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San Francisco reopens further with live shows, conferences and 'masks on' messaging

San Francisco reopens further with live shows, conferences
and 'masks on' messaging 1

San Francisco will allow indoor performances and private conferences and receptions to resume Thursday as coronavirus rates remain low and residents continue to get vaccinated.

“We are still in a pandemic, and we can’t let our guard down,” Mayor London Breed said in a news release, “but that doesn’t mean we can’t still find ways to adapt to our new normal, have fun, and enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.”

Indoor ticketed and seated events and performances may reopen at up at 35% capacity if patrons show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result for the coronavirus. Vaccinated-only sections may be created with relaxed distancing requirements.

Venues that do not require vaccinations or test results may resume at 15% capacity, with no more than 200 people.

Convention and receptions also may be held indoors with up to 150 people, assigned seating and proof of vaccination or a negative test. Outdoor meetings will be allowed for up to 300 people with the documentation, or up to 100 without it. Outdoor ticketed events with live performances may expand to a capacity of up to 50%.

San Francisco has been having between 30 and 40 new coronavirus cases a day since early March, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain low. But the numbers flattened recently, rather than declining, and that prevented San Francisco this week from moving from the state’s orange tier for moderate virus spread to the yellow tier, which indicates minimal levels of infection.

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San Francisco’s vaccination rate is above the state average, but city officials said it was not yet high enough to prevent a fourth surge in infections without adherence to health rules. Nearly 60% of residents have received a first dose of the vaccines, and on Tuesday, anyone over the age of 16 became eligible for a shot.

Masking and distancing continue to be required.

“Throughout our response to COVID-19 and our reopening efforts, we’ve focused on moving forward in a way that protects public health,” Breed said, “and we’re going to need everyone to keep doing their part to keep our community safe.”

The city also is expanding the number of people allowed to sit together while dining outdoors or drinking at an outdoor bar.

“We are close to the finish line,” a city health official said. But some warn of a rebound of COVID-19 if residents relax their guard.

Dr. Grant Colfax said officials were “watching with growing concern” variant-fueled surges in other parts of the U.S. and in Europe.

“The last thing we all want is to roll back our reopening,” Colfax said. “If we continue to double down on the masking, physical distancing, and limiting of social gatherings with people outside one’s household, we can keep this disease in check. Remember, masks on, stay strong.”

San Francisco will post is updated reopening rules online on Thursday.

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