San Francisco leaders fear 'very dangerous' post-holiday COVID-19 surge

ByAlix Martichoux and Stephanie Sierra KGO logo
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
SF leaders fear 'dangerous' holiday surge
San Francisco Mayor Breed and Dr. Grant Colfax are holding a press conference with an update on COVID-19, travel restrictions, quarantines and stay-at-home orders in the city. They fear a new surge in cases is set to follow the holidays.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax once again made their plea to city residents Tuesday to stay home and avoid spreading the coronavirus over the holidays.

"We are in a very dangerous place if we get a post-holiday surge," said Mayor Breed. She warned that another surge, like the one we've seen since the Thanksgiving holiday, could overload San Francisco's hospitals.

"I don't want to look someone in the eye and say that their mom or dad died because we didn't have space in our hospitals for them, that we couldn't give them a fighting chance," she said. "So as you make your choices this holiday, please think about that."

There is some data, Breed said, that suggests San Franciscans have been moving around less over the past two weeks. The rate of new cases has also started to go down somewhat, said Dr. Colfax.

These recent trends have brought down the projected peak hospitalizations from 1,490 patients to 590 patients -- but that trend could reverse if we see another spike in transmission following Christmas.

"The situation remains dire," said Colfax. "Many behaviors we got away with over the spring and summer are much riskier now. There is so much more virus out there, that the likelihood of coming into contact asymptomatic with the virus, but still infectious, is much higher."

The city is under a regional stay-at-home order, which means socializing with anyone outside the household is banned. People traveling into San Francisco from outside the Bay Area are also being told to quarantine for 10 days.

San Francisco is under the stay-at-home order through at least Jan. 4. It could be extended even further.

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