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San Francisco businesses on verge of reopening with storefront pickup, officials say

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Some San Francisco businesses are on the verge of reopening, with modifications, city officials announced Thursday.

Mayor London Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said they expect that some businesses will be allowed to resume operations with storefront pickup as soon as May 18.

But it is not the May 8 date that some businesses wanted and so desperately need.

Three Bay Area counties will allow certain businesses to reopen Friday with specific restrictions — but San Francisco isn’t one of them.

“Kind of a bummer but you know if it keeps us safe and healthy then I stand behind it,” Morgan Mapes, owner of the Golden Hour, said.

Mapes rearranged her San Francisco vintage store, called the golden hour, for window shopping. She hoped to begin curbside pickup on Friday, like other counties across the state.

However, San Francisco county clarified on Thursday that pick ups will not be allowed and non-essential businesses must remain closed.

“It’s a bummer that we can’t make those sales because every little sale really does help small business,” Mapes said. “Even if it’s just one thing a day or two things a day. That money is very much needed.”

But Mayor London Breed said as long as San Francisco continues making progress on reducing the spread of COVID-19, some businesses can reopen on May 18.

The first round of businesses that will be allowed to operate with storefront pickup as soon as May 18 include:

  • Bookstores
  • Florists
  • Music and record stores
  • Hobby, toy, and game stores
  • Home furnishings and home goods
  • Cosmetics and beauty supply
  • Arts supplies stores
  • Musical instrument and supplies stores
  • Sewing, needlework, and piece goods stores

The list was determined in collaboration with business leaders, and based on state and local public health guidance and could be expanded over the coming weeks.

This after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced modified statewide guidelines that allow certain retailers to begin curbside pickup as soon as Friday.

“We have been hard at work to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely and responsibly. Giving businesses the option to reopen and provide storefront pickup will provide some relief for everyone in our city—allowing some people to get back to work, while still protecting public health,” Mayor Breed said. “The last thing we want is to see a spike in the number of cases or hospitalizations, so we’re going to be keeping close track of our key COVID-19 indicators and will be ready to make any adjustment needed to keep our community healthy.”

San Francisco city officials say they will release additional details on this phased businesses reopening next week.

Key requirements of the current health order remain in place, including the stay-at-home order except for essential needs and certain activities. Additionally, San Franciscans are required to continue to follow social distance requirements and wear face coverings when out.

“As we reopen, the focus has to be on doing so smartly. We’re all anxious to get back to work and restart our economy, but the right way to do this for now is in phases,” Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development said. “We can’t jeopardize all the sacrifices and progress San Francisco has made by rushing in too far, too fast. We want to reopen, and stay open.”

“San Franciscans have done a tremendous job to flatten the curve and protect community health. We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health,” Dr. Colfax said. “We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not erode the progress we have made together.”

The Department of Public Health (DPH) will be developing guidelines for businesses that are consistent with the statewide guidelines. DPH will continue to monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients.

As of Thursday, May 7, San Francisco reports more than 1,800 cases and 32 deaths due to COVID-19.

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