San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Expected to Move into Yellow Tier May 7

Amancay Tapia

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San Francisco city officials expect the state’s health department to announce on Tuesday that the city will finally move into the yellow tier. The most relaxed category of California’s blueprint for reopening based on the level of spread of COVID-19.

SF Deputy Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip confirmed that changes will then take effect on Friday, May 7.

Yellow tier means that San Francisco can finally open majority of businesses indoors with modifications.

For example, bars, wineries, breweries and distilleries that don’t serve food will be able to allow customers inside at 25% capacity with a maximum of 100 people.

Restaurants indoor dining will remain at 50% but there will not be a household limit per table. For outdoor dining, the City will do away with the mask requirement but for now tables have to still remain six feet apart. Buffets will be back too, as well as sushi boats and fro-yo machines.

Gyms can open to 50% capacity, or up to 75% capacity if they require everyone to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Indoor conventions, meetings, and receptions may expand to 200 people, and outdoor arts, music and theatre festivals may expand to up to 100 people.

Indoor seated live events and performances in venues with capacity for more than 1,500 guests, will be able to reach 10% of capacity. However, if everyone has a negative test or has proof of full vaccination, the limit can increase to 50%.

As for churches, they will still keep attendance at 50% of capacity.

Currently, only four of the state’s 58 counties are in the yellow tier: Alpine, Lassen, Mendocino and Sierra. Marin, Los Angeles and Trinity counties are poised to join San Francisco in the least restrictive tier on Tuesday.

Mayor London Breed has said via twitter : “Only 0.7% of our COVID tests are coming back positive. We’re nearing the end of this pandemic and we’re going to keep up the pace until we get there”.

Before moving forward toward more reopening in the yellow tier, a few rules must be met. In the case of the minimal restrictions there should be less than 2.0 daily new cases per 100k, less than 2.0% positive tests for the entire county and less than 2.2% positive reds for health equality quartile. The San Francisco Department of Public Health announced yesterday via Twitter;

On Tuesday, April 27 the California Department of Public Health assessed San Francisco as meeting the criteria for the Yellow Tier. If our health indicators continue to meet the requirements for the Yellow Tier, the State will assign us to the Yellow Tier on Tuesday, May 4.

If the state continues to meet vaccination goals, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain low, governor Gavin Newsom, has said he plans to retire the color-coded tier system by mid June and allow majority of the sectors of the economy to reopen at almost pre-pandemic levels.

San Francisco moved into the current orange tier on March 24, downtown offices reopened, as well as outdoor bars and festivals and San Francisco Giants games resumed at limited capacity for in-person attendance.

Currently, 70% of San Franciscans over 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 46% have completed a vaccine series.

A new set of public health recommendations issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that "fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues", but San Francisco is waiting on the California Department of Public Health to formally change its own rules as they cannot impose lesser restrictions than the state. Newsom confirmed this week that new mask rules are expected soon. He announced via Twitter;

“CA will be aligning with the new CDC guidelines.If you're fully vaccinated, outdoors, and not in a large crowd -- you do not need to wear a mask. We've administered 29+ million vaccines & have the lowest positivity rate and case rate in the nation”.

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