San Francisco COVID-19 hospitalizations rise as more businesses reopen, health director says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As more businesses have reopened in San Francisco this month, the city's health director revealed coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up 29% since the start of September, from 51 patients to 76 patients, said Dr. Grant Colfax in a Tuesday press conference.

Colfax emphasized the city has adequate hospital capacity at the moment.

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While the test positivity rate, or the proportion of people tested for COVID-19 that turn back a positive result, is a relatively low 2.4%, Colfax said the city is watching cases closely as more businesses are allowed to resume indoor operations.

Starting Monday, nail salons, tattoo shops and massage parlors in San Francisco were allowed to reopen indoors, as well as gyms and places of worship with limited capacity. Hair salons were allowed to reopen earlier this month.

"As people continue to move about the city and increase activities, we will likely experience an ongoing increase in cases," he said. "We're concerned and watching it again.'
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There are even more reopenings tentatively slated for Sept. 21, including indoor museums and some elementary schools. There's concern that a return to school could lead to more community coronavirus transmission.

"I would not be surprised, even with the cautious measures that we're taking, that there will be COVID-19 cases diagnosed in school settings," said Colfax. "But we're doing everything we can to mitigate that risk."

Meanwhile, he and Mayor London Breed encouraged San Franciscans to do everything they can to curb the spread of the virus.

"I'm tired of talking about it," said Mayor Breed. "I'm tired of living in it. I'm tired of doing all the things that you are tired of doing because I want to enjoy my life. I want to live. I want to go back to normal. But unfortunately this is a deadly virus."

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