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San Francisco is hitting pause on yet another reopening phase that would have allowed restaurants to resume indoor dining and bars to serve customers outdoors as of July 13.

Mayor London Breed and Director of Public Health Grant Colfax announced the delay Tuesday at a press briefing due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases was down to 49 new cases per day as of July 4 but just recently hit its highest point at 58 new cases per day on July 2, according to the Department of Public Health.

The goal is to keep the number of cases per 100,000 residents at 1.8 or less — that number is currently well above the goal at 6.1 residents per 100,000 residents.

Last month, The City was granted a state variance to allow more businesses to reopen and accelerated plans for businesses like hair salons, nail salons, outdoor bars, zoos, indoor dining and barbershops from July 13 to June 29.

Ching Wong A woman wearing a mask waits outside a grocery store on Leavenworth Street amid the extension of coronavirus shelter orders in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Ching Wong/SFBay.ca)

The June 29 date was paused by public health officials on June 26.

Now, as the original July 13 reopening date approaches, those businesses are being told to hold off once again, with no new date in immediate sight. 

While The City has not experienced the same level of case spikes seen in other Bay Area counties, Breed stressed that San Francisco is not out of woods.

The mayor said:

“This Covid-19 is with us for at least anywhere between 12 to 18 months and what we’re trying to do is adapt to our new normal. Part of adapting to our new normal means that we not just want to keep ourselves safe, we want to keep the people around us safe.

Adding that public health officials will continually monitor data and health indicators before determining how and when additional businesses can reopen, Breed said:

“We have no choice. We are living in Covid.”

Jesse Garnier SFBay Covid-19 tracker highlighting San Francisco, Calif. cases per day.
Open SFBay Bay Area coronavirus dashboard in new window.

DPH Director Grant Colfax said:

“Hospitalizations, for people diagnosed with Covid-19 have seen a 25 percent increase over the past week.”

City health officials are also monitoring other Bay Area counties, especially those on the state’s watch list, including Contra Costa, Marin, Solano and Santa Clara, said Colfax:

“We must respect that it is increasing across the Bay Area.”

Colfax also addressed the Fourth of July weekend saying The City will not understand the impact of residents’ behavior over the holiday weekend for at least two to three weeks.

As a reminder, Colfax recommends the public to assess the virus exposure risk when it comes to activities outside a person’s home, including whether the activity is indoors or outdoors, if the activity involves non-household members and if the person can wear a face covering throughout the entire activity and remain 6 feet apart.

Colfax said:

“Keep these principles in mind. Use your common sense.”

As of Tuesday morning, The City reported a total of 4,020 cases and a total of 50 deaths from the virus.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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