In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday issued a declaration to expedite the hiring of more healthcare workers.
The city will fill 100 nursing vacancies through invitation-only hiring events, with a focus on emergency and intensive care unit nurses, according to the declaration. New nurses could be hired on-the-spot instead of going through the normal six-month long hiring process.
"Healthcare workers are courageously on the frontlines keeping our community safe and healthy every day," Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco Department of Public Health deputy health doctor, said during a news conference along with Mayor Breed late Tuesday.
“Today's action will allow us to bring on more nurses quickly to be prepared to meet the demands of the response and to augment and support the workforce that is already there in place working hard every day, often overtime, extra days in order to staff our hospitals and clinics," Philip said.
In response to the first day of the three-week stay-at-home order, which took effect Tuesday for San Francisco and several other Bay Area counties, San Francisco Police Department Police Chief Bill Scott said officers began doing bar and restaurant checks at midnight.
"I'm happy to report we had no issues last night. I can't guarantee that we checked every bar in the city but we checked every bar that we could and every restaurant that we could, and I'm very pleased to say that by and large San Francisco is adhering to this order," he said.
Scott reminded residents that non-compliance with the order could result in a misdemeanor, if enforced.
"As a last resort, we will be prepared to enforce," he said.
Mayor Breed thanked residents for following the shelter-in-place order as the number of confirmed citywide cases rose to 43 on Tuesday, however, she also cautioned citizens to be prepared for changing circumstances.
"We should prepare for the fact that kids may not be able to go back to school and finish up the school year, and what are the alternatives?" she said. "This is significant and we want people to understand the severity."
Mayor Breed also clarified that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency would waive tickets issued Tuesday related to street sweeping and stop issuing them for the time being. But she asked residents who are able to move their cars to do so.
"It helps us to continue to keep the streets clean as much as we possibly can," she said.
Breed added that the Department of Public Health would allow for marijuana dispensaries and delivery services to remain open during the order, as they will be classified as essential businesses.
Additionally, earlier in the day, Breed announced the city would place a moratorium on commercial evictions for small and medium-size businesses unable to pay rent as a result of being impacted by the virus.
For more updates from the city, residents can visit www.sfdph.org, call 311, or sign up for the city's text alert service by texting COVID19SF to 888-777.