Coronavirus: Mayor Breed says it will take 'some time' to prepare San Francisco businesses for reopening

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed appeared on ABC7's "Midday Live" on Tuesday, where she was asked questions about Gov. Gavin Newsom's Phase 2 announcement and the possible closure of Dolores Park due to large crowds, among other subjects.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the second phase of reopening California will start as early as Friday, but it's up to local jurisdictions to make the final decision.

Businesses included in California's "Stage 2" of reopening announced by Gov. Newsom will be allowed to resume operations starting Friday, May 8. are book stores, clothing stores, toy stores, florists and others. Associated manufacturers that support those retail supply chains will also be allowed to resume production.

The mayor says, right now, she's continuing to work with the county health officer in San Francisco and the Department of Public Health on looking at the data and where we are in terms of hospitalizations, numbers of cases, and the need to get our economy going in a responsible way.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces Stage 2 of reopening businesses starts as early as Friday

"The last thing we want to do is roll back some of the gains that we've made by continuing to flatten the curve, even though we've not lowered the curve, it remains relatively flat. I think that provides an opportunity to look at opening small businesses where they can do pickup and delivery, like candle shops and flower shops and some of our smaller retail locations within neighborhoods. It's important that we look at those opportunities but we not believe it's OK that we just all of a sudden open our doors and get back to normal because the virus is still a threat and we can see it surge at any time."

When asked how much time she thinks it would take to give the businesses enough warning to make whatever changes they need to make to possible reopen soon, she responded, "As soon as we're able to provide them with the information and as soon as it's allowable to let them move forward, that's what we want to do. We don't want to waste a moment."

"As soon as we're able to let them open, we will, but it will take probably some time for them to get prepared for the new guidelines."

When ABC7 News Anchor Reggie Aqui pointed out that Friday seemed way too fast to do that, Breed said, "Yeah. It doesn't mean that we can't provide permission. Again, this is going to come from our county health officer. So we're not going to just make this decision unless it is OK to make the decision. We don't want to have any impacts on public health. But if we're able to provide guidance and allow businesses to open, then I think it's important we let them know as soon as we possibly can."

Breed responded to earlier comments about Dolores Park possibly closing due to big crowds spotted over the weekend. She said this park was where they were seeing the most challenges.

She said that residents would need to follow proper social distancing rules in order for the park to remain open. "When you have large groups of people that clearly may not live in the same household... that's problematic."

She said park rangers had problems when asking those large groups whether they were in the same household and if they could follow the guidelines.

"Don't call your friends and say, 'Meet me at Dolores Park to have a party,'" she said.

She said if officials continue to see the park crowded with people not following social distancing orders, they will not have a choice when it comes to whether they should close it.

"Please, just use common sense," she urged.

The mayor also addressed what's happening in the Tenderloin neighborhood during the COVID-19 crisis and discussed her task force that's working on alleviating pressure on that part of the city.

Breed said her homeless outreach team has developed a plan that will be announced later this week to deal with 13 specific blocks of the neighborhood and to target the area in a way to make it more clean and safe as they deal with the pandemic.

The mayor also discussed reports of some homeless people traveling to San Francisco in hopes of being placed in one of the available hotel rooms. She made it clear that they will not be offering any services to those who are not already in the city's system.

"We barely have enough resources to help our existing population," she said.

As of Tuesday morning, San Francisco County reports 1,728 COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths.

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