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One year later: San Francisco has seen more than 34,000 COVID cases


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “Today we are announcing the first two cases of coronavirus in our city,” Mayor London Breed said last year.

One year ago Friday, San Francisco reported COVID-19 had arrived in the city.

Now, one year later, San Francisco has seen more than 34,000 cases.

“A year ago was unfathomable that we would have a half million deaths in this country and over 420 deaths amongst San Franciscans,” Dr. Grant Colfax said. 

“We are ordering everyone in San Francisco who can stay at home until April 7th,” Dr. Colfax said last year.

11 days after announcing its first case, San Francisco joined five other Bay Area counties and enacted a shelter in place order, quieting once busy streets.  

Looking back, San Francisco’s Public Health Director says that type of aggressive action served San Francisco compared to other major cities.

“By following the science data and facts we have done a better job than other areas of the country in terms of slowing the spread of the virus and San Franciscan’s have responded with support, endurance resilience, and compassion in helping us manage this challenging and tragic year,” Colfax said.

Colfax admits San Francisco had its challenges early on with testing and getting enough personal protective equipment for front-line workers.  

Three surges forced what had just opened to close again.   

Looking ahead, Colfax says there is light at the end of the tunnel, but with a limited supply of vaccines, reopening must be a careful balancing act.

“The virus has mutated so it can spread faster and maybe more deadly so what I am most concerned about is getting the balance right so we can slowly reopen and take an intent approach based on what is lower-risked activities and also get enough vaccines to get into arms. These next few months will be key to see if we can get this thing under better control,” Colfax said.

Dr. Colfax also says we wouldn’t be where we are today if those first responders, health care workers, and other front-line workers hadn’t stayed on the job during the pandemic.

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