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San Francisco halts reopenings as virus cases rise

san francisco golden gate
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Photo Date: November 29, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) San Francisco will temporarily halt the reopening of additional activities and businesses planned for next week because of an increase in coronavirus case rates and hospitalizations, the city’s mayor and health director said Friday.

That includes expanding capacity for indoor dining at restaurants, and at places of worship and museums among other businesses, as cases increase not just in San Francisco but also in California and nationally, said Mayor London Breed and Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax.

Breed said San Francisco, which has taken a far more conservative approach to reopening than many parts of California and the United States, has been “a model for the world” but now will continue its cautious approach.

“We are the second densest city in the United States. We should be proud. But we know that there’s still more work to do,” she said.

San Francisco’s case rate has gone from 3 people per 100,000 to 4 people per 100,000 in the last two weeks in San Francisco, Colfax said, a 25% increase.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic,” Breed said. “We are tired of COVID-19 but COVID-19 isn’t tired of us.”

The majority of activities and businesses that were set to reopen or expand their capacity will now pause, they said. That includes delaying openings of indoor pools, bowling alleys, and locker rooms at fitness centers.

But what’s open now can continue operating, and lower-risk activities will continue to open on Tuesday as planned. That includes indoor dining at museums up to 25% capacity and expanded film productions with safety steps in place. Schools will continue to reopen. Officials said more than 75 schools have been approved to reopen and “a handful of high schools” are set to begin in-person classes in the next week.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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The Associated Press


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