SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — During an online conversation with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, county health officer Dr. Tomas Aragon clarified why face coverings are becoming mandatory in San Francisco.

“From the science emerging and mathematical models, if 80 percent wear mask consistently we can prevent outbreaks,” Dr. Aragon said. “That is humongous.”

Aragon said the face covering requirement will likely be in place until there’s a vaccine, but there will be an added benefit, connecting with people outside those who live in the home

“The health department is going to design new strategies to bring people and households together,” Aragon said.

Aragon also made it clear those sitting in the park don’t have to have it on, but who will pass others while running or hiking do.

“When there is no one around you don’t have to have it on, but when running by a family, put it on that’s the 30-foot rule and when you pass them and no one else around pull it down,” he said.

During the conversation the mayor made it clear she finds San Francisco’s reopening timeline too conservative, but the health officer said it’s all about safety.

“Already two counties, Sonoma and Lassen they felt they moved too fast, Sonoma is slowing down and Lassen pulled back from one of their reopening,” Aragon said. “So, we have to make sure we enough time to make sure we don’t get into trouble check the numbers and then move forward.”

The health officer was asked if the numbers go down substantially can the timeline be sped up.

He said they will be monitoring the numbers as the move through the stages and if it can be done safely they will.

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