Amid the coronavirus pandemic, what does ‘shelter-in-place’ really mean?

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:
Shelter-in-place (Pixabay/MGN)

Spain, Italy, and even the San Francisco area called for a shelter-in-place.

To be clear, we are NOT under those instructions here.

But what exactly does “shelter-in-place” mean?

It’s not a time to panic, it’s a time to stay put and it’s usually for a short time.

WINK News’ Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko talked with a friend and former FBI agent colleague who is now living in Madrid.

He says the country was notified by the news to shelter-in-place, but it doesn’t mean they can’t leave their homes.

There are strict rules in place, but as long as you follow them, you can go to the supermarket or pharmacy.

Only one person in the motor vehicle can go to the pharmacy or store, or maybe two people can go in the car if you are going to the doctor,” said Mark Rossini. “I think we are going to be stuck in this house for two weeks minimum with the exception of going to the supermarket. There are no cars, no activity…no nothing.”

Again, that’s an idea of what it’s like in Spain.

Here in Florida, we are not under a shelter in place order.

No matter what, you shouldn’t panic buy, which is what we’ve been seeing, but make sure you have enough groceries for a week or two, your medications and pet food so you can avoid leaving the house.

In any time of crisis, communication is key.

Make sure you have your cell phone on you so people can get in touch.

Rossini said the people in Spain are accepting of the challenge knowing it is for their safety, but he is looking forward to getting out in town.


In the U.S., several states are now sheltering in place including California, New York and Illinois.

Marlene Diaz, her wife and one-month-old baby girl live in Oakland, California.

She says since the order was given, her street has been pretty quiet with everyone staying indoors.

“This is something that we’ve never seen before in our lifetime, you know? You go out and there’s just nobody on the streets,” she said.

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