SF Remains in Red Reopening Tier, Move to Purple Tier Expected ‘Sometime Soon'

Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax urges residents to stay home for Thanksgiving as part of an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus

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As other California counties changed reopening tiers Tuesday, San Francisco remained in the red tier, but a move to the most restrictive purple tier is likely imminent, Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said.

"We are fast approaching the case count to be reassigned to the purple tier," Colfax said during a virtual news conference Tuesday afternoon. "We expect to be placed in that more restrictive purple tier sometime soon, perhaps later this week."

Tier reassignments from the state can happen any day of the week and multiple times a week.

If San Francisco moves back to the purple tier, it means indoor gyms, museums and places of worship would be forced to shut down, and the county would have to abide by the limited shelter-at-home order from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Other businesses such as retail stores would have to scale back on indoor capacity limits.

San Francisco, which had a total of 14,662 cases and 158 deaths as of Tuesday, was in the least restrictive yellow tier earlier this month.

As testing continues to ramp up, San Francisco's positivity rate has increased from 0.81% a month ago to 2.15% now, Colfax said.

Like other health officials, Colfax urged residents to stay at home for the Thanksgiving holiday. He also warned against using testing to determine whether or not to travel or visit people outside the household.

"A negative COVID test is simply not a ticket to freely socialize without precautions," he said. "A negative COVID test is not a ticket to mingle with extended family and friends outside your immediate household."

Colfax also encouraged residents to wear masks, adhere to physical distancing guidelines and practice good hygiene.

"We need everyone in San Francisco to recommit to protecting themselves, their loved ones and our community," he said.

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