Although the city of San Francisco remains on California’s yellow tier, Mayor London Breed announced Friday the city will scale back on the reopening of some activities amid a slight increase in new daily COVID-19 cases.
As new cases continue to rise in California and other parts of the country, city officials have also reported an increase in new cases and hospitalizations locally, forcing them to make changes to the reopening plans set for this Tuesday.
“We are starting to see an uptick in the number of hospitalizations, which puts us in a situation where things could possibly get worse than what they are,” Breed said, speaking from City Hall. “The rest of the world is looking at restrictions, and it’s not just about what’s happening here in the U.S., it’s still challenging all over the world and it’s just a reminder that we’re still in the midst of this pandemic.”
Earlier this month, city officials announced indoor pools and indoor locker rooms at gyms could reopen on Tuesday, as well as family entertainment venues like blowing alleys, but those activities have now been put on hold.
Additionally, expanded capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent for indoor restaurants, movie theaters, places of worship and indoor museums, aquariums and zoos has also been paused.
Despite these new restrictions, other activities that remain on track to reopen Tuesday include indoor dining for museums at 25 percent capacity; expanded capacity for outdoor film production from 12 to 25 people; live performances with up to six performers in a drive-in setting; and real estate open houses.
Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said as more and more businesses and activities have resumed in the city, an uptick in cases was expected.
“We have been and we are prepared for this. Overall, San Francisco continues to do well, but we have seen an increase in case positivity and hospitalizations, and this increase is a cause for concern,” he said. “The data is telling us it’s time to pause.”
According to Colfax, within the last two weeks, the city’s case rate has seen a 25 percent increase, while the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 at once jumped from 23 to 37.
“That might not sound like a lot, but when this virus starts taking off, it takes off quickly, unless we take efforts to slow its spread,” he said. “The good news is our hospital capacity remains good to take care of people, but that rate of increase is concerning.”
According to Colfax, within the last two weeks, California has seen a 38 percent increase in new cases, and there has been a 41 percent increase in the U.S.
City officials are reminding residents to avoid gathering in large groups this Saturday for Halloween, and to adhere to city requirements like wearing face coverings and social distancing.
More information about the city’s reopenings can be found at https://sf.gov/step-by-step/reopening-san-francisco.