San Francisco Continues to Pause Reopening as COVID-19 Activity Increases
Personal services, such as hair and nail salons, will not open at this time
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced that the City will again extend the pause on the reopening that began on June 29. The key indicators of COVID-19 activity in San Francisco show that a surge of cases and hospitalizations is under way, and it must be brought under control before reopening can continue.
Given the data on rising transmission of COVID-19, personal services such as haircuts, massages, tattoos and body piercing, manicures and pedicures will not be allowed to reopen at this time.
Other activities and businesses that were previously scheduled to reopen either June 29 or July 13 remain on pause. These include indoor dining, outdoor bars without food, indoor museums and aquariums, outdoor swimming pools, and real estate open houses by appointment. The City will provide another update on reopening and key health indicators on Friday, July 17.
Businesses and activities that are currently allowed may continue operating, but the City urges all San Franciscans to renew their commitment to safety precautions, to avoiding all unnecessary gatherings, and to wearing face coverings every time they leave home.
“San Franciscans did a great job following the Stay Home Order this spring, and we must keep up the good work to get the spread of COVID-19 under control. We are in this for the long haul, and we can’t afford to lose focus,” said Mayor Breed. “We want businesses to be able to safely reopen—and stay open—but to do that, we need everyone to do their part. Wear a mask when you go out and avoid gatherings as much as possible. It's up to all of us to contain the virus so that we can continue moving forward as a city.”
The State of California on Monday, July 13, responded to the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations by restricting statewide many of the same activities that are on pause in San Francisco. The focus is mainly on indoor activities where households mix and it is more difficult to ensure that people are following safety precautions like face covering and physical distancing. While San Francisco is not on the state watch list at this time, other Bay Area counties are; because our region is so interconnected, a regional approach is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
As of this morning, San Francisco had recorded 4,696 cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths. One of the key indicators of COVID-19 prevalence in the City, the number of new cases per day per 100,000 people, had risen to 7.7, well above the goal of 1.8 and a sharp rise since we began reopening on May 18, when it was 3.5. The rate of increase in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients, which does not include transfer patients from other counties, is also a key indicator that affects the pace of reopening. Our goal is to keep that rate below 10%, and today’s indicator shows an increase of 33%. Our hospital capacity, which includes the percentage of acute care and ICU beds that are available, is currently within the acceptable range at 27% for acute care beds and 28% for ICU, but could be quickly filled in an extended surge of COVID-19 cases.
Modeling indicates that the reproductive rate of the virus in San Francisco is above 1 and increasing, meaning that each person with COVID-19 is infecting more than 1 other person and contributing to a rapid spread of the virus that could overwhelm our hospital system as it has in other parts of the state and country.
“If our current surge continues, San Francisco hospitals could be overwhelmed in a few months, with 10 times as many cases as we saw in the April surge,” said Dr. Colfax. “We crushed that curve, and we can do it again if we redouble our commitment to the safety measures we know work: staying home whenever possible, staying physically distant whenever we go out, consistently wearing face coverings and frequently washing our hands. Let’s take care of each other and our City so we can be healthy and begin to reopen again.”
San Francisco is currently exceeding the testing goal of 1,800 tests per day, with 2,950 average tests per day and a total of 192,788 tests conducted to date. To reduce the delays that some San Franciscans are experiencing in testing appointments and in receiving results, City leaders are encouraging private health care providers to expand their testing services.
“The health of our communities, small businesses and workers depends on us wearing masks, getting tested, and staying home, not socializing outside our households," said Joaquin Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “It’s clear the race against this virus will be a long one. Only by recommitting ourselves to what we know works will we slow the spread so we can continue reopening the economy for the benefit of all San Franciscans.”
San Franciscans can use the same public health principles that are informing the City’s reopening plans to help guide individual choices. When you think about risk of exposure and transmission, keep these things in mind.
How risky is the activity? Five questions to ask:
1. Is the activity indoors or outdoors? Outdoors is much safer.
2. Does it involve gathering with people outside your household? That is riskier and should be avoided.
3. Can you wear face coverings at all times?
4. Can you maintain at least six feet of physical distancing?
5. Can you easily wash your hands, and is the environment properly cleaned?
Think about any activity in terms of these four characteristics:
1. Number – As the number of people or sites increases, the possible interactions increase exponentially.
2. Frequency – The more often people interact, the higher the risk of virus transmission.
3. Duration – The longer people are together, the higher the risk of virus transmission.
4. Distance – The closer together people are, the higher the risk of virus transmission.
Reopening phases and activities are detailed here: https://sf.gov/step-by-step/reopening-san-francisco.
More information about the key health indicators driving San Francisco’s decisions on reopening can be found here: https://data.sfgov.org/stories/s/epem-wyzb