San Francisco mayor pauses reopening indefinitely as coronavirus cases climb

Zoe looks for a little handout from diners on Grant Street in a makeshift outdoor dining area bounded by steel barricades in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Carlos Avila Gonzalez | The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday that the city will pause its reopening plan “indefinitely” and plans to close indoor malls and non-essential offices next week as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state. 

Breed said that San Francisco County has been added to California’s “monitoring list,” which may add additional state-mandated restrictions and closures if the county stays on the list for three consecutive days. San Francisco County now joins other populated areas of California, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties. 

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered counties on the list, which represented 80% of the state’s population, to close indoor operations for fitness centers, worship services, personal care services, malls, offices, hair salons and barbershops. 

Statewide, Newsom ordered all bars to close and all dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, museums and other indoor businesses to close. 

“If the state adds more restrictions, we will of course follow them. And if conditions in our city don’t improve, we can also choose to close additional businesses and activities as well,” Breed said. 

The city had a low of 26 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in mid-June, down from a high of more than 90 people in April, Breed said. There are now 80 people in the city hospitalized with the coronavirus, she said.

“What I’m afraid of is the complacency,” Breed said during a press conference. “People are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us.” 

Breed initially paused the city’s next phase of reopening in late June, which would’ve reopened the city’s nail salons, barbershops and outdoor bars, citing a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases. 

The city’s paused reopening comes as California grapples with how to reopen schools in the fall as cases in the state climb. Some of the state’s largest school districts, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sand Diego Unified, already announced they would not welcome students back for in-person instruction at the beginning of the upcoming school year. 

Clarification: The headline has been modified to reflect offices and malls will be ordered to close Monday if San Francisco County remains on the state’s watch list for three consecutive days.

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