SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Most Bay Area counties have landed on California’s COVID-19 watch list because of a spike in infections and hospitalizations. The only exceptions, so far, are Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. Friday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed became the latest Bay Area mayor to announce a slowdown in reopening but some business owners are unsure if they should open Monday, or close.
It has been 122 days since San Francisco first launched its shelter-in-place order. Some businesses were beginning to reopen but now the city is falling backwards.
“The news of this last phase of shutting things down,” says Sarah Larson, owner of Often Wander in the Mission. “I kind of figured that retail might be next.”
Larson is not surprised that San Francisco is tightening policies to slow the spread of coronavirus but she doesn’t quite know what the city means by closing “non-essential offices,” and what it means for her gift shop.
“Yeah, I don’t know if we would fit. In the last shutdown we did not fit into that category as far as we knew, the essential business category,” Larson says.
Mayor Breed said the new restrictions are set to take effect on Monday.
Many business owners are still awaiting clarification on what will have to close under that “non-essential” language. The mayor saved her strongest language for the issue of masks.
“If you choose not to wear a mask when you go out, you are delaying our reopening further,” Breed said. “If you’re going to a barbecue and acting irresponsibly, you’re preventing children from being able to return to school. You’re forcing parents to stay home from work or miss shifts at their job because you’re not taking the basic steps to curb this pandemic. And most importantly you’re endangering people’s lives.”