SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials in San Francisco announced Friday that a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has led to a pause in expanding business reopenings and allowable activities during the pandemic.

Mayor London Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said that the reopening of additional businesses and activities scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, would be paused due to the recent surge in case rates and hospitalizations not only in San Francisco, but also throughout California and across the United States.

“We are starting to see an uptick in the number of hospitalizations, which puts us in a situation where things could possibly get worse than what they are,” Breed said. “The rest of the world is looking at restrictions, and it’s not just about what’s happening here in the U.S., it’s still challenging all over the world.”

“Just a reminder, we are still in the pandemic. We are tired of COVID-19, but COVID-19 is not tired of us just because we are tired of it,” Breed continued. “We see it in the increased number of cases every day. We see it in the number of people who are sadly hospitalized, and we definitely feel it when someone loses their life.”

Breed praised San Franciscans for following recommendations regarding social distancing and wearing masks, but also reminded residents not to let their guard down during the Halloween holiday or with gatherings on Election Day.

“In San Francisco, we have crushed two curves. The data has told us that it is time to pause,” said Colfax. “We are working to extend the time before we move to the next phase of reopening. The last two weeks has shown the increase of test positivity by 25 percent. Our hospital numbers have increased from 23 to 37.”

Colfax also noted that the state’s positivity rate had risen 38 percent, with 41 percent rate increase in the United State.

The expanded reopening and activities planned for November 3rd included opening indoor pools, bowling alleys, and locker rooms at fitness centers, and raising capacity at indoor dining establishments, places of worship, and museums to 50 percent.

Despite these new restrictions, other activities that remain on track to reopen Tuesday include indoor dining for museums at 25 percent capacity; expanded capacity for outdoor film production from 12 to 25 people; live performances with up to six performers in a drive-in setting; and real
estate open houses.

Businesses and activities that are currently allowed may continue operating at this time. Schools continue to reopen in the city, with more than 75 schools approved and a handful of high schools approved to open their doors in the next week.

“San Francisco will continue its strategy of a thoughtful and deliberate reopening, consistent with emerging scientific data, information and evidence, and will move forward in the safest way possible,” read the press release issued Friday morning.

More information on current COVID-19 statistics in San Francisco are available at the San Francisco Department of Health website.

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