SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The San Francisco Department of Public Health on Tuesday updated its guidance on safer sex during the COVID-19 pandemic amid the discovery of a new coronavirus strain in the Bay Area.
In its “Tip Sheet for Safer Sex,” health officials said the guidance was updated to define “close contact” and includes “emphasis on the risks of indoor activities, particularly poor ventilation.”
“COVID-19 is always evolving,” officials said.
The update comes after two cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Santa Clara County and Alameda County, Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed in a press conference last week.
These are the first confirmed cases of the variant in the entire state — reported by Stanford.
Among the guidelines in the tip sheet is the fact that “breathing, panting, shouts and groans, mouths, lips, eyes, and spit are all ways that COVID-19 can spread.”
Officials said although there have been no direct studies of sexual transmission of COVID-19 to date, evidence of the virus has been found in parts of the body involved in having sex.
This includes RNA found in semen in some studies, feces, and also in the saliva and throat.
COVID-19 has not yet been found in vaginal fluid, according to officials.
San Francisco officials continue to touch on other aspects involving sex, including the length of time one should and shouldn’t be exposed.
“Quicker can be better,” health officials advised. “The longer we are within 6 feet of someone, the greater the risk of spreading COVID-19. All sex qualifies as close contact.”
You can read the full guidelines here: