Amid the concern over the rapid spread of coronavirus, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has declared a state of emergency for the city.
The decision was announced during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020. Although there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in San Francisco, Mayor Breed believes the declaration will help the city prepare to keep residents safe if the virus does spread here.
"To be clear, this declaration of emergency is all about preparedness. By declaring a state of emergency we are prioritizing the safety of our communities by being prepared," explained Breed in a quote obtained by SF Chronicle.
The city's Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax was also present to speak about the state of emergency and how it will help them prepare.
"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."
City Assessor Carmen Chu made sure to mention the potential of xenophobia and discrimination associated to people's panic over the virus.
"I think we see many of our restaurants, not only in Chinatown, but across our neighborhoods, that are sitting empty...We want to share a message of making sure that we don't let this disease turn us into racists. This is about contracting a virus because someone traveled," said Chu.
"There is no recommendation to cancel social gatherings at this time, and we should continue to support the neighborhoods we love, like Chinatown," added Mayor Breed.
According to CNN, "The Mayor's declaration is effective immediately for seven days, though the board of supervisors will vote on its continuation March 3."
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