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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, June 22, 2020
Contact: San Francisco Joint Information Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** PRESS RELEASE ***
San Francisco Announces Next Phase of Reopening to Begin on June 29th
Additional businesses and activities that will open include hair salons, barbers, museums, zoos, and outdoor bars, as long as the State approves San Francisco's request for a variance and health indicators remain stable.
San Francisco— Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the next phase of the City's reopening will begin on Monday, June 29. Some businesses and activities originally planned to open in mid-July or later will be allowed to open, including hair salons, barbers, museums, zoos, tattoo parlors, massage establishments, nail salons and outdoor bars. Once the City's request for a variance from the California Department of Public Health is approved, and as long as San Francisco continues meetings several key health indicators, the City will allow these businesses and social activities to resume with required safety protocols in place.
"Thanks to San Franciscans' efforts to follow health requirements, wear face coverings, and practice social distancing, our COVID-19 health indicators are in a good place and we can continue reopening our city," said Mayor Breed. "We know a lot of businesses and residents are struggling financially, and this next step will help get more San Franciscans back to work while still balancing safety. I want to thank the Economic Recovery Task Force and the Department of Public Health for continuing to work together to move our City forward safely. We are very much living with COVID-19, and I know that San Francisco residents will continue to prioritize public health as we reopen so that we can keep our entire City healthy."
On Tuesday, June 16, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a motion allowing for the Department of Public Health (DPH) to seek a variance from the state, which would allow local control to open more businesses ahead of the state's current phasing. The Department of Public Health has submitted the request for a variance and is waiting for approval from the state.
The public's continued partnership and cooperation with face coverings and other health precautions such as social distancing, frequent handwashing, staying home if sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces are essential to continue reopening.
"We appreciate the Governor's recognition that gradual reopening depends on local circumstances and the health indicators in each community," said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. "We will continue to closely monitor those indicators in San Francisco as we partner with City and community leaders on careful reopening. We expect COVID-19 cases to increase as we reopen. To keep that increase manageable and sustain our commitment to protecting the people most vulnerable to the virus, everyone in San Francisco must continue to take the precautions that save lives."
San Francisco's Stay Home Health Order remains in effect and is gradually being amended to allow for a safer reopening. On Monday, June 15, the City entered into Phase 2B of its local reopening plan. San Francisco entered Phase 2A of the reopening plan on June 1, 2020 and on June 12, 2020 allowed outdoor dining with safety protocols to begin. In conjunction with outdoor dining, the City is offering free permits for businesses to occupy the sidewalk and other public property to operate their business through the Shared Spaces program.
If the State approves the City's variance request and San Francisco continues meeting several key health indicators, the Health Officer will issue an amendment to the Stay Home Health Order, allowing additional businesses and activities to resume. Once issued, that amendment will allow the following activities and businesses to resume on June 29:
• Hair salons and barber shops
• Nail salons
• Tattoo salons
• Outdoor bars
• Outdoor swimming
San Francisco's reopening plan is based on a San Francisco-specific risk model to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. The plan is also informed by the work of the San Francisco COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force and the Department of Public Health monitoring of the virus.
"The Task Force has been working hard to support local businesses on reopening. Moving forward with opening personal services is especially important because unlike other types of businesses, nail salons, barbershops and aestheticians haven't been able to continue through online sales or offer services at curbside," said Assessor Carmen Chu, co-chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force. "In addition, from an equity perspective, these businesses also disproportionately impact women and communities of color."
"San Francisco's global leadership in flattening the curve continues to result in more and more opportunities for safe re-engagement in the civic, cultural and economic activities that make living here so special," said Joaquin Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "As summer begins, we know the businesses and public institutions included in this round of reopening will come as a breath of fresh air for San Franciscans and the hardworking people set to reopen their doors and welcome us back while keeping us safe."
As the City reopens with a focus on safety and equity, DPH will continue to track the impact of the virus on the community and health system to inform public policy. As people start to move about the City more and increase activities, San Francisco will likely experience increases in cases and hospitalizations. The City will also address the disparities already identified for low-wage workers, people who must leave home to work, and workers who live in crowded conditions as San Francisco continues to reopen.
San Francisco's health indicators are an important tool to monitor the level of COVID-19 in the community and the ability of our health care system to meet the needs of residents. The Health Indicators monitor cases, hospital system, testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. The Health Indicators are not an on/off switch for the reopening, but instead measure the pandemic in San Francisco and the City's ability to manage it. They are posted on the San Francisco COVID-19 Data Tracker so that San Franciscans can stay informed.