24. Can I visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?

  25. No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Stay connected through phone calls, social media or video conferencing. Try a Zoom Video Happy Hour or dinner party!

  26. Can my kids still have playdates with their friends?

  27. No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes expressly permitted in the order.

  28. Can I walk my dog? Are Piedmont Dog Parks open?

  29. You can walk your dog on sidewalks and streets as long as you follow Social Distancing guidelines. Piedmont Dog Parks are now closed. Click here for up to date list of closures.

  30. Can I continue to use public transit?

  31. You may use public transit only for purposes of performing Essential Activities or to travel to and from work to operate Essential Businesses, maintain Essential Governmental Functions, or to perform Minimum Basic Operations at non-essential businesses. Transit agencies and people riding on public transit must comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined in Section 13.k of the order, to the greatest extent feasible.

  32. Is Mulberrys open and other food retailers?

  33. Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

    Specifically to Mulberry’s, take your coffee to go and do NOT linger and socialize out front. Tables and chairs have been removed for a reason!

  34. Can I travel out of Alameda County?
  35. The order allows travel into or out of the county only to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses, maintain essential governmental functions, or perform minimum basic operations at non-essential businesses.

  36. Can I dine out?

  37. No. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food to the public are encouraged to stay open, but only to provide delivery and carryout. Patrons will not be permitted to dine or congregate in restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.

  38. Can I take my kids to Piedmont Parks and use the playgrounds?

  39. No. All Piedmont Parks are closed. Click here for up to date list of closures.

  40. What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home?

  41. The order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators and other service providers that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and operation of residences and Essential Businesses, but not for cosmetic or other purposes.

  42. Can my gardener continue to work?

  43. Landscaping/gardening/arborist services may continue only if they are necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, operation of a business or residence, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition), and not for cosmetic purposes or general upkeep. If your landscaping needs are necessary to protect safety and sanitation, please distance yourself least six feet from the landscaper. See Building, Construction & Landscape Restrictions

  44. Am I allowed to go for a walk in a park in Piedmont?

  45. No. All Piedmont Parks are closed. You may take walks or walk your dog around town. Click here for up to date list of closures.

  46. Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?

  47. If they provide essential services as described in the Order, then yes they can and should continue providing those services. This would include non-profit operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and many other critical services.

  48. Can I still order things online and have them delivered to my house?

  49. Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home.

  50. Where can Piedmont Residents find services they need?

  51. Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.
    New campaign urging Californians to help combat social isolation and food insecurity among Californians who are over the age of 65—a community that is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19. The Governor also announced the creation of a statewide hotline 1 (833) 544-2374 in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. This line is staffed by professionals 24/7.

    Alameda County Resources 211
    www.211alamedacounty.org/covid19
    Consider dialing 211 for Alameda County Resources. Dialing 211 helps direct callers to services for the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those with a personal crisis, and those who are new to their communities. If you get a voicemail due to high demand, leave a message and someone will call you back. You can also send a text message with your questions. Send a text to 898211 with your questions and zip code.

    Alameda County Public Health Resources for the Community
    www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/resources/community

    Oakland At Risk Match
    www.oaklandatrisk.com
    They match you with a low-risk volunteer who lives in your community and wants to help you by getting groceries, picking up prescriptions, and checking in every couple of days. Piedmonters in need can sign-up on their site or call 1 (510) 306-4973.

    Crisis Support Services of Alameda County
    If you or someone you know is struggling with difficult life circumstances or uncomfortable thoughts and emotions we are here to help. You do not need to be experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings to call. Trained crisis intervention counselors are available to receive crisis calls and give supportive counseling 24 hours a day, every day. Translation is available in more than 140 languages. We also offer teletype (TDD) services for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. 1 (800) 273-8255

  52. How can I help my fellow Piedmonters in need?

  53. For those who are looking for ways to help in the community, here are organizations you can contact to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic:

    Oakland At Risk Match
    www.oaklandatrisk.com
    (510) 306-4973

    Meals on Wheels
    www.feedingseniors.org
    (510) 777-9560

    Mercy Brown Bag Program
    www.mercybrownbag.org
    (510) 534-8540 ext. 369

  54. What if I have questions not answered here?

  55. The Alameda County Public Health Department has answers to more Frequently Asked Questions as well.