San Francisco declares coronavirus state of emergency as fear of COVID-19 grows
San Francisco Chinatown gateway arch, photo by chensiyuan.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed made an emergency declaration to help the city prepare for COVID-19 coronavirus.

“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.”

Dr. Tomas Aragon, San Francisco Health Officer, explained the thinking behind the declaration.

“Given the high volume of travel between San Francisco and mainland China, there is a growing likelihood that we will see cases of COVID-19 eventually,” Aragon said. “Most people who are in self-quarantine at home are eager to cooperate and understand the importance of these actions. We are prioritizing children, people who live in congregate settings and vulnerable populations as we plan to reduce the potential for harm from the virus in the community. We have been working closely with the Chinese community, who are so impacted by this situation, and also at risk for stigma and discrimination.”