SF, Santa Clara Counties tighten rules amid outbreak of dreaded coronavirus

As cases of coronavirus escalated, two more area counties – San Francisco and San Mateo – entered the state’s most restricted reopening level, Jambudia, shutting down indoor activities on Sunday and keeping residents under curfew starting Monday. At night.

Meanwhile, Santa Clara County, which is already at the purple level, announced new restrictions Sunday that go even further than state regulations. These include a quarantine for returning passengers, extremely strict indoor capacity limits for stores and an effective ban on San Francisco 49ers games at Levi’s Stadium.

“The epidemic is like a high-speed train, and our forecast is that we aim to derail by the third week of December if we don’t apply the brakes with all the collective strength,” said Santa Clara County Health. Dr. Fischer Dr. Good Cody, added that things can get worse with a Thanksgiving gathering. The county experienced its highest single-day case count, and7, on Saturday and has doubled its hospitalization in less than three weeks.

Nine of the two area counties together reported 2,027 new cases Saturday, according to data reported by the county’s health department and figures compiled by The Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. That number does not include data from Marine, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties, which have not yet reported new cases of the day or reported on the weekends. The previous single-day high was 1,836 on August 14, when the state was clearing the backlog of its summer computer error.

All two area counties except the Marines are now at the purple level of the state’s reopening plan. Also on Saturday, Calaveras, Lake, Modok and Plumas counties kicked in purple, while Alpine, Inyo and Mariposa counties went red.

The new purple-level designations of San Francisco and San Mateo counties mean they include museums, movie theaters, gyms (excluding one-on-one training, as San Francisco Mayor London Breed said) and places of worship. Indoor dining is also banned – so all restrooms in the two areas will now only be in the outdoor space. (San Matteo County was the only business that allowed indoor dining, as San Francisco and Marine County, which live in the red, recently closed it, though the state didn’t need it at the time.)

The bans take effect in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon. It’s not clear when San Mateo County’s indoor activities must stop; County spokeswoman Michelle Durande told the Chronicle by email that the state did not specify the time of the closure on Sunday, and “in the absence of a specific enforcement timeline, we suggest businesses erred in the direction of precaution and follow up all day tomorrow.” Purple level limitations. “

In San Francisco, some of the attractions decided to host their last visitors on Saturday, including The Young Museum, Legion Hon f Hon Nar, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Museum Modern f Modern Art and Skystar Wheel at Golden Gate Park.

Curfew will be in effect for both counties from 10pm to 5am on Monday night. People need to stay home during those hours, except for the necessary activities, such as buying currency, visiting a doctor, and other essential activities, including walking or exercising the dog. Restaurants in particular may be affected, as some serve customers after 10 p.m.

The purple designation shows a sharp decline for San Francisco, which was at a less restricted yellow level than a month ago in the state. There has been a sharp rise in cases over the past four weeks, public health officials said. The city’s new cases averaged 11,130 in a single day last week, compared to 73 days in the first week of November. On Saturday, 256 new coronavirus cases were reported in Francisco, a record.

“This is the most aggressive boom to date,” Mayor London Breed wrote on Twitter.

He added: “We all need to be more involved now than ever before to stop the spread of COVID-19. That means doubling down on what we do: wearing a mask, keeping your distance from others, not associating with people outside the home, and washing your hands frequently. ”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordillo has said he plans to communicate with lawyers and take legal action in light of the ban on indoor churches, calling it “blasphemous discrimination” and referring to recent Supreme Court rulings excluding restrictions on religious services in New York. .

“Athletes in San Francisco are fully committed to public safety to perform worship services,” he said in a statement. “Our protocols require masks, social distance, hygiene and ventilation. But the government still considers worship less important than the purchase of shoes. ”

Stores in San Francisco should reduce their excluding capacity by up to 25%, which can work with 50% capacity in purple.

San Matteo County is also experiencing a big surge, with an increase of about 85% in new cases from October to November.

“We haven’t seen numbers like this in a while and we really need to reverse this incredibly troublesome trend,” San Mateo County manager Mike Calgary said in a statement.

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa blamed County Spikes in the test, adding in some additional cases. “We are in a good position to control the surge considering the capacity of the hospital and the resources required to combat covid,” he said in a statement.

With the new San Mateo County restrictions, Jing Chen, co-owner of a women’s clothing and home decor store, Therapy Stores in Burlingame, said only seven people would be allowed to enter the store at a time. Chen said that while she is concerned about her business, she understands why action is important.

“A trader who is part of the community, we have to do that. It’s not just about me. We are in this together, ”she said.

In Santa Clara County, grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies will now be limited to 25% capacity – it was 50% – and other indoor stores should only stay at 10% capacity (previously it was 25%). If they travel more than 150 miles after returning to the county, and the journey is frustrating, people also need to be separated for 14 days. Outdoor dining is allowed.

Santa Clara County is also banning all contact games with people outside of one’s home, which means 49 people will have to find a new short-term home. The point, which runs until at least December 21, also affects the Stanford and San Jose state teams.

“We’ve reached a point where our cases and hospitalizations are so low that we have to do something to settle things,” said Cody, the county’s health officer. “I have been sounding the alarm about our rising case rates and hospitalizations for some time now and we are in a state of serious neglect. In fact what we do and what we don’t do today can be a matter of life and death for many people living in our county. “

ALMEDA, CONTRA COSTA, MARINE AND SAN FRANCISCO – Two Area County health officials joined the city of Berkeley on Saturday in support of Santa Clara County’s new sanctions, and said in a statement that they would “take similar action soon.” To save the remaining regional hospital capacity. “

Despite being strict in the two areas, Santa Clara County rules don’t go as far as Los Angeles County, which has issued a new stay-at-home order that will take effect Monday and ban most gatherings until at least December 20. “Please don’t associate with people outside your home,” said the county’s public health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer pleaded Saturday.

In Palo Alto, Mary Jaiswal, owner of the Ceylo clothing boutique, had not yet heard the news about the 10% business about a retail capacity rollback in Santa Clara County – but said it would not ultimately affect her because it was already limited. The number of people allowed in the store at one time.

Jaiswal, who has been in the business for over 0 years, said that this holiday season, your business has been down 0% to 0% so far. “The epidemic has been very difficult for us – there are only a few people trying to help and buy,” he said. “This is the worst situation ever, but we always try to stay positive.”

The report was contributed by San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer Tony Bravo.

Janelle Bitker, Erin All Lade and Sarah Ravani are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Twitter: janellebitker, erinallday, ArSarRavani