San Francisco added to state coronavirus watch list, mayor says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed announced during a press conference Friday with Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax that San Francisco County has been added to the state's coronavirus watch list, meaning indoor malls and non-essential offices must close starting Monday.

When a county is on the state's watch list for three or more days, it is required to roll back certain business reopenings. Mayor Breed says if the state adds more watch list restrictions, the city will follow them.

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If conditions do not improve, Breed says the city may close additional activities and businesses.

The city will continue to pause the reopening process indefinitely until conditions improve. "We're not reopening until we get this under control," said Mayor Breed.

The mayor announced the city has had 4,975 cases of COVID-19 and 52 deaths. Also, that after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, she has now tested negative twice.

"This does not mean that I'm immune or can let my guard down," said Mayor Breed.

City officials are reminding San Franciscans that a negative COVID-19 test does not mean they're immune, either.

Dr. Colfax says the virus is not just impacting elderly residents. "At Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital ,the average age of the person hospitalized with COVID-19 since July 1 has been 41 years."

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On April 11, there were 94 people hospitalized with COVID-19. By mid-June, it was down to as low as 26 and the city is now up to 80 people.

On Monday, Breed and Colfax will issue a new health order requiring that private health care providers increase testing services and provide same-day testing for patients with symptoms and for those close to a person who recently tested positive. Additionally, the new order requires private hospitals and clinics to provide testing to asymptomatic workers who are most at risk like health care workers, first responders, and others who have jobs that require them to be less than six feet apart from the public.

Although the city has increased testing, particularly in areas with the most cases, like the Tenderloin, Mission, Bayview and Sunnydale neighborhoods, the new health order aims to east demand at the city-run testing sites.

"We have a small window of time right now to get our cases under control before we could see the large outbreak that is continuing around this country," Breed said. "If conditions in our city don't improve, we can also choose to close additional businesses and activities as well. We have flattened this curve once and we must do it again, but what I'm afraid of is the complacency. People are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us," she said.

Breed and Colfax both urged residents avoid social gatherings with people outside of their immediate household, and to continue wearing face coverings as well as practicing social distancing and washing their hands regularly.

"We know how to stop the spread of the virus. We must do it and we must do it quickly," Dr. Colfax said. "San Franciscans need to change their behavior."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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