San Francisco ordered a mandatory travel quarantine Thursday that requires people arriving in the city from outside the Bay Area to stay home and away from others for 10 days.
The order applies to anyone “traveling, moving or returning to San Francisco” from outside the Bay Area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties. It takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday and will remain in place until Jan. 4.
“This virus spreads through human interaction and social gatherings, including through people with no symptoms. We need to take steps now to control the spread of the virus and save lives,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, in a statement. “Quarantining people who have traveled and been in contact with others is one way to help manage the spread of COVID-19.”
People traveling into San Francisco for certain critical jobs, including health care, are exempt from the order. In addition to the quarantine requirement, the order also strongly discourages any non-essential travel, including within the 10-county Bay Area.
People who travel into San Francisco must stay home and not interact with anyone outside their household, except for emergency or health care situations. They cannot go to work, school or any other venue.
The order comes the day after intensive care capacity dropped below 15% for the Bay Area and the entire region was forced under a state stay-at-home mandate. San Francisco has reported on average 280 coronavirus cases a day this week, including a record-high 335 cases on Wednesday.
About 150 people are hospitalized in the city with COVID-19, including 42 patients in intensive care — more than at any other time in the pandemic.
Santa Clara County issued a similar travel order three weeks ago, requiring anyone traveling into the county from a location more than 150 miles away to quarantine. Other California counties have issued travel advisories recommending people quarantine but not requiring it.
“COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Hospitals in the Bay Area are close to being overwhelmed,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed in a statement. “Now is not the time to travel and risk being exposed or exposing others. 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.”
For more information about the San Francisco travel order, go to http://www.sfcdcp.org/travel.