COVID-19 rates in San Francisco improving 'slightly'

San Francisco health leaders say the city's coronavirus numbers are starting to trend in the right direction.

After weeks of increasing infection and hospitalization rates, those numbers are starting to retreat, but the city's public health director said it's too soon to loosen any of the latest restrictions.

Following steadily increasing infection and hospitalization rates through the month of July, August is off to a better start with those rates improving.

"We are finding 90 new cases of COVID-19 every day," said Dr. Grant Colfax from the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "That number has started to drop a bit form it's high point two weeks ago, but it is still very concerning."

Colfax said he wants to see that number drop to below 50, to get the city out of the red zone. The doctor cautions there's still a lot of hard work ahead.

"So even as we see some of our numbers improving slightly we must stay vigilant," he said. "We will continue to pause our reopening. That is one likely reason for the slowdown in cases."

Colfax says when it comes to opening schools, the city now has some direction from the state and will be developing a plan in the days and weeks ahead.

"So the state just issued its guidance for local health officers for how to evaluate elementary schools applying for open and in-person instruction," he said. "So, we are evaluating that guidance right now."

The doctor said another likely factor behind the lowering infection rates is more people complying with orders to avoid in-person visits, and wearing masks every time they are outside their home.