San Francisco is one of the only Bay Area counties not in the highest-risk purple tier of California's COVID-19 reopening system, but it’s in danger of moving there by Sunday. That tier change would subject the city to the state's new 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
Just three weeks ago, San Francisco was in the yellow tier, signifying the lowest risk. But since October, COVID-19 case numbers have almost quadrupled, pushing the city back into the red tier.
For now, this means San Franciscans won’t see a curfew.
However, San Francisco’s Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said the case rate is on a trajectory that could force the city into the purple tier within two days.
He said that when that happens "we will need to abide by the state’s shelter in place order." He continued, saying, “I think the goal of a curfew is to decrease activity and therefore to decrease the spread of the virus."
Dr. Colfax emphasized just how important it is to abide by officials’ advice to avoid gathering, and to celebrate the holidays at home with members of your own household.
Though it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what's behind the surge, he told KCBS Radio that he's very concerned about any mixing of households.
Dr. Colfax said the hospital system is also at risk from the drastic increase in case numbers.
"If we continue on this trajectory, a nearly quadrupling of cases over a month, our healthcare system could soon be struggling to deal with the burden of the virus," he noted.
"We are in this third surge," said Dr. Colfax. "There is no question. This is not a matter of if it will happen: it is happening. If and when we are assigned to the purple tier, additional reopening rollbacks will be required by the state, including closing indoor gyms, indoor museums and movie theaters and houses of worship."
It was predicted that cases would go up as businesses reopened, and with the restrictions that come with purple tier status, many will have to shut their doors once again.