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 State's Regional Stay at Home Order FAQ page for more information. If you would like to submit a question click here and we will do our best to answer it.

  1. What is the intent of the revised health order?

  2. The State's revised, stricter shelter in place order is designed to limit interactions between persons living in different households which could spread the disease. This is in an effort to take proactive steps to reduce COVID-19 infections rampant in the community and the related strain it is causing on the health care system  T

  3. When does the revised order expire?

  4. The Order became effective at 12:01 a.m. on December 7, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.

  5. Is this mandatory or just guidance?

  6. Yes, it is mandatory. These orders are issued under the authority of California law. Failure to comply with the order may be punishable by fine and as a misdemeanor, revocation of a  business license, or court-imposed penalties.

    Parks, Pets, & Exercise

  7. What happens if people don’t follow the rules in the parks?

  8. If non-compliance is noted, the parks and recreational facilities may be closed down. Each governmental entity can make a determination regarding the restrictions on public access to parks and open spaces necessary to maintain social distancing.

  9. Can I take my kids to the park?

  10. Yes. You can take your kids to the park or other areas to run around in open spaces, or bring your own sports equipment to an open space as long as it is used only by members of your own household and not shared with other people.

  11. Can we use play structures?

  12. No. Recreational areas with equipment that lots of people touch or areas where people gather close together, like playgrounds, picnic areas, barbecue areas, and dog parks, must remain closed and you cannot use them while the Order is in effect.

  13. Will the Piedmont Community Pool open?

  14. No. The County order still requires closure of all swimming pools.

  15. Can I play tennis?

  16. Yes, with conditions.  The City of Piedmont tennis courts reopened on Friday, May 18.  Please see the Recreation Department tennis page for details.   
  17. Can I play team sports?

  18. Sports with shared equipment or physical contact, like soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and tennis, may only be played with members of your same household or living unit.

  19. Can I play pickleball?

  20. Yes, with conditions.  Please see the Recreation Department pickleball page for details.    

  21. Can I play basketball?

  22. You can play basketball by yourself or with members of your household. Basketball courts will be re-opened once appropriate protocols and signage are worked out.

  23. Can I travel to a County park or open space to hike?

  24. Yes. Spending time outside improves mood and well-being, and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and enjoy other outdoor activities. But operators of parks, beaches, and other open spaces may restrict entry, close certain areas, or close the whole facility altogether to reduce crowding and limit risk of COVID-19 exposure. While you’re on a hike or enjoying an open space area, you must strictly follow social distancing requirements including maintaining a distance of six feet from everyone outside your household or living unit.

  25. Do I still have to wear a face covering?

  26. Yes. You must continue to comply with the Face Covering Order. The order mandates that face coverings be worn at all times in public, if you are or are likely to be within 30 feet of another person outside of your household. 30 feet is roughly the length of 2 cars. There is NO EXEMPTION for persons engaged in exercise. The face covering does not have to be worn the whole time exercising, but it must be carried and then put on when within 30 feet of other people.


  27. Can I get a building permit or building inspection from the Planning & Building Department for my construction project?

  28. Yes. Planning & Building continues to receive and process applications. Most services are being provided through email and telephone communications, and the submission of electronic documents. Please contact Planning & Building at (510) 420-3050 or by e-mail for information on our current application procedures.

  29. Are construction projects allowed?

  30. The Order allows residential construction, but only on the condition that the individuals performing construction comply with the Construction Safety Protocols listed in Appendix B1 of the Order for Small Construction Project Safety Protocol.

  31. Are there any restrictions on when construction is allowed?

  32. Yes. Please be aware that during these extraordinary times neighbors are working and attending classes in their homes. The Planning & Building Department is asking contractors and property owners to be extra sensitive to noise, dust, dirt, parking and other quality of life issues related to your construction project and the surrounding neighborhood. Construction noise is permitted in Piedmont from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. We suggest you reach out to your neighbors when resuming work and to keep an open channel of communication with them.

  33. May I submit an application for a planning permit?

  34. Yes. The Planning Division is accepting and processing applications including those for design review permit, accessory dwelling unit permit, and conditional use permit. Most services are being provided through email and telephone communications, and the submission of electronic documents. Please contact Planning & Building at (510) 420-3050 or by e-mail for information on our current application procedures.

    General Questions 

  35. What do I do about my kids? I have to work.

  36. The order
    Allows childcare providers to provide care to all children, not just children of essential workers, and establishes conditions under which youth extracurricular activities may resume.  Refer to the Order for specifics regarding childcare

  37. Can my housekeeper continue to clean my home?

  38. Yes. Remember to distance yourself at least six feet from your housekeeper. If you feel sick, do not ask your housekeeper to clean your home. 

  39. Can my landscaper/arborist/gardener continue to maintain my yard?

  40. Yes. Arborists, landscapers, gardeners, and similar service professionals can operate as outdoor businesses, as that term is defined in the Order, but they must strictly comply with social distancing requirements. Remember, Gas leaf blowers are NOT permitted in Piedmont.

  41. Is my garbage being picked up?

  42. 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. See the temporary changes here.

  43. Can my kids play together in our yard?

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

  45. Is Mulberrys open and other food retailers?

  46. 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!

  47. Can I travel out of Alameda County?

  48. 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.

  49. Can I dine out?

  50. Outdoor dining is prohibited. Please see the health order for specifics regarding dining. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food to the public are continuing to provide delivery and carryout. 

  51. Where can Piedmont Residents find services they need?

  52. 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
    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

    Oakland At Risk Match
    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

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

  54. 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
    (510) 306-4973

    Meals on Wheels
    (510) 777-9560

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

  55. What if I have questions not answered here?

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