San Francisco is still in better shape than virtually every other major city in the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19. But as reopening has accelerated over the past couple of months, positive tests and hospitalizations are beginning to tick up again.
As a result, the city is pausing a few of the reopening activities planned for next week. That includes bowling alleys, indoor pools, and locker rooms and showers in gyms. Instead of being able to go up to 50 percent capacity, indoor dining restaurants, houses of worship, movie theaters and museums will have to remain at 25 percent capacity. Non-essential offices, which were permitted to reopen last week, can remain open at 25 percent capacity.
At a press conference Friday morning, Mayor London Breed repeatedly praised San Francisco residents for their discipline when it comes to masks, social distancing, and keeping transmission rates low. She also warned against large gatherings on Halloween and election night. “Sometimes these parties and these events and these gatherings can become superspreaders,” Breed said.
On Halloween, the Mayor said, “I’m going to wear a costume, but I also know I can’t participate in any parties or large events.” She encouraged San Franciscans to “be creative,” patronizing outdoor dining restaurants and other outdoor shared spaces, or tuning into virtual events.
Over the past couple of weeks, the city has seen its COVID-19 transmission rate increase from 3 new cases per 100,000 people per day, to 4, public health director Grant Colfax reported during the press conference. People hospitalized with the virus have increased from 23 to 37.
“There’s so much at stake here,” Breed said. “So I want people in San Francisco over the weekend and during election day to keep that in mind.”
By maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large gatherings, Breed said, “we’re setting our city up for a better future sooner rather than later. And that’s what this is all about.”