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San Francisco expects wider reopening in coming weeks

The view of downtown San Francisco as seen from a drone.
(driftshot / dronestagram)

San Francisco’s director of public health said Monday he was “cautiously optimistic” that the city will be able to reopen more in the next two to four weeks.

Dr. Grant Colfax, speaking in an online forum, said San Francisco entered phase 2a of reopening on Monday by allowing retailers to open for pick up and delivery. Phase 2b, he said, will involve relaxing restrictions on schools, offices, childcare and summer camps.

He indicated that it was likely summer camps will be permitted, but said they will have to abide by health guidelines to prevent new infections.

As long as San Franciscans continue to social distance, practice good hygiene and wear masks, the next phase is just around corner, he said.

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Barbershops, hair salons and nail parlors, though, will not be reopened for at least another month, he said.

“So far the game is going relatively well,” Colfax said, “but we are only in the second inning of a long game.”

He said the virus will remain a threat in San Francisco for at least the next 18 months.

As the city continues to expand testing, the number of positives will surely rise, he said. The city will be examining whether the rate of positives goes up or stays stable, he said.

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The city will also keep an eye on the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19. Now, 6% of those in hospitals in San Francisco have the disease. Colfax said the city needs to make sure that not more than 20% of hospital patients have COVID-19 before reopening further.


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