Jan. 28 (UPI) -- San Francisco will allow outdoor dining and some businesses to reopen Thursday -- a major step for a city that has largely been proactive in taking steps to tamp down on the spread of COVID-19.
Restaurants and businesses in the city were allowed to reopen when California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, lifted stay-home orders this week after months of surging -- and then slowing -- coronavirus cases.
The new rules also allow outdoor museums and zoos and outdoor entertainment centers, like skate parks and golf courses, to reopen. One-on-one indoor fitness and indoor funerals for as many as 12 people can also resume activity and San Francisco hotels can resume tourism operations.
Newsom and the California Department of Public Health suspended the stay-home orders after key factors, like projected ICU patients and cases per 100,000 residents, reached lower levels. The daily case average has fallen in San Francisco from 372 to 261, officials said.
San Francisco, however, will continue a 10 p.m. curfew and a mandate for 10-day quarantines for travelers arriving in the Bay Area from outside the region.
The city, though, remains in the state's highest risk level, leaving Mayor London Breed to urge residents to remain cautious.
"The good news is we are in a better place than we have been in a long time, but there's still work to be done," she said. "It still means we have to wear a mask and we have to socially distance ourselves from one another.
"We have to use common sense and just accept that we're going to be living with this for some time."
Breed added that further changes will depend on driving down the daily figures and averages.
"The better our numbers get, the more we will be able to open -- the more we will be able where we can get to see one another in person again," she said.
"It still means that we have to wear masks and we have to socially distance ourselves from one another. We have to just use common sense and continue to just accept that we're going to be living with this for some time."
Newsom added that the state expects key metrics to improve in the coming weeks.
"With a significant decline in the case rates, positivity rates, we are anticipating a decline, still more decline in hospitalizations and more declines in [intensive care units]," he said. "That's why we are lifting that stay-at-home order effectively immediately."