San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax warned Friday that if the current COVID-19 trend continues in the county, it could be pushed back into California’s purple tier by Sunday, at which time it would fall under the state-imposed curfew.

During a virtual news conference, Colfax showed a bar graph that indicated weekly coronavirus cases in San Francisco have nearly quadrupled over the past month, and the county’s health care system is struggling to keep up with that trajectory.

If San Francisco moves back to purple, it means indoor gyms, museums and places of worship would be forced to shut down, and the county would have to abide by the limited shelter-at-home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, Colfax said. Other businesses such as retail stores would have to scale back on indoor capacity limits.

San Francisco, which had 14,251 cases and 156 deaths as of Friday, was in the least restrictive yellow tier just three weeks ago.

“This is indicative of how fast the virus is spreading in our city,” Colfax said. “But we can change the course of this surge. Our individual actions can flatten the curve. We have done this twice, and we can do it again.”

Like other health officials Colfax urged residents to stay at home for the Thanksgiving holiday. He also warned against using testing to determine whether or not to travel or visit people outside the household.

“A negative test should not be a reason to put others at risk,” he said.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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