As the smoke has dramatically impacted our air quality and ability to enjoy the outdoors, I hope you and your families have been taking precautions and staying safe. While Covid-19 is still a threat, we are slowly and safely reopening more businesses and facilities throughout the City.
While I know that many people would like to see us open certain services faster, and I know that our small businesses are suffering, we also need to guard against the mistakes we have seen in other communities that have opened too quickly and have seen resulting case surges. We must continue to have our Health Officer guide our responses. Even as things open back up, please continue to wear a mask, stay socially distant and wash your hands.
In this newsletter you will find information about:
In March of this year, the City announced a moratorium on commercial evictions for small and medium sized businesses that are unable keep up with their rent because of the financial impacts of COVID-19. The moratorium prevents any small to medium-sized business from being evicted due to a loss of income related to lost revenue or other economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has provided security to thousands of our neighborhood small businesses.
Local governments do not normally have control over commercial leases because those rules are governed by state law, but Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order in March, which allowed local governments to put in place commercial eviction moratoriums. The Governor’s Executive Order is set to expire at the end of September, and if the protections are not extended, San Francisco will no longer have the ability to prevent commercial evictions.
We are still in the middle of this pandemic and our economy, and our small businesses continue to struggle. We know that without these critical protections, it will take us even longer for our economy to recover. We are hoping that the Governor will take action to allow our city to continue to provide eviction protections and much needed financial support beyond September 30.
Small Business Support: PPE
To support a safer reopening, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development is coordinating the distribution of free personal protective equipment for San Francisco’s small businesses. Small businesses that would like to request a 30-day supply of hand sanitizer, surgical masks, and face shields should coordinate with their nearest participating community-based organization. Program details and availability can be found online here.
Community Feedback for Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes SFMTA Virtual Community Meeting: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 5:30pm
As traffic congestion returns, the SFMTA is working to protect people who rely on transit from increased exposure to COVID-19 on slow or crowded buses. During the initial days of shelter-in-place without typical traffic delays, the 43 Masonic saw up to 25% reduced travel times and the 44 O’Shaughnessy experienced a 31% reduction. Installing temporary emergency transit lanes on segments of Presidio, Masonic, Laguna Honda, Woodside, O’Shaughnessy and Bosworth will help maintain these faster travel times by keeping buses out of traffic in bottleneck areas.
Physical distancing means that Muni buses can only carry one-third of their usual passenger load from pre-COVID-19 levels. Temporary emergency transit lanes allows SFMTA to provide more frequent Muni service with the same number of buses, reducing travel times and crowding for passengers along the entire route.
After SF Park & Recreation’s review of the request to provide more access to the amenities at the park in a safe manner, the playground will remain closed along with all of the City’s playgrounds because of the health orders connected to the COVID-19 health emergency, but they intend to remove fencing in other areas of the park to allow access to the picnic area, nature exploration area, outdoor restrooms and the field.
The Operations staff is preparing to resume maintenance of the restrooms and will work this week to re-configure the fencing at the site so that only the playground remains fenced to the public. If all goes well, we could see access restored sometime in the next two weeks.
Throughout September, we celebrate National Citizenship Month in order to recognize the importance of the naturalization process. Becoming a U.S. citizen opens the door to new opportunities for immigrants in our communities.
This year, it is more important than ever for those eligible to naturalize to submit their application as soon as they can. With increases to the citizenship application fee starting in October, it is crucial for those who need financial assistance to get the help they need now.
This Thursday, Sept. 17, the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative and San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs are hosting a free appointment-based online workshopin partnership with the San Francisco Public Library and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP. If you or anyone you know is eligible to attend, please help spread the word!
Virtual Office Hours This Saturday 10am-Noon
Do you have questions about our District? A topic you’d like to discuss? We’re holding Virtual Office Hours this Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10am to Noon. There are a few slots left, so sign up now for a time for us to talk. Email my Administrative Aide Traci Mysliwiec at email@example.com or call 415.554.6516 to reserve a time.
Have you filled out your Census yet? Deadline is Sept. 30
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will be providing a one-time bill credit to eligible CleanPowerSF customers in October. The bill relief program will offer credits of $50 for single-family homes, $3,000 for multi-family residential buildings and $750 for nonprofit or small commercial accounts—the equivalent of a whole month of savings.
The bill credit will be provided to customers who are enrolled in either the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) discount programs offered by the state. CARE and FERA can help CleanPowerSF customers save up to 35% on their electricity bills each month. Eligibility for these programs is based on current income and customers do not need to provide proof of income to apply.
CleanPowerSF customers that are currently enrolled or who sign-up for CARE or FERA by Sept. 30 will receive a bill credit in October.
National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, Sept. 22
The Women's Building will be participating in National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 22. From 10am to 6pm, they will be tabling outside their building at 3543 18th St. helping eligible voters register and providing additional resources. Bilingual (Spanish/English) staff and volunteers will be available.
Parnassus Campus Plan Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 29
Please join a discussion about community investments and benefits associated with the UCSF Parnassus Heights campus expansion.
Tuesday, September 29
5-5:30: Not familiar with the Comprehensive Plan for Parnassus Campus? Join us for an overview of the Plan contents
5:30-7pm: Share your ideas about community investments and benefits
The University of California San Francisco has developed the Comprehensive Plan for Parnassus Heights to replace and substantially expand medical, research, and academic facilities and housing on the campus, which is the original and largest of UCSF's campuses. To ensure that this expansion aligns with the City’s priorities for housing, open space, and transportation and knits into the surrounding neighborhood, UCSF and the City of San Francisco are developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). A Memorandum of Understanding outlines an agreement between two parties. This document will describe the specific investments and public benefits that UCSF and City commit to as part of the expansion. Public input on this MOU is important.
Please note this meeting is to discuss the MOU only, and not the Plan itself, or the Plan’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Latest Reopening Order Updates: Indoor Personal Services, Indoor Gyms & Fitness Centers, Lodging for Tourism
San Francisco posted additional guidance and requirements for lower-risk indoor and outdoor activities reopening on Monday. Each of the following additional activities pose a lower risk only if all published safety requirements are followed. Establishments are still strongly encouraged to continue providing services outdoors where they are allowed to do so.
The gradual reopening of businesses and activities will increase travel and interaction throughout the City, which means increasing community spread of the virus and an increase in cases. Public health officials will regularly assess the Key Public Health Indicators, particularly new positive case counts and hospitalizations to ensure San Francisco has the necessary resources available for those that are infected.
The following summary is only a partial list of activities reopening this week along with some key requirements to safely reopen. Businesses should review the detailed guidance to learn about specific health recommendations and requirements designed to protect personnel and customers, like face coverings, sanitation, physical distancing, and employee/customer health screenings.
Indoor Personal Services
Services include hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, massage (in a non-healthcare setting), estheticians, skin care, and cosmetology services, electrology, tattooing, piercing, and microblading. The additional guidance also allows indoor personal services in other situations where customers have contact with equipment but no contact with the provider, like tanning salons, but the equipment can be cleaned between customers to also make them lower risk.
Removal of face coverings for indoor personal services is not allowed under any circumstances.
Capacity Limits: The establishments must have all stations and other areas to be configured to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing between customers.
The number of customers allowed in a facility at any given moment is the amount that can safely maintain at least six feet of physical distance at all times.
Indoor Gyms & Fitness Centers
Gyms and fitness centers may open indoors for one-on-one personal training and self-directed exercise. Example fitness activities include weightlifting or solo basketball. Locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms, showers, indoor pools, and climbing walls must remain closed for the time being. Group cardio/aerobic fitness classes (such as spinning, kickboxing, etc.) are not permitted indoors at this time. Adequate ventilation and at least 12 feet of distance must be maintained at all times around those who are performing any physical activity that increases breathing rate or intensity (including weightlifting, treadmills, spin bikes, etc.). People must maintain at least six feet distance for stationary activities that do not increase breathing rate or intensity, such as stretching, gentle yoga or meditation.
Customers and personnel must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and wear face coverings at all times, including while using cardio equipment. All equipment must be disinfected before and after use.
Capacity Limits: Establishments may open only up to the lesser of 10% capacity or the number of people who can fit in a space while remaining at least six feet apart at all times and 12 feet apart from anyone who is performing an activity that increases breathing rate or intensity.
Children are not permitted inside indoor gyms and fitness centers.
Lodging Facilities for Tourism
Lodging facilities, including hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, inns and short-term rentals, are now open for tourist use. Rentals of one room in an occupied unit is not permitted at this time (e.g. all short-term rentals must be “whole home rentals”). Indoor personal services, open under applicable health directives, such as hair, nail salons, and massage may resume. Outdoor facilities, also permitted under applicable health directives, such as golf, fitness, outdoor tennis may resume.
Indoor fitness centers, indoor pools, and indoor dining facilities, ballrooms, conference rooms, business centers, lounge areas, and other indoor gathering places must remain closed at this time.
Capacity and Room Limitations: Lobbies and common areas based on the number of people able to fit in the space with required physical distancing (about 113 square feet per person). Lobbies and other common areas must be closed to people who are not personnel, guests or customers of businesses who need access to the area.
Guests should be encouraged to limit their room occupancy to those in the same household. Visitors to rooms are not allowed.
Guests must not be in the room during cleaning, and before housekeeping personnel begin cleaning the room it must be allowed to air out for at least 15 minutes by turning ventilation on and opening doors and any operable windows.
The City recently issued an order to allow “Essential Visits” at our Skilled Nursing Facilities. These visits include end-of-life visits, visits that are necessary for clinical purposes, and visits with lawyers or others where an in-person visit is necessary for legal purposes.
Basic safety practices are required to protect visitors, residents, and staff, including use of face coverings, employee screening and best practices regarding social distancing.
This new order also adds a category of visits called “Allowed Visits,” which includes Facility Window Visits, Vehicle Visits, and Outdoor Visits. Each facility should allow at least one additional type of Allowed Visit consistent with what can be done safely, and the facility has broad leeway to control timing, scheduling, duration, and other aspects of such visits.
The new order imposes restrictions on the different types of visits, including among others:
Screening of all visitors, and temperature checks for outdoor visits;
Maintenance of physical distance;
Use of a face covering by visitors and, when possible, by residents;
No exchange or sharing of gifts or other shared items during the visit (but a facility call allow gifts through other means);
A limit on visit duration of 1 hour, which can be reduced by the facility to ensure safety and fairness to all residents;
Maximum of 4 people from the same household or 2 people when visitors are from different households (1 per), subject to reduction of these numbers as deemed necessary by the facility;
Allowance for visits by children if the facility deems it appropriate;
Supervision of all visits for compliance/safety;
Provision of a telephone for visits that occur through a closed window to facilitate communication;
Cleaning of surfaces;
A prohibition on singing, breath-operated musical instruments, and shouting; and
Other restrictions based on the specific type of visit.
The Order also imposes restrictions and prerequisites on Allowed Visits such as when a facility has an active outbreak, and residents with an active SARS-CoV-2 infection are not allowed visitors (unless as an Essential Visit).
The Order continues to discourage off-site travel by residents, and for Laguna Honda Hospital, where a separate protective quarantine order prohibits residents from leaving the campus except for limited/healthcare reasons.
Board of Supervisors | District 7 | Norman Yee
1 Dr. Calrton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-6516 |Fax: (415) 554-6546