The Marina has seen a surge in Covid cases
The crowd at Izzy's Steakhouse in the Marina District on Monday, Nov. 16. Photo by Juan Carlos Lara.

A new month-long shelter-in-place order for San Francisco goes into effect Sunday night in coordination with four neighboring counties and one city: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara counties as well as the city of Berkeley, Mayor London Breed announced today.

Most indoor activities will cease, including indoor dining, hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and gyms. The restrictions will stay in place until at least Jan.4, 2021.

Outdoor dining, museums and zoos, playgrounds, family entertainment centers and drive-ins will also be shuttered as of Sunday at 10 p.m.

The restrictions match those announced by Gavin Newsom Thursday for any region that falls below 15 percent availability for intensive care unit beds. 

Breed decided to act quickly — even before San Francisco reaches that threshold. 

“We know San Francisco is not at that trigger point yet … but that doesn’t mean we won’t be soon,” the mayor said. 

Dr. Grant Colfax, director for the Department of Public Health, said that hospitalizations had jumped by 35 percent in the last seven days. He estimated that, at the current hospitalization rate, San Francisco would run out of beds by Dec. 26. 

Currently, there are 95 Covid-19 patients occupying ICU beds, according to Colfax. As of Wednesday, the city had 75 available ICU beds, about 26 percent of the city’s total stock according to data from the Department of Public Health

“It takes several weeks for new restrictions to slow rising hospitalizations” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragon said, “And waiting until only 15 percent of a region’s ICU bed are available is just too late.”

Under the new restrictions, retail establishments must keep indoor business at 20 percent capacity, down from 25 percent. Hotels will be closed to all but essential workers. 

The following activities may continue: outdoor gyms are limited to 12 people, youth sports with face masks but no spectators, and low-contact adult sports, such as golf. 

The mayor also addressed recent reports that she went to Napa county to dine at French Laundry with people not from her household. 

“I know, as mayor, that I should hold myself to a higher standard,” Breed said, acknowledging that what she did did not violate local health guidelines but went against the “spirit of the law.”

Colfax said that the restrictions would be lifted if the city saw a significant decline in cases and hospitalizations for three consecutive weeks, but also mentioned that if hospitalizations continue increasing, the region might fall below the state’s 15 percent capacity benchmark, triggering extended closures. 

Most other Bay Area counties have a similar or higher percentage of available ICU beds as San Francisco, but Sonoma and Santa Clara counties have already reached the benchmark, according to ABC7. 

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Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at Golden Gate Xpress, SF State’s student paper.

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  1. …unless you’re homeless and someone gives you a meal, then you can eat outdoors all you want! And poop there, too! And break into cars. And harass passers-by. And bark at the moon naked.

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  2. Restricting outdoor activities despite ample data showing where essentially 100% of transmission is happening, indoors, is the biggest grabbing at straws yet by our apparently increasingly unscientific health officers.

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