Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The City to shut down indoor businesses and impose a 10 p.m. curfew.

The City’s move into purple tier status was previously expected to come as early as last Sunday due to an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

San Francisco must now impose a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew starting Monday, during which all non-essential activities must stop. Dozens of other purple tier counties began to impose the curfew a week ago. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery during the curfew hours and people can still walk their dogs or make late night trips to the grocery store.

The City must also shut down by Sunday at noon indoor businesses and activities that had reopened, including gyms, museums, movie theaters and houses of worship. The City had already shut down indoor dining and non-essential offices in recent weeks. Also, all retail, except grocery stores, have to reduce their capacity from 50 percent to 25 percent.

“The data are clear: the current surge of COVID-19 cases is more aggressive and widespread than we have previously experienced,” Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “The assignment by the state to the most restrictive tier is indicative of how widespread this virus is. We need everyone to be diligent or a further roll backs of activities may be necessary.”

The City joins 51 of 58 counties now in the purple tier, which has the most restrictions on what business operations and activities are allowed to slow the spread of the virus.

The tiers are based on the number of cases per 100,000 persons and positivity rates.

San Francisco is seeing an average of 130 newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases per day, up from 73 daily cases in the beginning of November.

Mayor London Breed said that people need to follow the health guidelines to stop the surge.

“While the number of cases is increasing significantly, the people of San Francisco have shown they can take action and follow the guidance to get us through this pandemic,” Breed said in a statement. “Every single person needs to do what they can over the next few weeks. The decisions you make today will impact where we are tomorrow. Do not travel, stay with the people in your household, and wear your masks.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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