SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A health order placing a mandatory 10-day quarantine for anyone traveling to or returning to San Francisco from outside the Bay Area has been extended beyond the January 4th end date.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced the quarantine extension which applies to returning residents, people moving to San Francisco, those who work in San Francisco, and visitors, unless specifically exempted by the order.READ MORE: Cal Fire Confirms Estrada Fire Sparked by Controlled Burn, Holding at 150 Acres; Evacuations Ordered
The travel quarantine order implemented on December 17th also strongly discourages non-essential travel of any kind and within any distance, including from one location to another within the Bay Area.
San Francisco already extended its local Stay Safer at Home order implemented on December 3rd and mirrored by California’s Regional Stay-At-Home Order on December 17th when the Bay Area’s ICU bed availability fell below 15%. While the earliest date the state could lift the stay-at-home order for the Bay Area is January 8th, the city does not expect to meet the state’s ICU capacity threshold for lifting the order by that date.
The city will extend both the mandatory quarantine and the stay home orders until the Bay Area Region is no longer subject to the state’s Regional Stay at Home order.
“We have been proactive in putting the stay at home order and travel quarantine in place to protect San Franciscans and in the hopes that by acting quickly, we could flatten the curve and re-open faster,” said Mayor Breed in a press release. “This seems to be working but we need more time to determine that we are moving in the right direction and that the December holidays don’t set us back. There are glimmers of hope and now is not the time to let up.”
San Francisco’s mandatory quarantine allows exemptions for medical professionals, first responders, official government business, essential infrastructure work, and other activities, including any travel to receive medical care or travel required by a court order. Travelers arriving at San Francisco International Airport on connecting flights and not staying overnight are also exempt.
People who are required to quarantine must remain home without physical interaction with others who are not part of their household except in emergency or health care situations. They are not allowed to go to work, school, or any other venue outside their home for 10 days.READ MORE: Car Fleeing CHP Causes AC Transit Bus to Plow Into Oakland Home
As of Wednesday, the Bay Area’s ICU capacity hovered at approximately 7.5% and cases continued to climb regionally, indicating that it is unlikely demand for ICU care will decline in the coming weeks, the city said in a press release.
Moreover, in light of the first case of a new, more contagious strain of COVID originating in the UK being detected in San Diego County and in Colorado, reducing travel as much as possible and quarantining after any travel outside of the Bay Area is of critical importance to stopping the spread of the virus.
“The steps we have taken together have served us well, but the fact remains that San Francisco is in the midst of its worst surge yet,” said Dr. Colfax in a prepared statement. “We must continue to take the preventative measures that we know slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Please continue to avoid gatherings, wear facial coverings, and keep your distance. We’ve crushed the curve before and can do it again.”
San Francisco’s Stay Safer at Home order means the following activities must remain temporarily closed until further notice:
• Personal services. Establishments offering personal care services including hair and nail salons, barbers, tattoo, piercing, estheticians and massage must cease operations, including both indoor and outdoor operations.
• Outdoor dining. Restaurants and any other establishments offering meal service, may only operate for delivery or take-out. Eating and drinking on the premises, including in shared spaces, is prohibited.
• Outdoor museums, aquariums, and zoos. Outdoor installations or exhibits associated with museums, aquariums, or zoos may not allow entrance to visitors. Outdoor botanical gardens and historic sites may remain open.
• Indoor gyms. Limited 1:1 personal training within gyms and fitness centers that was allowed under the previous health order must cease, but may take place outdoors (see below).
• Drive-in gatherings. Drive in theaters and other performances delivered in a drive-in context must cease.
• Outdoor family entertainment centers. Outdoor family entertainment centers including skate parks, roller and ice skating rinks, batting cages, go kart racing and miniature golf must close.
• Open-air bus and boat operators. Operators of open-air busses offering sightseeing and other tour services and open-air boat excursions, including leisure and fishing expeditions, must cease operations.
The following activities must continue to operate at reduced capacity:
• Retail. All retail establishments such as shopping centers, hardware stores, convenience stores, equipment rental, and specialty shops, must reduce capacity to 20% (and implement a metering system (see below). Standalone grocery stores can operate at 35% capacity.
• Low Contact Retail. Service oriented retail such as dog groomers, electronics repair services and shoe repair services can operate in a curbside drop off context only.
The following activities may continue with the stated modifications in place:
• Hotels and lodging. Hotels may only accept reservations from essential workers travelling for work purposes or to support critical infrastructure including accommodations for isolation and quarantine purposes. If an individual from out of state who is not travelling for essential purposes makes a reservation, it must be at least for the number of days required for quarantine. The persons identified in the reservation must quarantine in the hotel or lodging facility for the entirety of the time required. Reservations from non-essential travelers residing in CA may not be accepted or honored.
• Small gatherings. Small outdoor gatherings must limit themselves to members of 1 household with a maximum number of 12 people, or a maximum of 2 individuals from 2 households. Face coverings must remain on at all times except when eating or drinking. Indoor gatherings among different households are not allowed.
• Outdoor gyms. Outdoor gym or fitness center activities as well as outdoor fitness in-person group classes (such as boot camps, dance, yoga, tai-chi, etc.) are limited to groups of 12 people, including personnel, and must maintain strict distance and face covering requirements. Running groups are prohibited.
• Youth sports. Youth sports activities affiliated with a childcare program, Out of School Time program, or other organized and supervised youth sports program may continue operating outdoors only without competitions or spectators and with strict social distancing and face covering requirements in place.
• Indoor activities open to public. Any establishment allowing members of the public to access indoor areas, including shopping centers, grocery stores, corner stores, financial services, hardware stores, pharmacies, etc. must establish a metering system to monitor capacity thresholds and ensure capacity does not exceed limits. In effect, a business will need to assign a specific staff person to monitor the number of people in the establishment and ensure that the 20% capacity threshold (or 35% capacity for standalone grocery stores) is maintained at all times. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
• Adult Recreation. No/low contact adult recreational activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball, and bocce ball may continue outdoors subject to limits (golf limited to twosomes and members of different households may not share a cart; tennis and pickleball limited to singles with no shared equipment). Also, the State’s Limited Stay at Home Order remains in effect, which requires non-essential businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am and restricts gatherings during that period.
The State’s Limited Stay at Home Order does not affect take-out and delivery by restaurants, essential workers, or public transit.