Things have changed in four days, and after announcing Monday that outdoor bars, nail salons, barbershops, and hair salons were all going to get to reopen ahead of schedule thanks to stable COVID data in San Francisco, the Mayor's Office is pulling back once again.
In a tweeted statement, Breed says, "Our reopening process is guided by data and science. COVID-19 cases are rising throughout California. We’re now seeing a rise in cases in SF too. Our numbers are still low but rising rapidly. As a result, we’re temporarily delaying the reopenings that were scheduled for Monday."
"Yesterday we saw 103 cases. On June 15, when we first reopened outdoor dining and in-store retail, we had 20," Breed continued. "At our current rate, the number could double rapidly. If that continues & we don't intervene, we'll be at such a high number that our only option would be to shut down. Our public health experts will evaluate the data over the coming days to determine if it's safe to move forward."
She added, addressing the inevitable disappointment of business owners who have been scrambling to get permits to serve alcohol on sidewalks and take over public spaces, "I know people are anxious to reopen — I am too. But we can't jeopardize the progress we've made."
Restaurants already serving food and drinks outdoors are not impacted by this announcement. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association issued a statement in response saying, "As per the mayor's announcement, the city is putting a pause on the additional opening scheduled for June 29th. As of today, outside dining is not affected and San Francisco is still allowing outside dining. Our biggest concerns remain with the health of our workers, patrons and residents of San Francisco and we will continue to closely monitor the situation and update everyone as soon as we are made aware."
And it remains to be seen whether a previously announced reopening date of July 13 for indoor dining will hold firm.
SFist had just been noting the significant one-day jump in cases, and the rise in the rolling seven-day average of new cases in San Francisco today — which seemed for foretell doom alongside sweeping orders to close all bars in Florida and Texas as cases have surged there. Republican governors who have ignored the science and data pertaining to the coronavirus up until now are seeing the disasters they've created, and San Francisco doesn't want to see itself going down the same path.
Across the Bay Area, cases have been on the rise over the past week, and several counties are seeing worrying upticks sooner than SF has.
But this rollercoaster of reopening orders, pauses, and re-closures could prove frustrating in the months ahead.