SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Health officials in San Francisco reported four new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday morning, bring the city’s number of positive cases up to 18.

Two of the newly infected patients are hospitalized while the other two are isolated at home, according to the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

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COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

The new announcement noted that only one of the four new cases had close contact with another confirmed case of coronavirus, while the other three did not have recent travel to a country with coronavirus cases or known close contact with a confirmed case.

SF coronavirus testing

SF coronavirus testing (SF Department of Public Health)

The announcement comes as San Francisco officials moved forward with plans to support small businesses in in the city experiencing a slowdown following a citywide ban on large events in response to the coronavirus.

Announced by city leaders on Wednesday, the efforts include deferring business taxes and licensing fees, launching a relief fund, supporting city-funded nonprofits so that workers don’t lose income, and working with partners in the philanthropic and private sectors.

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The city is also calling for state and federal support for the impacted workers and businesses in the form of regulatory relief around employment benefits, including unemployment, sick leave, disability, and other issues.

“It’s important that people follow the public health recommendations to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

“We know these recommendations are disruptive to the lives of everyone in our City, but they will help slow the spread of this disease.  Unfortunately, that means that many of our small businesses are feeling the economic impact of people staying home and not shopping or going out to eat.  That’s why we are working to provide relief and support for our small businesses and the workers who rely on them for their livelihood. These are just the first steps of what we are doing for our small business community,” she said.

“We must support our workers and businesses as they move through this difficult time. Many workers are losing income—or being laid off entirely—and many small businesses are at risk of closure,” Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said.

City officials are providing updates on confirmed coronavirus cases in San Francisco daily at noon on the city’s Department of Public Health website at sfdph.org.

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