San Francisco pauses next phase of reopening as California coronavirus cases climb

Business

A worker wearing a protective mask cleans a table in front of a pizza restaurant in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 15, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a tweet Friday that the city will temporarily delay its planned reopening for Monday, which included nail salons, barbershops and outdoor bars, as the number of Covid-19 cases rise across California.

“Yesterday we saw 103 cases. On June 15, when we first reopened outdoor dining and in-store retail, we had 20,” Breed wrote on Twitter. “At our current rate, the number could double rapidly. If that continues & we don’t intervene, we’ll be at such a high number that our only option would be to shut down.”

The city initially sent a request to the state on June 22 to move into its next phase of reopening on June 29, rather than mid-July as was previously scheduled. Breed said the next phase would allow zoos, outdoor swimming pools, outdoor bars, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and museums to reopen next week.

However, Covid-19 cases have since shown signs of accelerating in California. It’s one of 35 states where cases were growing by 5% or more as of Thursday, based on the change in average new cases compared with last week, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

The state reported a near 44% increase in its weekly average of coronavirus cases, averaging 4,861 daily new cases.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has left it to municipalities within the state to decide whether they’re prepared to reopen certain parts of their economy after more rural counties reported little Covid-19 cases. So far, San Francisco has reopened outdoor dining, indoor retail and other small public activities with health modifications and limited capacity, according to the city’s reopening guidelines

Newsom said at a press briefing on Friday that San Francisco’s decision to pause its planned reopening based on rising case numbers was ”exactly how it’s supposed to work” and said he was “pleased” with the leadership in the city. 

When asked about the state’s plan for reopening, Newsom said it’s already been at a pause for “well over a week ago.” That includes Disney’s recent decision to not reopen in early July.

Other states in the U.S. have had to pause or roll back some of their reopening plans. Earlier on Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state’s bars to close and reduced the capacity for indoor dining at restaurants, among other modifications. 

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the state has no further plans of reopening at this point in time. He added that the state “never anticipated” continuing to move forward at this point. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey said if the state’s reopening were a traffic light, it would be in the “yellow” or “yield” position.

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