'More restrictive action' coming to San Francisco, mayor warns

San Francisco City Hall.

San Francisco residents, workers and visitors should brace for more severe COVID-19 rules, Mayor London Breed said Tuesday.

Skyrocketing coronavirus numbers in the city may lead to tighter orders on gatherings, mandatory quarantines after travel and reduced capacity in public places, Breed said.

“We’ve been worried for months, but now it’s real,” said Breed. “The truth is we’re going to have to take more restrictive action and it pains me to say that.”

The number of COVID-19 cases has tripled in the last three weeks in San Francisco. The infection rate is at the highest level since the outbreak began, according to city data.  As of Tuesday, there are 15,639 cases of the virus and 160 related deaths. 

“We do not expect this to stabilize any time soon,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s director of public health, while speaking at the same press conference as Breed. “We have more virus circulating than ever before.”

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Those measures outlined by Breed are similar to rules recently enacted in Santa Clara County. Colfax said new restrictions could be announced as soon as Wednesday.

Breed also said a ban on outdoor dining is under consideration. If imposed, it would mean the city is behaving more cautiously than what is allowed under the state’s color-coded tier system.

Like much of the Bay Area, San Francisco is in the purple tier, which allows restaurants to serve masked customers outdoors.

Last night, a curfew went into effect in San Francisco as it has already in dozens of other purple-tier counties.

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