San Francisco joins 7 other Bay Area counties on COVID-19 watch list

With San Francisco now joining dozens of others California counties on the state's "watch list" due to the rising cases of COVID-19, Mayor London Breed and Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced Friday several new measures going into effect.

In addition to continuing to put the reopening of businesses on hold, like outdoor bars with food, indoor restaurants, hair salons, and nail shops, among others, indoor malls and nonessential offices must close starting on Monday.

Also on Monday, Breed and Colfax will issue a new health order requiring that private health care providers increase testing services and provide same-day testing for patients with symptoms and for those close to a person who recently tested positive. Additionally, the new order requires private hospitals and clinics to provide testing to asymptomatic workers who are most at risk like health care workers, first responders, and others who have jobs that require them to be less than six feet apart from the public.

Although the city has increased testing, particularly in areas with the most cases, like the Tenderloin, Mission, Bayview and Sunnydale neighborhoods, the new health order aims to east demand at the city-run testing sites.

"We have a small window of time right now to get our cases under control before we could see the large outbreak that is continuing around this country," Breed said.

"If conditions in our city don't improve, we can also choose to close additional businesses and activities as well. We have flattened this curve once and we must do it again, but what I'm afraid of is the complacency. People are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us," she said.

Breed and Colfax both urged residents avoid social gatherings with people outside of their immediate household, and to continue wearing face coverings as well as practicing social distancing and washing their hands regularly.