SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Citing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday that she was delaying the scheduled July 13th reopening of outdoor bars and indoor restaurant dining.
It was the second time San Francisco’s financially strapped bar owners have been dealt a setback. Initially, they were told they could begin serving patrons outside on July 1st, but that was delayed. They were not alone — hair salons, barbers, nail salons and other business were also prevented from reopening.
On Tuesday, there was more bad news. The July 13th date for bars and indoor dining reopening would be pushed back.
“As of today we must announce that on July 13th we will not be able to allow restaurants to operate indoors as we had planned,” the mayor said. “Nor will we be able to allow bars to open outdoors…If we see the numbers stablize or decline in any way, we will reevaluate that information…From what we are seeing, we have no choice. We are living in COVID.”
Breed said as of Tuesday, San Francisco has had a total of 4,020 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in March. There are currently 68 residents hospitalized with the virus. There has also been 50 deaths.
And while the surge in recent cases is not as drastic as seen on other Bay Area counties, Breed said there has still has been an increase.
“The fact that you (San Francisco residents) have been wearing your masks, social distancing, washing your hands and staying home in most cases even though I know it has been challenging — because you have done that we have not seen San Francisco’s numbers like some other cities that are experiencing significant challenges,” she said.
“But I also want to be clear,” Breed added. “That we are seeing an increase. Our numbers along with numbers all over the country are going up and we are not out of the woods yet. I have said in the past, Dr. (Grant) Colfax (San Francisco’s Public Health chief) has said in the past this COVID-19 virus will be with us at least anywhere between 12-18 months…We are trying to adapt to our new normal.”
Breed said knows that the city’s reopening efforts “are at the top of everyone’s mind.” She said there have been changes to the timeline she announced last month for the staged reopenings of businesses in San Francisco.
“We were doing well in terms of the data,” the mayor said of her mindset at that time. “Once the state provided us with a variance, we moved up our timeline.”
Breed said she realized how devastating financially the setback is for business owners. Many restaurants and bars have shuttered for good under the fiscal strain.
She said more than 153,000 San Franciscans have filed for unemployment since the shutdown began in March.