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SF lays out plans to reopen some schools, indoor businesses mid-September

San Francisco officials Tuesday introduced reopening plans for the month of September that will allow more businesses and services to operate in the coming weeks.

Mayor London Breed shared The City’s reopening plans at a press conference Tuesday in response to the state’s new four-tiered, color-coded system launched Friday.

Based on two metrics — new cases per 100,000 people and test positivity rate — The City is in the substantial, or red, tier, just one below the highest tier referred to as widespread, or purple, according to the California Department of Public Health.

California Department of Public Health The new four-tier system the California Department of Public Health will use to determine what businesses can reopen and when in each county was announced and launched Friday, Aug. 28, 2020.

While city officials are working on announcing an official date, outdoor tour buses and boats, outdoor movies, outdoor family entertainment, hotels, indoor museums, zoos and aquariums will be allowed to operate and reopen sometime mid-September with limited capacity and approved health and safety plans.

Places of worship can reopen allowing one person at a time for individual prayer and up to 50 people for outdoor worship.

Additionally, transitional kindergarten through sixth-grade students will be allowed to return for in-person instruction in mid-September under the new guidelines if the Covid-19 situation does not worsen. 

Hair salons, barber shops and personal care services will also finally be able to provide indoor services with limited capacity by the end of September. Gyms can also open by the end of this month with up to 25 people indoors and 50 people for outdoor activities.

Hair salons and barbershops were allowed to provide outdoor services Tuesday and gyms can operate outdoors next week, the mayor said.

Warning residents to continue wearing face coverings, maintaining social distance and to not gather with people outside of their household as the upcoming Labor Day weekend approaches, Breed said:

“Labor Day weekend is coming up. I know everybody is thinking, well, this is a time I miss my family. It’s been six months. Here’s an opportunity for us to get together. That is highly discouraged.”

Miles Garnier Parkgoers within socially-distant marked circles are seen at Dolores Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The mayor said contact tracing investigations have shown that many residents have contracted the virus at gatherings with family and friends.

Dr. Grant Colfax, Department of Public Health director, said The City is still averaging 75 new Covid-19 cases each day. Colfax said:

According to the CDPH Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the new metric-based four-tier system, The City is reporting 9.8 new cases a day per 100,000 residents — it would need to drop to at least 3.9 per 100,000 people in order to move into the third, less-restrictive moderate tier.

“The rate of new cases of COVID-19 remains high.”

While The City has one of lowest death rates in the nation, Colfax said San Francisco is still experiencing high hospitalization rates.

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, co-chair of The City’s recovery efforts, said she understands that small businesses have been hurting for months on end.

Chu said:

“It helps no one when we ping pong back and forth, when we go and open and we close businesses, when people have to make investments that they have to pull back or won’t be able to use. These things don’t help our economy, they hurt our economy.”

Adding that the safety of employees and customers are a primary concern in the recovery process, she said:

“There is no economic recovery unless people feel confident re engaging with our city and our city life.”

City officials said there are currently a total of 9,544 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 83 deaths resulting from the virus.

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