SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco took the next step in reopening by allowing non-essential offices to open on Tuesday.
Just one week ago San Francisco was bumped to the state's yellow tier, allowing the most reopenings. The city took it slow, waiting until Tuesday to take the next major step, allowing non-essential offices to reopen at limited capacity.
For months San Francisco's downtown has been a virtual ghost-town. Now, the health leaders have given the green light for non-essential offices to reopen.
"The big pieces today are non-essential offices will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity," said Dr. Grant Colfax from the San Francisco Director of the Department of Public Health. "Although again, we're still encouraging people to telecommute, work from home if and when possible."
The city and county was the first in the Bay Area to be moved to the yellow tier, with the least amount of restrictions because of San Francisco's low transmission and hospitalization rates.
Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco's Director of Public Health says the city is able to take the step because of the hard work San Franciscans have put in.
The key going forward he says is balancing reopening the city and the virus transmission rates. "I also think it's likely we will see increases in cases as we gradually reopen," said Dr. Colfax. "We know that the more people move about the more the virus spreads and it's really about keeping the virus from spreading too quickly and not overwhelming our health care systems."
The move to reopen non-essential offices comes along with reopenings for personal services like waxing services, and gyms.
At Planet Granite, a climbing gym, the new rules meant a wider reopening, up to 25% capacity.
"Today we're actually able to utilize two different things. Drop in climbing during our non-peak hours," said Joey Luna from Planet Granite. "More reservations during high volume times. And then we're also able to allow a few more people in. Which is good news for businesses."
The rock climbing gym taking steps to make sure climbers are safe on the walls, and safe from the virus.
"We're falling in under all the guidelines, so far as making sure that everybody is wearing mask, utilizing what we call the sanitation cycle, using all the hand sanitizing sites around the gym even so much as providing hygienic safety chalk that has 80% alcohol in it," said Luna.
If the city can keep its COVID-19 rates trending in the right direction or at least hold steady there are more reopenings on the horizon including the possibility of movie theaters reopening, and allowing some indoor dining at restaurants.
It all depends on San Franciscans continuing to follow the guidelines of remaining distant from people not in their households and continuing to wear masks and wash hands regularly.