Breed: SF will extend order to stay home until at least May 1

Mayor London Breed said Monday that the shelter-in-place order that went into effect on March 17 is expected to be extended to at least until May 1.

Speaking at an online press briefing, Breed said that the official announcement is expected Tuesday by Bay Area health officers.

“For the sake of planning and so that everyone can begin to know that this is going to continue to have an impact, you should definitely plan to stay at home,” Breed said. “What we are doing here will continue until at least May 1.”

The extension comes as the total number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases increased in San Francisco by 34 for a total of 374, as of Monday morning. The disease has claimed the lives of six in The City. Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, said that 58 persons were hospitalized due to the illness.

City officials have said they expect a surge of more cases, but they are hoping the stay-at-home health order in San Francisco and other Bay Area counties will successfully slow the spread and prevent their health care systems from becoming overwhelmed.

Breed said that she believes the stay at home order and social distancing measures have already proven effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Eventually we will learn, I am sure, that because of what we have done … it truly has saved lives,” Breed said.

Colfax, however, said that “it’s too early for me to speculate about whether we are succeeding in flattening the curve.”

“I certainly am hoping and praying that that is the case,” he added.

Effectiveness also has to do with whether people comply.

On Friday, Breed called on everyone to stay home and do better than they had the prior weekend when there were a number of outdoors areas “jammed pack.”

Breed said that this past weekend “looked like somewhat of a success.”

“The streets were pretty clear,” Breed said. “There were some definite hotspot areas that we are going to be focusing on, but the beaches and some of the parks and other places people were practicing social distancing.”

San Francisco was one of seven Bay Area counties to issue a shelter-in-place order at the same time. The order was initially imposed at 12:01 am on March 17 with a possible end date of April 7. Santa Clara County officials on Monday also said they and other counties expected to extend the order until at least May 1.

This story has been updated.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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