City announces new reopening timeline for schools, hair salons, gyms, other businesses

Photos: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on September 02, 2020.

Following a false start in late June, Mayor London Breed announced a new reopening timeline for additional businesses including schools, hair salons and gyms on Tuesday.

But, Breed warned, "Just because this happens doesn't mean that we, unfortunately, can't pull things back if we see a surge."

In-classroom learning is expected to return in mid-September for kindergarten and elementary school kids up to the sixth grade, starting with the youngest. According to the current reopening timeline, by October middle schools can follow, and high schools would come next in November.

Mid-September is also expected to see the return of indoor museums, zoos and aquariums, with limited capacity and an approved health and safety plan. Then, churches and other places of worship will be able to allow one person at a time for individual prayer indoors, with up to 50 people at outdoor services. By the end of the month, it's expected that services with 25% of the regular capacity can be held indoors, up to 25 people.

"We know our communities and businesses are anxious to get back to work and start doing some regular activities," Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement. "Our reopening pace will be informed by our ability to manage the risk of more activity that may result in more cases and hospitalizations."

As of Wednesday, San Francisco has seen 9,617 reported positive cases of COVID-19, while 84 people have died from the virus. 

While hair salons and barbershops, alongside nail salons, were allowed to open for outdoor business on Tuesday, by the end of September they can also offer those services indoors at a limited capacity.

One-on-one personal training and indoor use for gyms for one person are also expected to return at that time. Outdoor gyms and fitness centers can open starting next Wednesday.

Gym and hair salon owners, among other small business owners, recently protested at the steps of City Hall. "September marks six months of closure for our little shop in Hayes Valley," Church Barber wrote on Instagram, adding that "our livelihoods are at stake."

Plum Organic Beauty, located in NoPa, wrote on Instagram that operating outdoors at limited capacity isn't enough, noting that it brings additional challenges including the air quality, the fog and the cold San Francisco summer. 

Breed said in a statement that the city remains "committed to making decisions based on data and our local conditions with COVID-19, and our next steps take a balanced and thoughtful approach to reopening."

Here is the full reopening timeline:

Outdoor activities – September 1

  • Outdoor hair salons and barbershops
  • Outdoor personal services
  • Outdoor massage
  • Outdoor pools (lap swimming, wading), with limited capacity
  • Outdoor non-contact recreational activities
  • Indoor malls (no food courts, gathering areas) at 25% capacity
  • Childcare and out-of-school programs, with limitations
  • Higher and adult education, with limitations
  • Indoor funerals (up to 12 people)
  • Outdoor gym and fitness centers (September 9)

Goal: Mid-September

  • Outdoor tour buses and boats, with limited capacity
  • Outdoor movies, with limited capacity
  • Outdoor family entertainment, with limited capacity
  • Hotels and lodging (not hotel fitness centers), with limited capacity
  • In-classroom learning: TK-6 grade on rolling basis with approved health and safety plan
  • Indoor museums, zoos, aquariums, with limited capacity and an approved health and safety plan
  • Places of worship (allows one person at a time for individual prayer indoors; 50 people outdoors)
  • Small special gatherings, for example election campaigns, with limited capacity (1 person indoors, 12 people outdoors)

Goal: End of September

  • Indoor hair salons and barber shops, with limited capacity
  • Indoor personal services, with limited capacity
  • Indoor one-on-one personal training, with limited capacity
  • Indoor solo use of gyms and fitness centers, with limited capacity
  • Places of worship, with limited capacity (25% of capacity indoors, up to 25 people; 50 people outdoors)

Goal: October

  • Middle schools, in-person learning, on rolling basis with an approved health and safety plan

Goal: November

  • High schools, in-person learning, on rolling basis with an approved health and safety plan

In her remarks today, Breed also reminded city residents to continue to wear a mask, keep distance from others, and wash hands regularly to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

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