Indoor dining shut down in San Francisco

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

A steep increase of COVID-19 cases in San Francisco is forcing San Francisco restaurants to close their indoor dining rooms starting Friday, November 13.

Mayor London Breed announced that starting Friday at 11:59 p.m., restaurants will have to cease indoor operations as the city has observed a 250% increase in cases since early October.

“The uptick that we have seen is really a cause for concern, which has put us in a situation where we’ve had to make yet another hard choice,” Breed said during a press conference on Tuesday, November 10.

The city has 13,209 reported cases and 152 fatalities, according to SF Department of Public Health data as of Wednesday, November 11.

San Francisco restaurants were allowed to operate indoors at 25% capacity in September, and were slated to increase to 50% operating capacity earlier this month.

However, the city has experienced an average of 80 new cases per day, an increase from 32 cases daily, according to Health Director Grant Colfax.

Meanwhile, gyms and movie theaters will be allowed to stay open at 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is lesser. High schools that haven’t reopened will remain closed as well.

“If we do not turn this around, our fall surge will exceed our summer surge,” Colfax said.

As the rollback will mean lost revenue for the already struggling businesses, Breed announced that $4 million will be allocated to waive taxes and fees, such as those used for winter augmentations like heaters, and grants for restaurants to continue operating outdoors and purchasing equipment to meet social distancing requirements.

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