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San Francisco Orders 10-Day Quarantine for Anyone Entering From Outside Region

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San Francisco on Thursday announced a mandatory 10-day quarantine for anyone coming into the city from outside nine counties in the greater Bay Area region. The new public health order applies to returning residents, visitors, workers and people moving to San Francisco.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18, and will remain in place until Jan. 4.

Those coming to San Francisco from the following counties are exempt from the quarantine:

  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Napa
  • Marin
  • Santa Cruz

City officials, however, strongly discouraged any nonessential travel, even within the 10-county region.

"Now is not the time to travel and risk being exposed or exposing others," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "We need to do the right thing to protect ourselves, our neighbors and our loved ones and make sure that we can celebrate together when this is over."

Those subject to the quarantine are required to remain at home "without physical interaction with others outside their household except in emergency or health care situations. They are not allowed to go to work, school, or any other venue outside their home for 10 days," the city said in a press release.

COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. The entire region will fall under the state's strict stay-at-home order, independent of San Francisco's travel quarantine, at midnight tonight due to a critical shortage of ICU beds.

"Imagine not having a hospital bed available for your mom, your dad, your grandmother or even your child or any other loved one," said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco's public health director, during Thursday's press conference announcing the quarantine. "Imagine them getting suboptimal care. Would you want that? I certainly wouldn’t want that."

More than 70% of San Francisco's regularly staffed ICU beds are now full, according to city data.

Those exempt from the policy include medical personnel, first responders and anyone on official government business or engaged in essential infrastructure work. People who are traveling because of medical appointments or court-ordered requirements are also exempt, as are travelers passing through San Francisco International Airport but not staying overnight in the city.

"Violation of or failure to comply with this order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both," the city stated in its press release. "San Francisco will continue its approach of first educating people about what is required under the health orders, but the City will take additional enforcement steps if the situation demands."

For more information see the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Travel Order Explained web page.

Jon Brooks

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