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.

It is anticipated that COVID-19 will impact service delivery and public engagement well into 2021. This page will be updated regularly with links to resources and information. News Flashes and Blogs are updated on an emergent basis. Sign-up to receive the News Flash using Notify Me. You can also read the information via the City Manager’s Blog - linked here.

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

San Mateo County Health Orders require wearing a face covering in public settings as of Tuesday, August 3rd. This is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health. To read more click here.


Below are a few FAQs that are specifically related to issues or experiences in Atherton.  

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 Health - COVID-19 Website
- San Mateo County Health Data Dashboard
- San Mateo County Health COVID-19 FAQs
- San Mateo County Re-Opening Plan
- San Mateo County Face Covering Requirements
- State of California Resilience Roadmap

Testing - How and Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

To meet state guidelines, the County of San Mateo needs to administer about 1,200 tests per day, through hospitals, private testing companies, and the free program available through Verily known as Project Baseline. Project Baseline testing is free and available to anyone without restriction, although an appointment is required in advance. To make an appointment, residents can visit Project Baseline's website via the following hyperlink:

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Are there ways to help?

The Shelter in Place Order is critical to keeping us healthy, but it means schools and many businesses have closed and non-profits are facing increased demand for services with fewer staffing resources. San Mateo County has developed #SMCStrong as a way to help and support each other. 

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What about construction activities, can I still get a permit or continue to work?

Yes. All construction activity can proceed, including new projects, as long as the construction complies with all Construction Safety Protocols listed in Appendix B of the County’s Order (B-1 for small construction and B-2 for large construction projects). In addition, projects in Atherton are required to park all work vehicles in the construction site area such that there is no parking or storage in the public right-of-way. If this is not possible due to constraints on the site, vehicles may only park in the right-of-way in front of the property being serviced. Parking agreements for alternative frontage areas are not permissible at this time. 

The Town has an electronic permitting process that will allow the submission, review, and approval of permits by electronic means. Town facilities are open to the public, but with limited in-person contact. 

What about service professionals at my home? 

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. Service providers should park vehicles inside the perimeter of the property and not park within the public right-of-way.

House Cleaners

Home service workers, including house cleaners and housekeepers, may continue to provide their services. Non-essential home services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission. Service providers should park vehicles inside the perimeter of the property and not park within the public right-of-way.

Pool Cleaners

Pool cleaning services are deemed necessary for safety and sanitation and are permissible. Non-essential services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission. Service providers should park vehicles inside the perimeter of the property and not park within the public right-of-way.

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. Out of home childcare is also permissible subject to restrictions established in the County’s Order. These restrictions limit the amount of children that may be cared for by the business.   

Landscape and Gardening Services

Routine landscaping, gardening and other commercial outdoor services that provide general upkeep are permissible.  Service providers should park vehicles inside the perimeter of the property and not park within the public right-of-way.

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?

Yes and No. Services will depend on the location of the restaurant. Some are restricted to take-out only and others may have outdoor dining. Under the Orange Tier system restaurants can open indoors with modifications. 

Can I have private gatherings?

Private gatherings of 50 or less are permitted as wells as cohorts of 12 or less in a "social bubble". State guidance for private gatherings provides that gatherings that include more than 3 households are prohibited. Special Event Permits at private property can be approved based on those guidelines. To read the State guidance visit: California Department of Public Health - Guidance on Private Gatherings. Human Services

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 may 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, 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.