Ahead of the holiday season, San Francisco announced Thursday a new health order requiring a mandatory 10-day quarantine for anyone who travels into The City from outside of the Bay Area.
The order is meant to discourage non-essential travel, but anyone who does must quarantine at home without physical interaction with others outside their household.
The City is hoping to avoid another surge of COVID-19 cases that health officials said came with travel around the Thanksgiving holiday, when cases were already on the rise. The entire state is seeing historic highs of daily cases and hospitals beds are on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.
“COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Hospitals in the Bay Area are close to being overwhelmed,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We must do whatever we can to contain the virus and stop its circulation in our community. Now is not the time to travel and risk being exposed or exposing others.”
The travel order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 18, and remains into effect until at least Jan. 4.
The order comes after the Bay Area’s regional intensive care unit capacity at hospitals dropped below 15 percent for the first time on Wednesday and is now at 13.1 percent capacity. San Francisco and four other Bay Area counties voluntarily imposed the state’s regional stay-at-home order on Dec. 4, which the state requires in regions when ICU bed capacity drops below 15 percent. All regions in the state are now below that threshold, except Northern California.
San Francisco’s own ICU bed capacity is faring better than the region as a whole. The City has a total of 286 ICU beds with 207 filled, of which 42 are patients with COVID-19.