San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that more strict coronavirus-related restrictions are on the way.
Breed's announcement came on the same day that the San Francisco Chronicle revealed that Breed attended a birthday party for a close friend at French Laundry, the upscale Napa Valley restaurant, last month. It's the same restaurant where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was caught dining at last month, during which he neither wore a face mask nor adhered to social distancing guidelines.
Newsom has been ferociously criticized for the dining out activity, which came as thousands of small businesses and restaurants shutter amid increasing COVID-related restrictions. Many of those businesses will never reopen.
In fact, Breed dined at the restaurant just one day after Newsom, and several days before she admonished her residents for acting unwisely during the pandemic.
"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus," Breed said Nov. 10. "Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again."
What is Breed saying now?
"We've been worried for months but now it's real," Breed said Tuesday, KGO-TV reported. "Our dangerous winter has arrived."
More severe restrictions for Bay Area residents come as COVID-19 cases surge worldwide. In fact, San Francisco's COVID-19 infection rate has quadrupled compared to October and hospitalizations have doubled, according to KNTN-TV.
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Breed said the city was looking to nearby Santa Clara County as an example for what further restrictions might be needed. Santa Clara recently announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling into the area from 150 miles or farther. Santa Clara has also moved to limit social gatherings and further reduce capacity at businesses. Closing outdoor dining entirely, as was done recently in Los Angeles County, is also on the table, she said.
Unfortunately for San Francisco residents, Breed said city officials are even contemplating another mandatory lockdown if COVID-cases continue to surge, comparing possible action to that of Los Angeles County.
"Unfortunately we can't rule it out," Breed said. "As soon as we think it is absolutely necessary based on what we're seeing with this spike, based on what we're seeing with hospitalizations and the direction that our city is headed in, it could be a possibility."
Beginning Monday, Los Angeles County implemented another stay-at-home order, prohibiting all public and private gatherings between people of different households. Indoor dining had already been suspended in the county. Religious gatherings and protests are excluded from the county's restrictions, which last through Dec. 20.