Health Officials Concerned With Crowds at SF's Dolores Park

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Six months into the COVID-19 shutdowns, some people are letting their guard down and it's raising concerns.

A UCSF infectious disease doctor says the crowd at Dolores Park this past weekend looked like a big pre-COVID picnic.

Doctor Peter Chin-Hong says many people were in the social distancing circles but they weren't wearing masks and while being outside is considered a low risk activity, hanging out around a lot of people with no mask for a long period of time increases the risk.

"What happens in the park is you're there for a while having a good time, so what is a low probability event when multiplied by effect of time becomes higher than it would be," he said. 

Some park regulars say they avoid peak time because of crowds and little mask use.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department tweeted a reminder Monday saying parks are too important to close. To keep them, we need all park goers to keep their masks on.

The department says it has handed out 14,000 masks since May and educated thousands more about taking precautions.

Dr. Chin-Hong says he doesn't think popular gathering spots should be closed but limiting during peak times could make things safer.

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