Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay at home order last Thursday to help slow the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus. San Joaquin County followed suit with it’s own on March 20.


Stockton City Council also voted Tuesday to affirm the governor’s order.


Local, state and federal agencies repeatedly have directed people to stay home except for essential work or personal tasks and to practice social distancing, as well as ordering large gatherings canceled. But what is and isn’t explicitly allowed in a stay at home order can be a bit tricky. Here are the "dos and don’ts" of compliance.


For the most part, it’s all in the name. Californians are being asked to stay at home as much as possible, as the coronavirus is spread through close contact — less than six feet — and via respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.


A city or county order cannot lessen the restrictions of a state order, but it can be more restrictive. So be sure to check county and city government directives in your area in addition to the state’s.


San Joaquin County Public Health Services has confirmed 71 cases of novel coronavirus in the county as of Wednesday afternoon and announced the third death related to the disease. The county’s first two deaths were confirmed March 18.


The county says there aren’t any real differences between it’s order and the governor’s order.


"The County Order is consistent with and implements the intent of the State order," San Joaquin Office of Emergency Services said in an email.


The governor’s order, however, will be in place until further notice, while the county’s is schedule to expire at 11:59 p.m. on April 7, unless it is extended or ended by county officials.


Here’s how San Joaquin County is implementing the intent of the state’s order:


Anyone living within the county should stay inside their place of residence except for essential activities (as defined by the county) or if they work for businesses and organizations deemed critical. Residences defined in the county’s order include hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.


People experiencing homelessness are exempt from this order but are encouraged to find shelter, while government agencies are being encouraged to provide it. Those who are unable to find shelter should not live in encampments with more than 10 people, county officials say.


The county defines an essential activity as those that are vital to an individual’s health and safety or that of their family and household members, including pets. People also can go out to obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, family or household members, as well as to deliver them to others. For example, this would include trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or health care provider.


Other essential activities include: engaging in outdoor activity, such as exercise, to care for a pet or family member in another household and to work at an essential business, organization or government agency.


Those who do not work in one of the defined 16 "critical infrastructure sectors," such as law enforcement, health care or the food industry, must work from home. A full list of these essential jobs can be found at covid19.ca.gov.


County residents also should be aware that all businesses and government agencies have been told to stop non-essential services at physical locations. For example, restaurants can serve take-out and delivery but are not allowed to have dine-in service. The order also could affect things such as paying government fines or court dates.


Got to the websites or social media pages of your local government and law enforcement agencies to find out which services are no longer being offered onsite.


While all public and private gatherings of any number of individuals outside of a household or living unit now are prohibited in the county, private gatherings inside a home or place of residence of six or fewer individuals who are not related are permitted.


There also are tight restrictions on traveling within the county, as well as to and from it. Whether it’s by foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile or public transit, travel for any non-essential reason is prohibited.


The county defines essential travel as any situation involving the activities aforementioned, travel required by law enforcement or court order, returning to a place of residence inside the county from outside the county and those who are in San Joaquin and traveling to a residence outside of the county.


People also can travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, those with disabilities or other vulnerable persons. Traveling to or from educational institutions to receive materials needed for distance learning, receiving meals or any other related service also is permitted.


If you need to leave your residence for any reason, county and state officials are requiring social distancing: maintaining a space of six feet from each other.


Residents who violate either of the state or county stay at home orders could, theoretically, face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment, according to California government and health and safety codes.


But county law enforcement agencies have said neither is likely to happen at this point.


Police do have "the ability to use discretion when enforcing such violations, and as such, our priority at this time is not to make arrests but to safeguard the well-being of our community by educating them on ways to assure their safety," the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said in an email. "We will remind them of the guidelines set forth by Public Health officials and encourage them to follow them for their safety and the safety of our community."


Always keep in mind that orders from both state and local governments are subject to change and termination at any time.


To stay up date with the latest local information regarding the coronavirus, go to Recordnet.com or check San Joaquin County Public Health Services’ website at sjcphs.org. You can also text "covidsj" to 888-777 to get automatic updates. In addition, the city of Stockton created the website StocktonStrong.org to provide information about what’s going on in the city and county, as well as ways for individuals and organizations to get help or volunteer.


Contact reporter Cassie Dickman at (209) 546-8299 or cdickman@recordnet.com. Follow her on Twitter @byCassieDickman.