© 2021
1941 - 2021 /// Support the next 80 years.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

San Francisco To Reopen With Indoor Dining, Movie Theaters

movie.jpg
Wendell
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
Movie theater in Ventura, California

Indoor dining, movie theaters and gyms can reopen within 24 hours in San Francisco, an upbeat Mayor London Breed announced Tuesday.

The county officially moved into a less-restrictive tier as the rate of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths improve statewide in California.

“This is the beginning of a new day in San Francisco,” Breed said from Pier 39, an area popular with tourists in picturesque Fisherman's Wharf.

California on Tuesday reported an additional 2,533 confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total known cases to nearly 3.5 million. Officials also announced an additional 303 deaths, raising that total to just under 52,500 fatalities in the state of nearly 40 million.

Several counties in the San Francisco Bay Area issued a strict-stay-at-home order nearly a year ago, in advance of a statewide shutdown. Public health officials for the most part have been more cautious than peers in southern California and in other states about reopening the economy.

Business activity in San Francisco shut down in early December after several Bay Area counties pre-emptively went into lockdown as the positivity rate surged and the rate of cases climbed. Outdoor dining, outdoor museums and some indoor and outdoor personal services reopened in late January after the state called off its regional stay-home order.

The economic toll has been grim, with rents for apartments and offices plummeting as downtown eateries that once fed throngs of hungry office-workers and tourists at lunch struggled.

The city's landmark cable cars have been out of operation for a year and there's no timeline on when they might return. The mayor, in her state of the city address to residents this year, vowed that San Francisco will return bigger and better and dismissed those who say the city has lost its luster.

San Francisco, a city and county of roughly 900,000 before the pandemic, has among the lowest case and death rates in the country. It reported 34,000 new cases of the coronavirus and 422 deaths on Tuesday.

Most of California's 58 counties remain in the state's most restricted purple tier of a four-tier color coded system, although San Francisco and several other counties are expected to move Tuesday into the less restrictive red tier.

“Just remember, six weeks ago, we were announcing over 50,000 cases,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday. “So things are moving in the right direction, things seem to be stabilizing.”

For counties in the red tier, indoor restaurant dining rooms and movie theaters can reopen at 25% capacity or up to 100 people, whichever is fewer. Gyms and dance and yoga studios can open at 10% capacity. Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor activities at 25% capacity.

Wineries can open outdoors with modifications, though bars and distilleries that do not serve food may not. Other retail businesses like clothing stores and florists can go from 25% capacity to 50%.