Here's how you can help San Francisco recover this holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus can make us all feel a bit helpless. Here's a look at some ways San Franciscans can help their city recover during this unprecedented time.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed is spelling out a three ways residents can help curb the spread of COVID-19 and help the local economy this holiday season as part of the city's "We Will Recover" campaign.

This renewed effort comes as the Bay Area and the U.S. see an uptick in the spread of coronavirus.

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Staying at home is the "safest thing to do"



The first pillar of the mayor's COVID-19 recovery campaign is "Holidays at Home," which asks San Franciscans to spend the holidays with only those in their households - a request not unique to San Francisco.

"Staying at home and celebrating with your immediate household is the safest thing to do," the city said in a statement Wednesday morning.

This guidance from San Francisco follows a travel advisory issued by California and other West Coast states last week, discouraging non-essential travel and asking out-of-state travelers to quarantine for 14 days.

As an alternative to the usual holiday get-togethers, San Francisco is suggesting virtual holiday parties or preparing family recipes with only the members of your household.

"San Francisco will recover from COVID-19, but what that recovery looks like and how fast it comes is on all of us," Mayor Breed said. "Our individual actions to control the spread of the virus, to support our small businesses, and to help our neighbors in need is the key to our city emerging from the pandemic together."



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Supporting local businesses



Another aspect key in San Francisco's recovery amid COVID-19 is "Shop and Dine in the 49" - or shopping and eating local not just during the holiday season, but all year around.

"As we go into a holiday season unlike any other we've experienced, we wanted to show people all of the ways that they could support the city, even during a global pandemic," Breed said.

Small businesses account for more than nine out of 10 businesses in San Francisco, according to the city, and as many of half of those are facing closure because of the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.



The small businesses at risk of closing are part of San Francisco's diverse character, said Joaquin Torres, the director of the city's economic and workforce development.

"Every dollar spent at local businesses, especially at our mom and pop shops in the diverse neighborhoods that define our city's character, is essential for the ongoing cultural and economic vitality of San Francisco," he said in a statement to ABC7 News.

So aside from wearing a mask, staying home and keeping a distance from others - spending money locally is another key component in helping San Francisco's economy recovery.



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Helping your neighbors



Another aspect of the city's "We Will Recover" effort is helping your neighbors by giving back.

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In the spirit of giving during the holidays, San Francisco is asking residents to volunteer their time with nonprofit organizations that put food on residents' tables and help them feel less isolated during the unprecedented health crisis.



Residents can deliver Thanksgiving meals, volunteer at a food bank or serve a holiday meal at GLIDE.

Here's what to expect while volunteering at GLIDE during the pandemic.

If you prefer virtual volunteering, residents can volunteer to call older adults or people with disabilities and wish them happy holidays or make holiday cards for those staying at home.

"With COVID, these essential services and friendly calls are more important than ever before. These phone calls help lessen the negative impacts of social isolation for older adults," said Ashley C. McCumber, CEO of Meals on Wheels San Francisco.

To find out which volunteer option is right for you, click here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many feeling helpless, especially this holiday season, but with these efforts in San Francisco, the city has created ways residents can play a part in the local economic recovery.

For more information on the "We Will Recover" campaign, click here.

San Francisco has reported nearly 14,000 cases of COVID-19 in the months since the pandemic began, along with 156 deaths, according to latest city data.

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