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SF hits state County Monitoring List, announces indefinite pause

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced Friday that The City has been placed on the state’s County Monitoring List due to increasing Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Indoor malls and non-essential offices will be closed Monday, Breed said at a press conference. The mayor added that further plans to reopen are indefinitely on pause.

The mayor also said she has tested negative a second time after being exposed to the virus during an event. The mayor said a person attended the event and was aware of their positive diagnosis. 

Jesse Garnier SFBay Covid-19 tracker highlighting San Francisco, Calif. cases by day as of Thursday, July 16, 2020.

Expressing worry that residents are becoming complacent about wearing masks and social distancing, Breed said:

“People are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us. What we know from our contact tracing team is that the large part of the new virus spread we’re seeing is coming from people who are having gatherings with others outside of their household.”

Colfax said it is not just the older population contracting and falling ill from the virus, citing that since July 1 the average age of Covid-19 patients at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is 41.

To illustrate how quickly the virus is spreading, Colfax said it took more than a month to jump from 2,000 to 3,000 cases, while it taken less than two weeks for cases to jump from 4,000 to nearly 5,000 cases.

The Department of Public reported a total of 4,975 cases and 52 deaths from the virus.

As of July 15, the health officials reported that 91 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized. Of those, 27 are in intensive care unit beds and 64 are in acute care. Eleven of the 91 patients are transfers from other counties.

Colfax said just because a person tests negative does not mean the person can gather, stop wearing face coverings and stop social distancing.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, updates the media on the latest news of the spread of novel coronavirus at a press conference on Thursday, in San Francisco, Calif., on March 5, 2020.

He said:

“A negative test is not a passport to do what you want.”

Both Breed and Colfax said The City will issue a new public health order Monday that will require private health care providers to conduct same-day testing and results to help free up space at city-operated testing sites.

Providers will not only have to test patients with symptoms, but also patients who may have been exposed to the virus by asymptomatic workers.

Colfax said residents must not be complacent and need to follow city health guidelines in order to slow the spread of the virus.

He said:

“We know how to slow the spread of the virus. We know how to do it. We just must do it.”

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