The coronavirus pandemic continues to ease in San Francisco, and public health officials expect the city to move into the yellow category this month, paving the way for companies to reopen and expand capacity. The city assumes that bars will be allowed to reopen indoors and that the mask mandate for fully vaccinated adults will be relaxed outdoors.
The city first met the yellow tier criteria on April 27, the least stringent tier in the state’s reopening plan. She must meet the requirements for two weeks to enter the stage.
“If our health indicators continue to meet the Yellow Level requirements, the state will assign us the Yellow Level on Tuesday, May 4th,” said a statement from the SF COVID Command Center, which is the city’s response to the pandemic managed. “Subject to an unexpected change in local health conditions, we expect these changes to take effect on Friday, May 7th in San Francisco.”
Governor Gavin Newsom announced last month that the state will fully reopen its economy on June 15, dismantling what is known as the Safer Economy Draft, the tiers of which determine which businesses can open based on the severity of the viruses that are spreading in a county. In the meantime, the state will continue to work under the blueprint approved in August. In the Bay Area, all counties are in the orange tier, which is expected for Solano County, which is in the red tier, the second most restrictive tier. Marin County can move to the yellow row as early as this week, but the county health director Dr. Matt Willis said, “It’s too close to call.”
“Our numbers go up and down in small ways with no real trend,” Willis said. “We have reached a target value roughly on the edge of orange and yellow for most of the last month. Literally one day it is up, the next down and the next reversed again. The numbers line up with yellow for the most part last week, but a slight increase has brought us to 2.1 cases per 100,000 as of Sunday, and it has to be below 2 to change to yellow. We’ll see what the state charges for Marin tomorrow. This is one of the limitations of a process it depends on a single number that is checked on a particular day. “
The color-coded framework for the reopening of the state assigns a level to each county that specifies which business areas and activities can be operated. There are four levels with “purple” indicating a widespread pandemic, “red”, “substantial”, “orange”, “moderate” and “yellow”, minimal.
The state will announce new animal allocations on Tuesday, and counties can push ahead with reopening on Wednesday. Counties can choose to be more restrictive than the state.
As San Francisco moves into the yellow area, the Department of Health plans to align its health policies closely with the state, but maintain certain safety measures to accommodate the unique urban setting.
City officials continue to review state guidelines for the yellow tier and make decisions about many of the details about what will be allowed in San Francisco, but they haven’t finalized the health code yet.
The city said some of the sectors likely to be allowed to reopen include indoor bars, saunas, and steam rooms, as well as some additional indoor family entertainment like ice rinks, arcades, and indoor play areas.
Much of the state’s reopening activities on the yellow level relate to the expansion of capacity constraints from previous levels, and the city expects they will adapt to many of these activities.
“In general, many indoor sectors are likely to be able to operate at 50% capacity with no attendance limit, except in certain cases such as indoor bars, where government guidelines are more restrictive, and indoor saunas and Steam baths that will be limited to 25%, “said the city. “Certain other limited sectors will have attendance limits such as cinemas, conventions, meetings and receptions, and indoor recreation.”
SF public health officials also expect the San Francisco mask mandate to align with the Center for Disease Control’s new guidelines, which eased requirements for full outdoor vaccination for adults last week.
“While vaccinated adults no longer have to wear masks outdoors, in contexts where they can be 6 feet apart and there are no large crowds,” according to the COVID Command Center. “Masks will still be needed indoors and in certain crowded outdoor areas. Vaccinated adults should still have masks with them in case they need them.”
Here’s a look at the activities the city expects to reopen or expand with the move to the Yellow Plains. These details are still under review and are subject to change, public health officials said.
– Indoor bars, breweries and wineries can have up to 100% capacity of up to 100 people.
– The three-household table limit for indoor dining is lifted and up to 8 people are allowed per table.
– The indoor family entertainment camera capacity is increased to 50% with no testing or vaccination requirements, and additional indoor activities such as ice and roller skating, golf arcades and playgrounds can be reopened to 50% capacity.
-Indoor cinemas can expand the capacity to 50% for up to 500 people.
– Libraries can be used up to 50%.
– Offices can be expanded to 50% capacity without fully vaccinated staff.
– Conventions, gatherings, and outdoor receptions can be expanded to 200 people without fully vaccinated workers and up to 400 people if all attendees provide evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Indoor conventions, meetings and receptions could be expanded to 200 people, with all participants presenting proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
-The indoor live spectator venues can be expanded to 50%, and food and drink events can accommodate groups of less than 200 people without the need for a vaccine certificate or negative test. An approved health and safety plan or proof of vaccination or COVID-19 negative test is not required for events of up to 300 people OR events that take up less than 25% of the venue’s capacity.
-The outdoor live spectator venues can be expanded to 67%, and food and drink events can accommodate groups of less than 300 people without the need for a vaccine certificate or negative test.
– Outdoor art, music and theater festivals can be expanded to up to 100 people.
-Indoor Fitness and Sports Recreation Youth and adult facilities can be expanded to 50% capacity and classes can be expanded to 50% capacity for up to 200 people.
-Indoor swimming pools can be expanded to 50% capacity.
– Saunas, steam baths and whirlpools indoors can be reopened with a capacity of 25%.
-Adult day programs and senior community centers can be expanded to 50% indoor capacity of up to 50 people.
– Eating or drinking in cafes or restaurants in grocery stores and other retail stores is permitted according to the indoor eating rules.