Health officials are making further reinforcements and restrictions this week to curb the spread of the virus, Grant Colfax, director of public health, said in a news conference on Tuesday, warning that “there is little time for it.”
“We will further reduce the number of people who can gather, especially from more households, and we will analyze capacity constraints on indoor shopping and other indoor services,” Colfax said. “We’re investigating possible travel quarantine orders, and some of those orders could be issued tomorrow.”
Over the past two weeks, San Francisco health officials have taken a number of measures to try to slow the spread by stopping indoor meals, closing down unimportant businesses and limiting the capacity of some core businesses. However, none of these actions slowed the spread, Colfax said.
As a result, Mayor London Breed said officials are considering the possibility of a complete closure of outdoor dining, a measure that would follow a similar outdoor eating ban that came into effect last week in Los Angeles County.
“I want to make it clear that unfortunately we can’t rule it out,” Breed said of stopping all outdoor meals. “As soon as we know when or if it happens, we’ll make sure we get as many notifications as possible.”
In the past three weeks, the number of positive cases in San Francisco has tripled, and according to the latest public health data, all previous wavelengths in the city have increased. On Oct. 22, San Francisco reported an average of 34 new cases per day. It averages 140 new cases a day, about four times as many new cases as a month ago.
To date, San Francisco has reported a total of 15,639 cases and 160 deaths. Covid-19 hospital care in the city has doubled in the last 10 days. If this trend continues, the city will experience a shortage of hospital beds around Christmas, Colfax warned.
“We are now in the most dangerous periods of this epidemic,” Breed added. “We have to do everything we can to stay in front of our hospitals.”