San Francisco pauses coronavirus reopening as cases spike; Gov. Newsom urges stay-home order for hard-hit county

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San Francisco pauses coronavirus reopening as cases spike; Gov. Newsom urges stay-home order for hard-hit county

San Francisco has temporarily halted planned reopenings scheduled for next week amid a surge in coronavirus cases while Gov. Gavin Newsom urged one

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San Francisco has temporarily halted planned reopenings scheduled for next week amid a surge in coronavirus cases while Gov. Gavin Newsom urged one Southern California county to reinstitute stay-at-home orders after a spike in positive COVID-19 tests there.

The city recorded 103 new cases Thursday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a Friday announcement, affecting a number of businesses and activities that include outdoor bars, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, museums, zoos and outdoor swimming.

“Our reopening process is guided by data and science,” Breed said. “COVID-19 cases are rising throughout California and we’re now seeing a rise in cases in San Francisco too. Our numbers are still low but they’re rising rapidly. While I know this pause is disappointing to residents and businesses [sic] owners, we need to temporarily delay the re-openings that were scheduled for Monday.”

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The city initially reopened outdoor dining and indoor retail stores on June 15, when only 20 new cases were recorded, Breed said. She urged people to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and to practice good hygiene.

“At our current rate, the number could double rapidly,” she said. “If that continues and we do not intervene, we will be at such a high number that our only option would be to shut down.”

California recorded nearly 4,900 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, Newsom said Friday. The state is monitoring 15 counties for worsening coronavirus trends, including Los Angeles County.

He specifically called out Imperial County, which sits on the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego. The county has a population of 175,000 people and has seen high rates of positive tests — 23 percent in the past week compared to 5.3 percent in the rest of the state, he said.

In a Friday update, Newsom urged Imperial County leaders to reimpose restrictions to combat the spread of the virus.

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“We are advising and counseling them to move forward and reinstitute the stay-at-home order, but they will move at their discretion,” he said. “If they are not able to come to some consensus, I am committed to intervening as is my role and responsibility as governor.”

Newsom noted that he is confident officials will heed his call.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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