San Francisco will begin reopening more of its economy amid declining Covid-19 case rates, hospitalizations and deaths.
Starting on Wednesday, restaurants can start serving limited indoor dining and movie theaters, gyms and museums can reopen at restricted capacity.
“This is the beginning of a great time in San Francisco, you save money not buying those plane tickets to go other places. You can enjoy your city, right here right now,” an upbeat Mayor London Breed said on Tuesday under blue skies from Pier 39, an area popular with tourists in picturesque Fisherman’s Wharf.
“I am so proud of San Francisco. Nearly a year after our shelter-in-place order, thanks to our collective actions and commitment to following the health guidelines, we have come through our worst surge since the beginning of the pandemic,” Dr Grant Colfax, the director of the San Francisco department of public health, said in a statement.
San Francisco, with a population of 900,000 before the pandemic, has seen among the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country, reporting more than 34,000 cases since the start of the pandemic and 422 deaths.
The city and its surrounding area were the first to impose a lockdown when the coronavirus struck the US in the spring of last year. Some sectors were allowed to reopen after case rates dropped in the summer, but the city shut down business activity again in early December as the positivity rate surged statewide.
City fiscal analysts say San Franciscans have stayed at home more than people in other California cities and even other equally strict Bay Area counties, with many of the region’s workers, including those in the tech industry, able to shift their work from offices to their homes. The policies contributed to good public health, but stressed the local economy.