San Francisco will not move out of the state’s COVID-19 orange tier next week, but The City’s reopening will continue to expand to include indoor events such as music concerts, Warriors games and theater performances.
City officials had anticipated continued progress and predicted a move into the yellow tier next week, but that is now not going to happen.
“San Francisco is not moving to the yellow tier next week as initially anticipated,” Health Officer Susan Philip said Thursday. “We did not meet the criteria. Our case rate remains too high. We are staying in the orange tier for a bit more. It’s unclear when we will advance to the yellow tier because our case rate is not declining as it once was.”
In fact, cases are starting to go up slightly, along with hospitalizations. Health officials said the uptick is expected as more of the economy opens up. However, the numbers will be closely watched because the reopening may need to be slowed down to prevent a fourth surge.
Despite the lack of movement of tiers and a slight increase of cases, San Francisco will continue to advance its reopening to allow things like indoor events after the state changed its guidance last week to allow them.
“‘We believe that we can do that cautiously because the new variable that was not here during the past three surges is vaccine,” Philip said. “This is going to be our ticket out of the pandemic.”
The details of the update rules will be released Wednesday and go into effect on April 15. It is contingent on cases remaining stable.
Among the big changes, The City plans to allow a maximum capacity of 35% at venues for indoor ticketed and seated events and performances. Venues will need to obtain an approved Health and Safety Plan by the Department of Public Health and attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Attendees must also keep their masks on except when eating or drinking.
The Warriors said they plan to bring fans back to the Chase Center for the team’s nine remaining home games of the regular season. The first is set to take place April 23 against the Denver Nuggets.
The restrictions are less for venues that open at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people. They will not have to obtain an approved Health and Safety Plan and attendees will not have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter.
Conventions, meetings and receptions will be allowed indoors for a capacity of no more than 150 persons with face coverings and distancing. Everyone would need to be provide proof of testing or vaccination.
The City also plans to lift the existing indoor dining closure curfew of 11 pm.