Parking lots at Ocean Beach and other area beaches and parks have been closed to discourage crowds. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Breed urges residents to ‘stay home’ as coronavirus cases reach 279

Multiple parking lots closed to discourage prohibited gatherings at beaches, parks

With coronavirus cases increasing in San Francisco to 279 on Friday, Mayor London Breed called on residents to remain indoors this weekend in adherence to the stay at home order that went into effect last week.

To discourage prohibited outdoor gatherings, The City and federal government announced they have shut down a number of parking lots for several beloved public beaches and parks ahead of the weekend when people tend to flock to them.

“Please don’t get in your cars and drive to Ocean Beach or Crissy Field or other places like that,” Breed said during a Friday press conference.

Breed’s reiteration of the need to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus comes as cases of the respiratory illness rose by 56 for a total of 279 on Friday. The virus has claimed the lives of three in San Francisco to date.

Her urging comes after last weekend when not everyone was adhering to the order.

“Sadly, we saw a number of areas in our city that were just jammed packed,” Breed said. “And we also saw people who were playing things like volleyball and basketball and other sports together that are not things that we are able to do at this time as a result of the order.”

Breed emphasized that staying at home will “reduce the number of people who are infected.”

Parking lots managed by The City were closed Friday at 12:01 am at Ocean Beach, the Beach Chalet, the Marina Green, and Little Marina, the Recreation and Park Department announced via Twitter late Thursday.

Also closed beginning Thursday were federal parking areas at Baker Beach, West Bluff, Long Avenue, Battery East, Langdon Court, Navy Memorial, Merrie Way, and Sloat Boulevard at Ocean Beach.

The federal East Beach parking lot at Crissy Field and the parking lot at Fort Funston are also no longer open after Breed requested their closures, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The Golden Gate National Recreation, which manages these areas, said that while the parking lots will be closed “all trails and open space will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle access.”

Under the stay at home health order that went into effect at 12:01 am on March 17, people are allowed to go outside for essential trips like to the grocery store and for exercise. They can walk, bicycle or run, but they must maintain a distance of six feet from one another unless they share the same household. Team sports are prohibited as well as the sharing of exercise equipment.

“What we want people to do is stay at home and when they need to go out and get some air, walk outside, go to a park within the proximity of your neighborhood,” Breed said.

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