Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On February 25, 2020, Mayor London Breed issued a declaration of a local emergency in San Francisco in response to the global outbreak and spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). With confirmed cases of COVID19 in the community, now is the time to take action to protect vulnerable populations and the community at large.

This webpage addresses:

Shelter In Place Public Health Order

San Francisco and neighboring Bay Area counties are under a shelter in place Public Health Order effective 12am, March 17, 2020. Everyone should stay home except to shop for food, care for a relative or friend, seek necessary health care, or go to an essential job.

Employees performing essential services must still report to work and those that can perform their work remotely must continue to do so. Essential services at this time include, but are not limited to:

  • Public safety and first responders (sworn police, fire, and deputy sheriff staff)
  • Transit operations (including MTA and SFO)
  • Work performed by all Department of Public Health employees
  • Human Services Agency Public Benefits enrollment, continuing eligibility, emergency housing services and distribution
  • Child and Adult Protective Services Emergency Hotline and Protective Services Response
  • In home care for vulnerable populations
  • Utilities (water, power, sewer)
  • 911 and 311 Operations
  • Sanitation
  • Deployed Disaster Service Workers

It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group.
Stay at least 6 feet apart when leaving your home for essential activities.

This order is in effect until April 7.

FAQs about Shelter in Place

COVID-19 Sick Leave, Emergency FMLA, or Vacation

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City is committed to maintaining City employee income security to the fullest extent possible, and to providing additional resources to employees who are providing front-line services during the emergency.

Accordingly, as authorized in Mayor Breed’s Supplemental Proclamation dated March 31, 2020, the Human Resources Director and the Director of Transportation for SFMTA service critical employees are implementing the following emergency leave and benefit policy changes, effective April 1, 2020.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County employees are designated by State law as Disaster Service Workers (DSWs). This means that when the Mayor declares a local emergency, employees may be deployed to different work sites than usual, or be asked to perform work duties or tasks that are different from their regular work responsibilities. No one will be assigned duties they are not qualified or trained to perform. If you have questions about the responsibilities of a DSW, please speak with your department’s human resources team.

Maintaining A Respectful Workplace

A person’s risk for COVID-19 is not based on race, ethnicity or culture. As a reminder, City employees must abide by the Respect in the Workplace policy, and treat colleagues and members of the public with courtesy and respect. Discrimination of any kind is a violation of the City's Equal Employment Opportunity policies and will not be tolerated.

Staying Healthy

We advise City employees to take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from infection:

  1. Take preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  2. Cover your coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face.
  3. Notify your supervisor and stay home if you are sick.
  4. Get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to COVID-19
  5. If you feel sick, please call your primary care physician or the nurse advice line. Employees have sick leave available should they need to stay home due to illness.
    1. Kaiser members: Contact the nurse advice line listed on your insurance card
    2. Blue Shield members: Contact your primary care physician listed on your insurance card
    3. United Healthcare members: Contact your physician.

Stay up to date on this rapidly evolving situation by visiting or . For more information on Disaster Service Workers visit DHR's website:

Vulnerable Populations and Social Distancing

The Department of Public Health has provided additional guidance on minimizing exposure for vulnerable populations.

Vulnerable populations are those who:

  • Are 60 years old and older; or
  • Have health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems.

The guidance advises vulnerable populations to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, telecommute if possible, stay home if they are sick, and avoid people who are sick. If you have a health condition and are unsure whether it places you in the vulnerable population, ask your personal health care provider. If your health care provider advises you to stay away from work and you cannot work remotely, you may use any accrued leave. If you are a vulnerable individual and believe you have a job you can do from home, please discuss this option with your supervisor. You should not disclose your medical condition or other personal information, only that you believe you are in a vulnerable group, and that you are requesting permission to work remotely.


The City will do all it can to minimize health risk for our employees, consistent with DPH recommendations and occupational health standards. Where a department determines it is possible, employees who can perform their work remotely are encouraged to telecommute. Some employees, including those in the vulnerable population, may not be able to telecommute because they need to be at work in order to provide critical city services, for example, health care workers, transit operators, or those serving as Disaster Service Workers. The City will take measures to in the workplace to mitigate risks. The City is encouraging departments to temporarily expand the use of telecommuting, and to consider offering flexible start and end times for shifts during this period. As you know, not all City employees have jobs that are suited to telecommuting. Review the City telecommute policy and process here:

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Due to the Shelter In Place Order, all City EEO Investigators are working remotely. If you wish to file a complaint, please call the EEO Helpline at (415) 557-4900 or (415) 557-4810 (TTY). Please leave your name, best phone number to reach you, your department, and a brief message of your complaint. An EEO Investigator will call you within 48 hours to acknowledge receipt of your complaint. Thank you for your understanding during this health emergency.

Department Resources

Employee Resources

Additional Information for Employees:


DHR is in close consultation with the Department of Public Health to keep our workforce safe. We are also committed to keep our partners in labor informed as this situation continues to evolve. Labor partners can will be directly updated from our Employee Relations Division and can also use The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) as a resource.