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

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As much as San Francisco Mayor London Breed wants small businesses open and residents to go back to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "we have not lowered the curve," she said Wednesday afternoon

RELATED: California moving into Phase 2 reopening; here's what that means for CA businesses

As of Wednesday, San Francisco has a total of 1,754 cases of COVID-19 and the numbers are continuing to increase, Breed announced.

Thirty-one people have died of the virus so far in San Francisco.

The mayor has been holding several press conferences each week during the pandemic to update San Franciscans on the status of COVID-19 in the city.

At the start of her update Wednesday, Breed recognized the hard work of front-line workers and nurses in San Francisco and across the U.S.

"Those are the real unsung heroes," she said.


The mayor also discussed reopening San Francisco and Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement on Monday that the second phase of reopening the state will begin Friday.

Businesses included in California's second reopening stage include bookstores, clothing stores, toy stores and florists.

Ultimately, the final decision will be up to local jurisdictions.

In terms of reopening San Francisco and working with the state, Breed said "we need to do so responsibly."

RELATED: Everything we know (and don't) about CA businesses opening Friday and what comes next

"The challenge we will continue to have, in San Francisco particular, the numbers are still going up," the mayor said.

According to San Francisco's Director of Public Health Grant Colfax, the more restrictive shelter order, whether from the state or city, will take precedence.

"Let me clarify the San Francisco and Bay Area health orders, currently in effect through May, do not permit curbside pickup from non-essential businesses. The governor's guidance to retailers coming out Thursday will spell out the state's expectations," Colfax said.

The health director said officials will study that state's guidance carefully.

"It is important to remember that the rule of thumb is whichever order is more restrictive is the order that will take precedence going forward," Colfax said.

San Francisco health officials have identified five indicators to track the Bay Area's progress against COVID-19.

  • Number of COVID-19 patients is low and flat or decreasing

  • Enough PPE for all healthcare workers to respond

  • Expanded testing to meet the need for all people (vulnerable and healthcare workers)

  • Capacity to investigate every case of COVID-19, contact tracing

  • Ability to measure rate of new cases of to determine whether the total is decreasing, increasing or staying flat


  • RELATED: 'This is Depression-era numbers': California's recovery from COVID-19 crisis will take years, Newsom warns

    "It is not over yet, not by a long shot," Colfax said. "The virus doesn't have a timeline. It was here in February, it was here in March and in April, and it will be here in the summer and fall and beyond."

    On a personal note, Breed went on to say Wednesday that staying at home through the pandemic certainly isn't easy, despite her initial enthusiasm.

    "This staying at home is rough for me too," the mayor said.

    "Nevertheless it is necessary," she continued.

    During the press conference, Breed and other city officials also discussed efforts to help residents and the homeless in the city's Tenderloin District.

    The mayor said the San Francisco neighborhood has seen a drastic increase in the number of homeless.


    Because of the effects of the virus on the unsheltered in the Tenderloin, the city has distributed "thousands" of meals and face coverings to those in the area.

    The mayor also announced the "Tenderloin Neighborhood Safety Assessment and Plan for COVID-19," which looks at conditions in the neighborhood and includes a plan to address the challenges, according to the Mayor's Office.



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