Recognizing the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across San Francisco, the City’s Emergency Operations Center today urged San Francisco residents to do everything they can to slow the spread of the virus so that the City can stay healthy and resume reopening as soon as possible. With the July 4 holiday weekend upon us, the safest way to celebrate this year is by staying home.
To encourage residents to avoid gatherings, San Francisco's waterfront fireworks show is cancelled, and beach parking lots are closed.
“San Franciscans were very effective in flattening the curve during the early days of the pandemic, but with cases and hospitalizations rising again we need everyone to do their part to once again flatten the curve,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “The safest approach is still staying home as much as possible, but if you must leave your house, cover your face, keep six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently. During the holiday weekend, avoid gatherings and large crowds and only gather with people you live with. Let’s not risk losing all of the progress we’ve made.”
Cases and hospitalizations are rising
COVID-19 case increases are not unique to San Francisco and are on the rise throughout the region, state, and country. The City expected an increase in cases and hospitalizations as reopening began, and as more people started moving about the City, both to work and participate in more allowed activities. Social gatherings are increasing amongst all groups.
In San Francisco, the 7-day average number of new cases has more than doubled in the last 2 weeks, rising from 24 on June 13 to 54 on June 27. The number of hospitalizations has increased more than 50% in the last week, rising from 43 on June 22 to 67 on June 29, including 18 patients transferred from San Quentin State Prison, Fresno, and Imperial counties.
“We are on high alert, and we know that when the virus takes off, it moves very fast,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “We continue to follow the science data and facts as we guide the public to safer interactions. The most important thing that San Franciscans can do to slow the spread of the virus is to take health and safety precautions, including staying home if sick and getting tested even if they have even one symptom of COVID.”
SF health indicators show we need to be vigilant
In order to monitor and respond quickly to changes in the spread of the virus in San Francisco, the Department of Public Health designed sensitive health indicators to detect COVID-19 changes as they occur. Currently, these indicators show that the 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases is 6.1 per 100,000 residents, far from the goal of 1.8 cases per 100,000. Additionally, the indicators show that the rate of increase of hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients is 61%, compared to a goal of less than 10%. Fortunately, there is still enough capacity in the hospital system at this time, with enough beds available for COVID-19 positive patients and other patients who need care. That could change, however, as at this time, the data does not indicate if San Francisco is at the beginning of a mild, minor, or major surge.
“Staying home saves lives,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director of the Department of Emergency Management. “The actions we all take together this weekend can help us protect the health and safety of all of our residents. The Emergency Operations Center is reaching out to all San Francisco’s communities to educate them on the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19, so we can continue to reopen our City.”
On June 26, Mayor Breed announced that the next phase of planned reopening of activities and businesses scheduled for June 29 was temporarily delayed due to the rise in cases and hospitalizations. The delay includes hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo studios, museums, zoos, outdoor bars, and outdoor swimming pools. There is no change to businesses and activities currently allowed under prior reopening phases.
“By wearing our masks and following public health protocols, we’ve made significant progress toward reopening our economy,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Heading into this July 4 weekend, let’s return to the practices that keep each other safe, allow our progress to continue, bring life back to our neighborhoods, revenue back to our small businesses, and health back to all our San Francisco communities.”
What to do on July 4 weekend
The public is encouraged to enjoy the July 4 holiday weekend in a different way this year, and as safely as possible.
Stay home as much as possible
- That is the safest place to be, where the risk of exposure and transmission is lowest
- Socialize with members of your household
- If you are sick, do not leave the house
- The Stay Home Health Order is still in effect
Stay safe – we know what works
- If you leave home, avoid gatherings
- Cover your face
- Stay 6 feet apart
- Wash your hands frequently
- If you have any symptoms, get tested
- If you test positive, work with the contact tracer from the Health Department who contacts you
Respect each other – it’s up to us, San Francisco
- All San Franciscans must do their part and understand that their choices and behavior have direct impact on our continued ability to save our beloved small businesses.
- San Francisco, protecting community health is our collective responsibility. Let’s all work together to care for the people and the City we love.
- Reach out (virtually) and talk to someone. Call or text relatives, friends or neighbors who may be socially isolated.