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Coronavirus Update: Reopening San Francisco Bay Area Becomes A Numbers Game

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF)-- For weeks, data has been the mantra of state, county and city leadership trying to explain when California can move in to Phases 2 and 3 of coronavirus response.

"That's what guided us into this stay at home order - data, evidence," Gov. Gavin Newsom said during his daily news conference Monday.

The five key benchmarks that must be met are number of cases, number of hospitalizations, testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment.

The problem areas in the Bay Area are the last three.

In that respect, San Francisco is leading the charges with 164 tests per 200,000. The lowest testing rate is Alameda County is 28 tests per 200,000.

The next problem is PPE -- no Bay Area county has a 30 day supply of masks, gloves, gowns and face shields on hand for healthcare workers.

The final hurdle is contact tracers - people who figure out and track folks who COVID-positive patients may have been in contact with and isolate and quarantine them.

"We know that the more people are in contact with the public, the more we know people can contract the virus," said San Francisco mayor London Breed.

The State of California has an online course to certify people as contact tracers. That is followed by hiring processes for various cities and counties. San Francisco already has more than 100 contact tracers ready to go. Santa Clara County authorities say they'll need more than 1000.

"We will continue to build our public health reporting and monitoring systems — and contract tracing," said Doctor Grant Colfax of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.


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