San Francisco Extends Lockdown ‘Indefinitely’

Residents of San Francisco, California will begin 2021 facing an indefinitely extended lockdown as COVID-19 tears through the Golden State the fourth-most populous city’s Department of Emergency Management announced on Thursday.

California has more confirmed coronavirus diagnoses than any other state, which according to the COVID Tracking Project are approaching 2.3 million. So far, 26,000 Californians have died.

Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

Cases and deaths are surging in the nation’s sixteenth-largest metropolis, and public officials are scrambling to protect precious resources and save lives:

Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the extension beyond January 4th of the public health order implemented on December 17th that places a mandatory quarantine of 10 days on anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area and discouraging any non-essential travel. The extension to the travel quarantine order responds to the significant prevalence of the coronavirus throughout the State and Country as well as the need to reduce the exposure and isolate people who may be contagious in order to protect our region’s ability to provide intensive care for critically ill patients. The order also protects against the spread of a new variant of the virus detected recently in the United Kingdom, Colorado, and California.

Additionally, San Francisco extended its local Stay Safer at Home order implemented on December 3rd and subsequently required on December 17 by the State of California when the Bay Area’s ICU bed availability fell below 15%. The earliest the State could lift its Regional Stay at Home order for the Bay Area is January 7th. But due to ongoing regional ICU capacity limitations and continuing increase of cases, San Francisco does not expect the Bay Area will meet the State’s thresholds for
lifting the order by that date.

Although the virus is still spreading rapidly, strict public safety measures are making a noticeable difference, which is why the local government is asking its citizens to stay home for as long as it takes to get the crisis under control.

“We have been proactive in putting the stay at home order and travel quarantine in place to protect San Franciscans and in the hopes that by acting quickly, we could flatten the curve and re-open faster,” Mayor London Breed said. “This seems to be working but we need more time to determine that we are moving in the right direction and that the December holidays don’t set us back. There are glimmers of hope and now is not the time to let up.”

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