Photo: Jeff Chiu – AP News
Tuesday afternoon San Francisco Mayor London Breed and City Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax struck a somber and serious tone in their most recent COVID update that foreshadows even stricter guidelines for the city.
Praised nationally for its early and fairly comprehensive response to the coronavirus, San Francisco was one of the few California counties in November that was in the state’s least restrictive Yellow Tier. This meant most indoor business operations are open with modifications and that positivity rates were below 2%. However, as cases spike nationally San Francisco was prepared for its inevitable shift back into the most restrictive Purple Tier.
Just last week the city entered the state’s most restrictive guidelines which call for many non-essential indoor business operations are closed. The city outlined its exact implementation of this tier but said Tuesday that it might have to take an even more aggressive approach.
San Jose, which is the highest populated county in the Bay Area, recently enacted a travel quarantine for those traveling more than 150 miles from their homes. Dr Colfax said that San Francisco could be following suit and enacting travel quarantine orders similar to San Jose’s. San Francisco Health also says that they are looking at potentially adding guidelines that further reduce the size of indoor activities and also limit the sizes of group gatherings as early as tomorrow .
However, Dr. Colfax says that nothing is inevitable and encouraged residents of the city to continue to do their part. He says that education is key to fostering understanding and compliance with these stricter orders on the horizon.
“Our goal is to continue to educate,” said Dr Colfax in a virtual presser. “What we need to really focus on the educational aspect and this so that people understand the virus can and will affect them and their family members.”
On Monday California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the Bay Area was currently at 72% capacity on its ICU beds and that by Christmas it could see as high as 92% capacities in hospitals. San Francisco and many other counties are looking to do what they can to stop their medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed by increasing COVID cases.