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SF plans Thursday morning reopening under new state guidelines

San Francisco will once again allow outdoor dining and other limited activities to resume Thursday morning. The changes follow a state decision to lift regional stay-at-home orders that were imposed amid a Covid-19 case surge and shrinking intensive care unit capacity.

The City will continue requiring 10-day quarantine for travelers from outside the Bay Area and will leave in place a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that limits nonessential business operations and gatherings of people from different households. Officials said the curfew will be maintained even after The City eventually moves into the state’s red tier.

Mayor London Breed said Monday at a press conference that the Covid-19 reproductive rate has dropped to 0.95, meaning that the virus is spreading more slowly.

Breed said:

“The good news is we are in a better place than we’ve been in a long time.”

San Francisco is now averaging 261 new cases each day as compared to 372 on Jan. 8. The citywide ICU capacity as of Jan. 23 was 28 percent, the Department of Public Health reports.

With the announcement that regional stay-at-home orders have been lifted, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state will revert to the colored-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system.

Breed said she expects that San Francisco will be placed in the most restrictive purple tier when the state issues their weekly update on Tuesday.

The purple tier designation will allow for outdoor dining and limited indoor personal care services, such as hair salons, barbershops and nail salons. 

Outdoor zoos and museums can reopen at 50 percent capacity and indoor personal training can resume with up to three people, which includes the customer, trainer and a support staff member.

Small outdoor gatherings of up to three households, 12-person maximum, will be permitted if social distancing is maintained and no food and drink is being consumed.

Hotels can again start taking non-essential reservations, but due to the mandatory travel quarantine, guests arriving from outside the Bay Area must reserve rooms for at least 10 days.

Grocery stores will be able to increase capacity from 35 percent to 50 percent and all other retail stores can increase capacity from 20 percent to 25 percent.

The California Department of Public Health said its decision to lift the stay-at-home order is based on a four-week projection of ICU capacity. In the Bay Area Region, the state projects ICU capacity will be at 25 percent by Feb. 21.

The regional stay-at-home order issued last month was tied to ICU capacity in five different regions: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

San Francisco and some Bay Area counties self-imposed the stay-at-home order before the Bay Area dropped below 15 percent ICU capacity.

While The City is in a better place than it was last month, the mayor said:

“This is good news that we are finally seeing a difference with our numbers, but there’s still work to be done. It still means that we have to wear a mask and we have to socially distance ourselves from one another.”

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