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Where San Francisco stands now: Mayor looks back a year after first COVID case reported

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – While San Francisco moved into the red tier this week, its number of daily COVID-19 cases is actually low enough to place the city in the orange tier.

In a one-on-one interview, KRON4’s Taylor Bisacky talked to Mayor London Breed about where the city stands now and looked back on decisions made during the pandemic, almost a year later.

Mayor Breed stands by the city’s more conservative approaches throughout this year, even now as we just moved into the red tier.

The city’s not participating in all activities allowed under that tier. She says that’s also something that we can also expect as San Francisco likely moves into the orange tier in a couple of weeks.

“It is looking very good for this city because the people of San Francisco have been doing a great job. Now is not the time to as we reopen to let our hair down and get crazy and go back to our old ways,” Mayor Breed said. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed warns people to remain vigilant even though COVID-19 cases continue to plummet from a major surge just a couple of months ago.

According to city data, cases have been declining since mid-January — Now averaging about 62 new daily cases per day.

While San Francisco’s currently in the red tier, its coronavirus numbers are good enough to place us in the orange tier but due to state rules. We must remain in the red tier for three weeks before advancing.

“Looks like we’re heading for the orange tier sooner rather than later. That means office space at 25% percent could potentially reopen, expanding gym capacity indoors. There are a number of things we will expand at that time,” Mayor Breed said. 

This comes almost a year after the city was the first to shut down across the country. Since then, the city’s experienced shutdowns, reopens, more shutdowns, and two strict stay-at-home orders.

Taylor Bisacky: Looking back on how we’ve handled the pandemic in this city, what have you learned? Is there anything you would’ve changed or done differently? 

Mayor Breed: I learned it’s important to trust your gut and as hard as it was a year ago to make the decision to go into a state of emergency at the end of February and then to completely shut the city down even though I had so many people saying we can’t do this. It’s going to impact our economy, our city’s gonna be in trouble. I knew that those were tradeoffs and at the end of the day I knew lives were at stake but I learned it’s important to trust the data, trust the science and trust your gut.

Throughout the year, Mayor Breed, along with state leaders like Governor Gavin Newsom faced criticism for strict approaches to the pandemic.

Many people compare the state to Florida which has taken very opposite approaches yet maintained comparable per capita COVID-19 rates. 

“San Francisco is like the second densest city in the country after New York and so if we had done in places like Miami we would have been in a lot more trouble so I don’t think there’s one size fits all to make these decisions. I didn’t support what was happening in Florida but was glad to be in California when we made these tough decisions,” Mayor Breed said. 

Looking back, it seems like many are now seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. Cases are decreasing and vaccinations will hopefully vamp up soon.

If we continue social distancing and wearing our masks, we can expect to move to the orange tier soon.

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