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SFPD: No parties allowed on New Year’s Eve amid COVID spike

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — 2020 is a year that few of us will likely ever forget.

And while leaving this year in the dust is definitely cause for celebration, San Francisco public officials held a virtual news conference to remind people of the rules of the health order.

Big crowds would normally come out to the streets of San Francisco to watch the annual fireworks show. But because of the pandemic, that and other similar celebrations are canceled.

When the ferry building clock strikes midnight tonight, 2020 is going out with a whimper instead of a bang. That’s because the annual epic fireworks display that normally helps ring in the new year have been cancelled because of the virus that has already ruined most of this year.

San Francisco public safety officials held a news conference to remind the public that big parties were held in past New Year’s Eve celebrations isn’t allowed this year in order to keep out hospitals from being overrun with COVID-19 patients.

That means no gathering with anyone outside your household. SFPD is boosting patrols and will have extra resources in spots people normally gather, like the Embarcadero, the Market Street Corridor and Union Square to name a few. 

As to how they will enforce the health order…

“We will begin with warnings and then admonishments which are official warnings which will be documented in police reports,” SFPD Officer Robert Rueca said. “If those admonishments are not heated then people can be cited and or arrested for not complying with the health order or other criminal violations.”

The City’s Rec and Park Department is going to turn off the holiday lights exhibit in Golden Gate Park in order to discourage crowds. The Marina Green, Stern Grove and Ocean Beach parking lots will be shut down until 5 a.m. Friday.

“It’d be nice to have fireworks but I also understand playing it safe and stuff,” one woman said. “I’m just gonna enjoy stuff with my flat mate, just dance in my house and have that kind of thing you know.”

One other note — those public safety officials also want to remind people that fireworks of any kind — even safe and sane ones are illegal in the city and county of San Francisco.

They ask that anyone calling to report fireworks or any kind of other noise complaint to call 311 and save 911 for police fire and medical emergencies. And of course, you really shouldn’t be driving anywhere, but if you do don’t do it while impaired.

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