SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, July 7, Mayor London Breed announced during a press conference that the city will temporarily delay the reopening of indoor dining, and outdoor bars planned for Monday, July 13. An increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations in San Francisco, and large spikes throughout California and nationwide influenced the city’s new decision.
According to the mayor, they will continue to evaluate the information, data, the city’s situation as it relates to hospitalizations and other information and make decisions from there.
“If we see the numbers stabilize or decline in any way, we will reevaluate that information and begin the process of determining what businesses can open, but unfortunately with what we are seeing…we have no choice. We are living in COVID,” said Mayor Breed.
Other businesses that had been proposed to reopen between June 29 and July 13 are currently under evaluation. They include hair salons, barber shops, indoor museums, outdoor pools, gyms, real estate open houses by appointment, and zoos, as part of the Phase 2C reopening.
Last month, details about a timeline for San Francisco’s reopening were announced by the mayor. “We were doing well in terms of our numbers. So, we moved up our timeline once the state provided us with a variance.” The city was planning to let businesses reopen as early as June 29, but new data such as a spike in coronavirus cases became present.
“We saw a spike. One that we have not seen in a very long time, and as a result we had to put a pause on the opening of those businesses,” the mayor explained. “I know that this was very challenging, but this was definitely a matter of Public Health. So, it’s hard to make that decision to put a pause on reopening.”
Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax commented and shared the following statement from July 7 regarding the update:
“When we examine the health indicators, the regional picture, and what we are learning about the reproductive rate of COVID-19 in our community, we are forced to conclude that it would not be responsible to move forward with indoor dining or outdoor bars on Monday. We understand the importance of planning for businesses, and the urgent need that all residents have to get back to work and the new normal. However, the virus has no timeline and spreads quickly when people gather, and we must do everything we can to slow the spread. We also know that safely reopening San Francisco, with a healthy population and a renewed economy, is still possible as long as we all do our part.”
The gradual reopening process for businesses has been on pause since June 26. Over 153,000 San Franciscans have filed for unemployment.
“We started a number of funds and a number of things to try and help support these businesses. I know it’s not enough, but I want to be clear that, you know, this is not a decision that we are approaching lightly. We know that in order to protect public health, we are creating other challenges for small businesses,” the Mayor of San Francisco stated. As they see changes in the data across the city, it will be a top priority with safety in mind, as soon as the city is able to let businesses reopen.