Washington—After two residents of San Francisco contracted the coronavirus likely through community spread, Mayor London Breed announced recommendations to help reduce the spread of the virus. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced her support for these public health recommendations.
“I strongly support Mayor Breed and the city agencies that announced these recommendations to the public,” Senator Feinstein said. “More and more communities across the country and putting in place similar recommendations that are based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our first responsibility must be to keep the public safe, and these steps will help us reach that goal.”
Following are the public health recommendations announced by San Francisco on March 6:
1. Vulnerable Populations: Limit Outings
- Vulnerable populations include people who are:
- 60 years old and older.
- People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems.
- For vulnerable populations, don’t go to gatherings (of about 50 people or more) unless it is essential. If you can telecommute, you should. Avoid people who are sick.
2. Workplace and Businesses: Minimize Exposure
- Suspend nonessential employee travel.
- Minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences.
- Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.
- Do not require a doctor’s note for employees who are sick.
- Consider use of telecommuting options.
- Some people need to be at work to provide essential services of great benefit to the community. They can take steps in their workplace to minimize risk.
3. Large Gatherings: Cancel Non-essential Events
- Recommend cancelling or postponing large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, conventions or large community events.
- Do not attend any events or gatherings if sick.
- For events that aren’t cancelled, we recommend:
- Having hand washing capabilities, hand sanitizers and tissues available.
- Frequently cleaning high touch surface areas like counter tops and hand rails.
- Finding ways to create physical space to minimize close contact as much as possible.
4. Schools: Safety First
- If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at a school, DPH will work with the school and the district to determine the best measures including potential school closure.
- Do not go to school if sick.
- If you have a child with chronic health conditions, consult your doctor about school attendance.
- Equip all schools and classrooms with hand sanitizers and tissues.
- Recommend rescheduling or cancelling medium to large events that are not essential.
- Explore remote teaching and online options to continue learning.
- Schools should develop a plan for citywide school closures, and families should prepare for potential closures.
5. Transit: Cleaning and Protection
- Increase cleaning of vehicles and high touch surface areas.
- Provide hand washing/hand sanitizers and tissues in stations and on vehicles.
6. Health Care Settings: Avoid as possible, protect the vulnerable
- Long term care facilities must have a COVID-19 plan in accordance with DPH guidelines.
- Long term care facilities must screen all staff and visitors for illness and turn away those with symptoms.
- The general public should avoid going to medical settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, even if you are not ill.
- If you are ill, call your health care provider ahead of time, and you may be able to be served by phone.
- Do not visit emergency rooms unless it is essential.
7. Everyone: Do your part
- The best way for all San Franciscans to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak. Preparedness actions include:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer.
- Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a care giver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage a school closure.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.