Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19The Town of Atherton wants to ensure our residents have access to resources and information related to COVID-19. We continue to monitor the latest information and coordinate efforts with the San Mateo County Health Officials as it relates to COVID-19 preparedness and prevention.

This page will be updated frequently with links to resources and information. The City Manager will update and release a News Flash on a daily basis. This will be the News Flash accessible of the website’s main page - linked here. Sign-up to receive the News Flash using Notify Me

At this time, all Atherton facilities are CLOSED to public contact. There will be limited onsite staff. Most staff will be working remotely. 


Below are a few FAQs that are specifically related to issues or experiences in Atherton.  We will continue to update this list as we move along. 

San Mateo County and other communities have their own set of FAQs as well. We will provide a few links below to some of those resources. 

- San Mateo County - COVID-19 FAQS
- San Mateo County - Shelter-in-Place FAQs
- Santa Clara County - Shelter-in-Place FAQs
- Marin County - Shelter-in-Place FAQs

What if I have an emergency and need work done, can I still get a permit?

Yes. The Building Department will process permits necessary for emergency repairs. This will be done electronically. These would be projects that are emergency in nature related to maintaining the safety and security of the home. Examples are repairing the sewer line, fixing a broken pipe, repairing a broken window, removing a dead or dying tree (fire or safety hazard),  

What about service professionals at my home? 

This is not an easy yes, no or list answer. Service professional related to activities or tasks essential to the health and safety of a family or household are allowed. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other services providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of a residence are allowed. 

House Cleaners

Home service workers, including house cleaners and housekeepers, may continue to provide their services, but only to the extent necessary for health and sanitation. Non-essential home services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission.

Pool Cleaners

Pool cleaning services are deemed necessary for safety and sanitation and are permissible at this time. Non-essential services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission.

Childcare, Adult Care or similar services

Yes.  Nannies, babysitters or home healthcare workers caring for a child or adult in the child or adult’s own home are allowed to continue working.  

Landscape and Gardening Services

Routine landscaping, gardening and other commercial outdoor services that provide general upkeep are deemed not essential and are not permitted. This is a mandate under the County of San Mateo Shelter-in-Place Order and the Town cannot make exceptions. However, there are some outdoor services that would be considered essential and are permitted, including fire reduction work, maintaining growth along curbs and medians in order to ensure visibility along roadways and other tasks that are essential to the health and safety of the public. In addition, food cultivation is specifically exempted under the Order. To the extent that the gardening service is related to the sole source production of food for the residents in the premises it may be continued. 

Is this Order mandatory or is it just guidance?

It is mandatory. 

Can I go for a walk? Go to the Park? Walk my dog? Ride my bike? 

Yes, yes and YES. Employ social distancing protocols in any activity.  

Can I order things online and have them delivered to my residence?

Yes, businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are deemed “essential businesses” that may continue to operate.

Can I operate my home occupation business?


Can I dine out?

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

What if my plumbing gets stopped up or I have a water line break? Can I get that fixed?

Yes. Call your plumber. Service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit your hardware store, which is also allowed to stay open.

I see people violating the social distancing requirements or they are still having their gardeners work. Should I call 911?

No. 911 should not be used to report violations of the Shelter-in-Place Order. Please contact the Police Department Dispatch at 650-688-6500.

Local News and Updates:

March 31, 2020 - The San Mateo County Health Officer issued an update to the Shelter In Place order, the order remains in effect until May 3, 2020. The order includes clarification and additional limitations on essential business activities, including construction. Read the full order here.

March 25, 2020 - Members of the public can drop off donations at the County’s central collection center off of Maple Street in Redwood City. Generous donors have filled multiple carts with equipment. To learn more click here. Volunteers are needed, If you are interested to learn how to volunteer click here or visit 

March 24, 2020 - The San Mateo County Health Officer issued an order directing all laboratories conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests to report COVID-19 test information – including positive, negative, and inconclusive test results to local and state public health authorities. Read the full order here.

March 24, 2020 - The San Mateo County Health Officer issued an order directing all laboratories conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests to report COVID-19 test information – including positive, negative, and inconclusive test results to local and state public health authorities. Read the full order here.

March 19, 2020 - The Governor issued a Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order. That order identified specific critical infrastructure that would remain operational during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response. The memorandum provides greater detail on the specific critical infrastructure list identified by the Governor.  

March 17, 2020 - The Town will comply with the San Mateo County Health Officer directive for all individuals and businesses in San Mateo County. The Town is CLOSED to public contact. These changes in operations are effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and will continue through April 7, 2020.

March 16, 2020 - San Mateo County Health Officer Directs Residents to Shelter in Place and the county health officer’s full formal order.

March 14, 2020 - Health Officer Amends Mass Gathering Order and San Mateo County Health Order as of 3/14/20.

March 13, 2020Health Officer Issues School Operations Modification Order

March 13, 2020COVID-19 - Public Notice - Town of Atherton Proclamation of Local Emergency

March 12, 2020 - Health Officer Bars Gatherings of 250 or More Persons

March 11, 2020 - Letter from Mayor DeGolia - COVID-19

March 10, 2020 - Board of Supervisors Ratifies Emergency Declaration and Local Health Emergency

March 2, 2020 - SMC Health confirms new case of Novel Coronavirus in San Mateo County, California

Resources and Helpful Tips: