Local Emergency Declared in San Francisco Over Coronavirus


Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle

London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco.

The mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, declared a local emergency in the city on Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak, although there haven’t been any confirmed cases among the city’s residents.

“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement. “We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”

By declaring the state of local emergency, it will make it easier to mobilize city resources, accelerate emergency planning, streamline staffing, coordinate agencies across the city, and allow for future state and federal reimbursement.

It also allows the county to put more medical personnel on call around the clock, including nurses and case managers, said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

“It allows us to look at things like shelters and other opportunities for us to expand in the event that that’s necessary and do a broader assessment of the city’s capacity to respond in the event that there is an outbreak of coronavirus in San Francisco,” Colfax said.

This declaration takes effect immediately for the next week and will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors on March 3.