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(18 May 2020) The first major city in the US to issue a shelter in place order due to the coronavirus is slowly starting to reopen.
Retail stores in San Francisco were permitted to partially reopen Monday.
Stores that sell clothing, records, furniture and other items deemed “non-essential” are now allowed to offer curbside pickup, similar to what essential restaurants have been allowed to do since the shutdown began in the city more than two months ago.
In order to reopen, stores must have clear access to a sidewalk or parking lot where customers can remain outside.
No more than ten employees can be inside a business at a time and everyone is required to wear a mask.
Isso Clothing in the city’s Mission District reopened for customers to pick up online orders in person.
The owners of the boutique clothing store say they’ve been able to stay in business by pivoting to making masks.
While they’re appreciative that they’re able to reopen, the owners say their business won’t get back to normal until customers are allowed inside to check out and try on their locally made clothing.
Messenger bag maker Timbuk2 also reopened Monday for curbside pickup at their stores in the city, although a spokesperson said it’s unclear how much more business they’ll get from in-person purchases since customers could already order their products online and have them delivered.
Moving into “phase two” of the state’s reopening plans, San Francisco’s manufacturing plants and warehouses are also now allowed to reopen.
About half of Heath Ceramic’s 200 employees were furloughed two months ago,
Many of those workers were brought back to the factory for the first time Monday to once again make the company’s ceramic kitchenware and architectural tile.
The owners decided not to reopen the factory’s public showroom and retail store yet as they said they wanted to get the factory back up and running first to fulfill its nationwide online orders.
It may still be weeks before other non-essential businesses that require closer contact, like barber shops and nail salons, will be allowed to reopen in San Francisco.
The retail activity in San Francisco comes as California moves to relax some of its reopening criteria amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The criteria announced Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom applies to counties that want to reopen faster than the state. While retail may open for curbside pickup statewide, restrictions on dining in at restaurants and other services are still in place statewide.
Newsom estimated 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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