Reopening San Francisco businesses will depend on COVID-19 hospitalizations, health director says

ByLiz Kreutz and Michelle Hong KGO logo
Monday, May 11, 2020
Reopening SF businesses will depend on COVID-19 hospitalizations, health director says
EMBED <>More Videos

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and city officials held a virtual briefing Monday afternoon to provide an update on the city's COVID-19 response efforts and reopening plans

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed and city officials held a virtual briefing Monday to provide more information on the city's plan to reopen businesses and what it would take to start implementing Governor Newsom's "Phase 2."

Breed expressed that the challenge remains the same as when the city began the shelter-in-place order weeks ago, with 1,954 positive coronavirus cases and 35 deaths to date.

The mayor said while she is "anxious to see the city open," she does not see Governor Newsom's reopening guidelines applying to San Francisco, adding "we're still not in a place where we see a decline."

RELATED: Phase 2 reopening: When San Francisco will enter Stage 2 and the businesses that will reopen

Businesses such as florists, bookstores, record stores, music and art supply stores will open gradually for delivery and curbside pickup service as soon as next Monday, according to Breed.

San Francisco's Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax emphasized that the reopening of more businesses depends mostly on the number of hospitalizations of COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: 'It is not over yet': SF may follow stricter stay-at-home order than Newsom's reopening of California, health director says

"Specifically, we will be looking at hospitalizations of COVID-19 positive patients as our metric of whether to move forward with expanded curbside pick up, or takeout next week," Colfax said.

He highlighted five guidelines for businesses to follow in order to reopen:

  1. Create a health and safety plan
  2. Ensure face coverings and safe social distancing in the workplace
  3. Provide proper cleaning materials such as handwashing stations, hand sanitizers and wipes
  4. Protect customers by marking social distancing marks
  5. Limit handling of produce by customers and ending all self-service foods and drinks

Colfax explained that reopening will be a gradual path. "We will continue to put community health first," he added.

He said the three key ways the community can help with the reopening efforts are: physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and getting tested if you're working outdoors.

The city leaders are also pledging to expand testing, detecting and predicting outbreaks and contact tracing.

According to Colfax, if both the community and city leaders comply with the three steps, San Francisco can achieve: a decreased transmission, increased safety and confidence in reopening society, and faster economic recovery.

In San Francisco, there have been 58 citations for failing to wear face coverings and 158 informal warnings, according to SFPD Chief Bill Scott. On the positive side, the city's crime rate has decreased by 22.5% this week with 16 fewer cases reported compared to the previous week.

Scott said property crimes have also decreased tremendously by 33.6%, while the year-to-date cases dropped by 8.6%, compared to this time last year.

Chief Scott reminds people to continue to report crimes, wear face coverings and to practice social distancing.

San Francisco officials will continue to provide updated information on the city's reopening plans expected later this week.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here