Confirmed coronavirus cases reach 37 in San Francisco, no deaths reported

Health officials expect more cases as testing increases

San Francisco health officials confirmed another nine cases of novel coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total to 37 patients with zero deaths.

The number of COVID-19 cases, as the virus is also known, stood at 28 on Saturday. The Department of Public Health has expected cases to climb as testing increases, boosted by additional efforts of Kaiser Permanente and UCSF Medical Center.

San Francisco officials have gone to unprecedented lengths to reduce the spread. Within a week, the City went from issuing aggressive reccommendations to work from home and to cancel gatherings of 1,000 or more people to outright banning “non-essential” events of 100 or more people on Friday. Gatherings of more than 10 people in populations vulnerable to the coronavirus, like people more than 60 years old or with underlying health conditions like diabetes, are also not encouraged.

Public schools will be shut down for three weeks starting Monday after four students at Lakeshore Elementary School and another seven at Glen Park Elementary School exhibited respitory illnessess and underwent coronavirus testing. Most local colleges and universities are switching to online classes for the foreseeable future, sending students and faculty scrambling to adapt.

Mayor London Breed has also institued bans on evictions related to loss of income from coronavirus impacts, and suspended water and power shutoffs. The City is bracing for steep economic losses, with tens of millions in lost tax revenue anticipated.

Traffic congestion plummeted and BART ridership fell by eight percent as of two weeks ago before the restrictions tightened. Caltrain and SamTrans, which operate on the Peninsula, is changing services in response to drops in ridership.

People are encouraged to minimize exposure to others, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, stay home when sick, and keep common spaces clean by regularly disinfecting.

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