San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday that the city will be placing a temporary pause on reopening businesses and various activities as coronavirus cases are again increasing not only in the city, but the state as a whole.
“This pause is a precautionary measure to ensure San Francisco can continue to reopen safely, to try to help prevent San Francisco from moving backwards under the State blueprint, and to protect community health,” the statement released by the mayor’s office said.
“It is better for San Francisco to take the time to pause now and assess the data than to keep reopening and risk needing to roll-back reopening at a future date.”
The restrictions, which were set to be lifted on Nov. 3, appear to be scheduled to continue indefinitely at this time, as no date was given as to when restrictions may be able to be eased again.
“Our goal has always been to respond quickly and carefully, watch the data closely, and make decisions based on the data, science, and facts,” Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said. “The data is, once again, telling us to pause and to extend the time before we reopen the next phase of indoor activities.”
Though San Francisco has been slow to reopen in comparison to other parts of the country, they have also stood as an example on how to contain the spread.
The city has reported 12,320 cases since the beginning of the outbreak with 147 deaths so far, according to the Department of Public Health. California as a whole has reported nearly 917,000 cases and over 17,500 deaths.
“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 with more reopening,” Breed said Friday.
Coronavirus has been a driving force of the 2020 general election, with Democratic candidate Joe Biden voicing caution as President Trump calls for normality again and repeatedly claims the country has turned a corner in the fight against the pathogen.
The debate that has dominated the race is how to prevent the virus that has killed more than 229,000 Americans and infected 9 million from spreading exponentially -- while also addressing the massive toll that lockdowns have taken on the economy.
Trump and Biden showed their stark disagreement on the route to take to get the country out of the pandemic in dueling rallies Friday, with just four days left until the general election.
“He said a long dark winter,” Trump mocked during a Friday rally in Michigan. “Oh that’s great, that’s wonderful. Just what our country needs is a long dark winter and a leader who talks about it.”
Biden for his part went after Trump’s comments on the pandemic this summer when he said “it is what it is.”
“It is what it is because he is who he is!” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “These guys are something else, man.”
Over 86 million Americans have already cast their vote in the run up to Nov. 3, but millions more are expected to turn out on Election Day, and while Biden leads in national polling, the race is far from decided as the swing states races remain very close.