San Francisco

SF Moves Into Red Tier as Experts Urge Caution

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A third vaccine has been approved for use against the coronavirus as infection rates continue to fall in the Bay Area and pandemic restrictions continue to ease.

But infectious disease experts warn that there's still plenty to be concerned about.

On Saturday night, a string quartet played in San Francisco's Marina neighborhood.

It's a welcomed performance Alfresco as people begin to breathe a sigh of relief.

"Everything's opening back up and it's just beautiful weather. I'm very happy to be out and about,” said San Francisco resident Rebeka Horvat.

A feeling of optimism for some, but not everyone is so at ease.

"It's nice to see restrictions slowly being lifted. But at the same time, there's other variants that are threatening us and I don't want people to get overly excited,” said Gia McKinzie of San Francisco. "That guarded optimism echoes what public health experts are trying to encourage the public to keep in mind.”

Dr. Ted O'Connell of UCSF and Kaiser Permanente said that in the last year, the region has survived two deadly spikes in infections. They're hoping to avoid a third.  

"The Novel Coronavirus, we're not done with that yet. And it's only a small percentage of Californians, small percentage of Americans and of the world that so far have been vaccinated," he said.

That means widespread immunity still hasn't been reached.

In Walnut Creek, the sunny afternoon was perfect for strolling but there were quite a few people who decided to hit the streets without their masks, something still required there in public.   

Business owners like Arash Ghasemi are hoping people continue being safe so conditions can improve.

"I think we still have to be careful with things that we do,” Ghasemi said. “Personally, I don't think this is over yet. But there is some light in the tunnel."

For some people like Walnut Creek resident Lori Edwards, that light of hope has arrived. Edwards is a nurse and has been vaccinated, and so have some of her loved ones.  

"My parents are in their 80s, they live here in Walnut Creek also,” she said. “To be able to interact again, they've been vaccinated. So yeah, I think it's time."  

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