As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, KCBS Radio is getting the answers to your questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Every morning at 9:20 a.m. Monday-Friday we're doing an "Ask An Expert" segment with a focus on a different aspect of this situation each day.
Today, we're focusing on COVID-19 trends and testing with Dr. Susan Philip, Deputy Health Officer for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and an infectious disease specialist.
So just this week, the CDC put out an evaluation of a situation in Missouri where two hairdressers tested positive for COVID-19 and they had symptoms, they actually didn't feel well. But they were masked, their clients were masked and of 67 people tested, nobody tested positive. So again, a strong argument for facial coverings. Now in San Francisco, because of our overall rise in cases in the community, we have not been able to move forward with opening tattoo shops, hair salons, barbershops. And that's not because we think that those settings are incredibly risky. It's really just because with the community positivity being as high as it is, we have to slow down. We have to try and decrease the rates of infection before we move on. But I think again, that data from the CDC and from Missouri really point to the effectiveness of covering our faces around each other.Is there actual evidence that closing outdoor dining or the zoo brings down infections? It seems to me that if people are wearing masks and staying apart by the right amount, these activities are perfectly safe, yet we keep shutting them down.Thank you so much for the opportunity to address this. To the caller, I completely agree with you. And we are not in San Francisco, shutting down outdoor parts of the zoo. The zoo is open. It's allowed to be open exactly because as the caller said, it is outdoors. Now, the indoor dining, if there's an indoor restaurant at the zoo that is not able to operate. Indoor dining cannot operate, but your favorite local restaurant here in San Francisco that has outdoor dining: still open. Now, what we would say is when you're at the zoo, when you're doing outdoor dining, please keep your face coverings on at all times, unless you are actually eating at that outdoor dining establishment. Keep six feet away. And we know that the zoo and restaurants that have outdoor dining are all doing their best to keep people spaced, to keep surfaces clean and reduce transmission.