What you need to know as San Francisco resumes indoor live events

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Mayor London Breed on Thursday announced San Francisco is on track with guidelines that will allow indoor live events to resume with capacity limits and other safety protocols beginning April 15.

“We know that much of what makes San Francisco special are the live performances and events where people can come together for music, sports and cultural performances, and graduations,” said Mayor Breed. “We’ve all been missing these events over the last year, and we are excited for this step and what lies ahead, but we all need to keep doing our part to put safety first. That means getting people the vaccine as fast as possible and ensuring everyone remains vigilant in keeping our case numbers low.

In a press release, officials said San Francisco plans to allow up to the maximum capacity of 35% for indoor ticketed and seated events and performances with an approved Health and Safety Plan, in accordance with state guidelines.

Social distancing guidelines must be maintained, and all people must wear face masks except when eating or drinking in their assigned seats.

Participants must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

For venues operating at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people, and approved Health and Safety plan and proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required.

City officials are working the industry leaders to fine tune and develop detailed guidance for both indoor and ticketed performances, as well as indoor meetings and private events.

Officials said a key criteria for the resumption and continuation of indoor live performances, events, and meetings as well as the expansion of social gatherings will be a stable or declining rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The city may need to pause or roll back activities if data suggests COVID-19 is significantly increasing within the community again.

San Francisco’s new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain low. At this time, San Francisco is averaging 37 new cases a day and has been maintaining a stable average between 30 and 40 new cases a day since early March 2021. Likewise, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been declining since February. Recently however, those trends have flattened and begun to tick up, though they remain low. With the growing prevalence of variants in the Bay Area and the surge in cases in Michigan and the northeast, public health officials are closely monitoring any changes to cases that may indicate increasing contagion.

“We are now in a place where we can start to plan for the resumption of certain indoor cultural and life events that so many of us have missed this past year. That said, we must remain cautious as COVID-19 is still very much with us,” says Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. “As we have seen in other parts of the country and in Europe, the threat of a fourth surge fueled by variants is one we need to take seriously. We must continue to follow the health precautions we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19. If we keep up the good work, and get sufficient vaccine supply we will hopefully be able to sustain and even expand these exciting reopenings.” 

At this time, over 50% of San Franciscans have received their first dose of vaccine, as have over 80% of the City’s residents over 65. Last week, the City began allowing anyone over the age of 50 to receive a vaccine and starting Thursday, April 15, plans to allow general access to vaccines by anyone over the age of 16.

On Wednesday, April 14, and subject to the criteria of stable or declining case and hospitalization rates, the San Francisco Department of Public Health expects to issue final health and safety guidelines to reopen indoor live events, performances and meetings as well as some additional expansions of activities allowed under the State’s orange tier, including outdoor performances and events, as of 8:00 on Thursday April 15, 2021. The City will post the revised Health Order with detailed guidance to its webpage by the end of the day Wednesday April 14, 2021.

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