Health officials will implement additional rollbacks and restrictions this week to temper the spread of the virus, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said at a news conference Tuesday, warning there is “little time to spare.
“We are going to further reduce the number of people who can gather, especially from multiple households and we will be analyzing the capacity restrictions for indoor shopping and other indoor services,” Colfax said. “We are looking at potential travel quarantine orders and some of these orders can be issued as early as tomorrow.”
In the past two weeks, San Francisco health officials have taken numerous actions to try and slow the spread by halting indoor dining, closing nonessential businesses, and limiting the capacity at some essential businesses. However, none of these actions have slowed the rate of spread, Colfax said.
As a result, Mayor London Breed said officials are weighing the possibility of closing outdoor dining entirely, a measure that would follow a similar outdoor dining ban that took effect in Los Angeles County last week.
“I want to be clear that unfortunately we can’t rule it out,” Breed said about halting all outdoor dining. “As soon as we know when or if it happens, we will make sure that we provide as much notification as we can.”
In the last three weeks, positive cases in San Francisco have tripled to a higher point than all previous surges in the city, according to latest public health data. On Oct. 22, San Francisco was reporting an average of 34 new cases per day. It is now averaging 140 new cases per day, or about four times more new cases than a month ago.
To date, San Francisco has reported 15,639 total cases and 160 deaths. Covid-19 hospitalizations in the city have doubled over the past 10 days. If this trend continues, the city will experience a hospital bed shortage around Christmas, Colfax warned.
“We are now in the most dangerous periods of this pandemic,” Breed added. “We need to do everything we can to stay ahead of our hospitals not being overrun.”