What does a shelter in place order mean

COVID-19: What is a Shelter in Place Order and How Does it Help?

By Ally Bolender
Assistant Web Content Manager

If this is your first pandemic, you may be confused with all the terms popping up in the news lately. Shelter in place is one of these terms that has been thrown around in the media and by local government officials. But what does it mean? And how does it help?

A shelter in place order is an order by the local government that encourages citizens to stay inside of their house. The details of a shelter in place order vary by the state, but it typically requires people to stay in their home at all times, except for essential reasons such as grocery shopping.

Many officials are using the phrase “stay at home” interchangeably with “shelter in place.” So, if your local officials are telling you to stay home, it can be concluded that you are under a shelter in place order. You should probably stay home, anyways.

A shelter in place order is different from a lockdown. If your area is under a lockdown, you can conclude that you are in an area with a higher density of Coronavirus cases. By staying home, it could do tremendous help to your community.

Countries like Italy and Spain, where coronavirus has been increasingly dangerous, are practicing this stricter lockdown order where you may be fined or arrested for leaving your house.

While some states are under lockdown and people are banned from leaving their home, the lockdown does not seem to be as harshly enforced as in Italy or Spain. The local governments have closed all non-essential businesses, but they can only encourage their citizens to stay inside. It is unclear if they have the ability to effectively enforce lockdowns.

Staying home, regardless if your state or county is under a shelter in place order or lockdown, can keep you, your loved ones and community safe from contracting Coronavirus. So, do your part to help lessen the spread of the virus by staying home. Lives depend on it.

Featured image by KTSW Web Content.

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