San Francisco officials are on the brink of ordering further extensive lockdowns after the city has observed a continued rise in coronavirus cases over the last month, as infections have nearly quadrupled and hospitalizations doubled in the last ten days.
The increased restrictions would more likely implement additional limitations on retail and other indoor business activities and decrease the size of allowed people in outdoor gatherings. The new regulations could also require travelers coming back to San Francisco to quarantine. Officials said the new set of guidance would be released as early as Wednesday.
During a briefing on Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “Our dangerous winter has arrived. We’re going to have to take more restrictive action, and it pains me to say that.”
The warnings came only a day after California Governor Gavin Newsome said he planned to implement new stay-at-home orders to curb the rising number of new cases and assist hospitals that are starting to hit capacity on their intensive care units. Newsom also argued that some areas could run out of ICU beds in the next two weeks.
Despite his announcement, the California governor did not specify what the new stay-at-home orders would include or which states would be prioritized. However, there are already at least two counties, Santa Clara and Los Angeles, that have placed stricter regulations after experiencing massive coronavirus case spikes and hospitalizations, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Several studies have observed that blunt lockdowns, which force people to stay inside their homes and would only be allowed to go outside for a few activities, were effective in stifling the spread of the coronavirus. Officials are looking for more ways to fight the COVID-19 virus as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to grow.
However, the regulations were difficult to maintain and result in potentially devastating economic setbacks. Several California health officials have expressed their disagreement with the procedure since the beginning of shelter-in-place orders in March.