Mayor London Breed said The City would pause reopening plans in order to “make sure we continue our cautious and deliberate approach.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Mayor London Breed said The City would pause reopening plans in order to “make sure we continue our cautious and deliberate approach.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SF slows down reopening after COVID-19 cases rise

Restaurants no longer permitted to increase indoor dining capacity to 50 percent

An uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in San Francisco has prompted city officials to cancel next Tuesday’s planned expansion of the reopening of businesses and activities.

One of the biggest expansions was a move to allow San Francisco’s struggling restaurants to increase indoor dining capacity from 25 percent, which began on Sept. 30, to 50 percent. That is now on hold.

“Given what we’re seeing in our numbers here as well as across the country and the world, we want to make sure we continue our cautious and deliberate approach, which is why we’ve decided to pause before moving forward,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement Friday.

It was just last week that city officials celebrated becoming the first Bay Area county to move into the state’s least restrictive COVID-19 tier yellow. The City this week allowed people to return to “non-essential” offices up to 25 percent capacity.

In the past two weeks, however, the number of new cases has jumped from 3.14 cases per day per 100,000 people to 4.17 cases per 100,000 people. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients had dropped to a recent low of 21 people, but recently increased to 37 people.

Other reopenings planned for Tuesday that are being put on hold include the reopening of indoor pools, bowling alleys, indoor locker rooms and showers at gyms, an expansion of indoor capacity to 50 percent at movie theaters, museums and churches; and an increase in the number of people allowed at outdoor worship events from 200 to 300.

The City said it will still allow some limited reopenings planned, including outdoor live performances of up to six performers at drive-in settings.

Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said in a statement she was “disappointed” The City will not allow 50 percent indoor dining as planned, but “we understand the need to pause our reopening plan in order to keep cases and hospitalizations under control.”

“This is not the news we were hoping for, but we are thankful that indoor dining at 25 percent capacity is continuing, as is outdoor dining,” she said.

Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, said at a virtual press conference that an increase was expected as The City has allowed more activity including indoor dining, the use of playgrounds and in-person learning at private schools.

“We are prepared for this,” Colfax said. “We want to pause on increasing the capacity of riskier activities because we do not want the virus to get too far ahead of us. As we have seen across the country and around the world, when the virus gets too far ahead you can’t catch up.”

Colfax said that the decision to pause the reopening also comes amid troubling trends in the state and around the nation.

“We have also seen a 38 percent increase in cases in California and a 41 percent increase in cases in the United States over the past two weeks,” he said.

Bay Area NewsCoronavirussan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read