San Francisco has scuttled plans to move forward with reopening next week, Marin County is cutting industries from its next leg, and Contra Costa County may change plans after all three municipalities see increases COVID-19 case this week.
Mayor of London Breed announced that San Francisco would wait to enter phase 3 – which would have allowed salons, hair salons, tattoo parlors and other businesses to reopen – after 103 test results returned positive for the virus on Friday .
“Our reopening process is guided by data and science,” wrote Breed in an ad on social media. “COVID-19 cases are increasing across the CA. We are now seeing an increase in cases in SF too. Our numbers are still low but are increasing rapidly. “
The 103 new cases are the fourth most the city has recorded in a single day since the start of the epidemic – it set the record on Monday – and has recorded 3,400 confirmed cases in total. Less than a week after Breed initially announced plans to enter Phase 3, the seven-day average of new cases more than doubled – and even overshadowed the previous peak; the city added an average of 54 cases per day in the past week.
Shortly after Breed’s announcement, Contra Costa Health Services released a statement that its officials “were assessing whether the county should continue with its current reopening schedule,” citing a 42% increase in hospitalizations this week.
Later Friday afternoon, Marin County announced its delay, saying it would still open restaurants, hair salons, campgrounds and indoor picnic areas, but that hotels , gymnasiums and most personal services were to remain closed.
San Francisco’s next stop has been set for Monday, while Contra Costa County plans to open restaurants and bars, gyms, hotels and some personal services on Wednesday.
Partial data for tests in San Francisco this week shows the total number of tests at or below previous weeks, while the positive percentage increased from 1-2% per day to 3-4%. This remains below the positivity rate in California (5.6% in the past seven days) and nationally (6.1%), and well below the rate of 23% in Imperial County, that Governor Gavin Newsom urged Friday to return to the shelter on site.
“At our current rate, the number could double quickly,” said Breed. “If this continues and we do not intervene, we will be in such a high number that our only option would be to close.”
San Francisco hospitals are not short of capacity and have, in fact, received patients from other parts of the state. As of Wednesday, 45 patients were hospitalized in San Francisco, but that includes inbound transfers from eight intensive care patients and nine acute care patients. 28 San Francisco residents were hospitalized, one more than the minimum established earlier this week and about a quarter of its mid-April peak.
San Francisco was one of the four counties in California that had not yet passed phase 2. In the bay region, the counties of San Mateo and Contra Costa had been authorized to go to phase 3, but Alameda and Santa Clara remained in phase 2 as of Friday, with San Francisco and the imperial counties.
In addition to the increase in hospitalizations in Contra Costa County, officials said the seven-day average of new cases has increased from 38 to 68 and that the test positivity rate is also increasing. The county has not set a deadline for making a firm decision on the matter.
The Marin County health unit cited record records reached this week in new cases (54 Thursday) and hospitalizations (12) as the reason for its delay. The county release also noted that the escape from San Quentin state prison had affected more than 500 inmates and 75 staff, some of whom live in the county.