San Francisco Mayor London Breed. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

San Francisco and four other Bay Area counties decided not to wait for a new state lockdown and on Friday announced their own to slow the COVID-19 surge.

Mayor London Breed said she was unwilling to wait for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new mandate to take effect in the Bay Area, adding: “If you’re not working to stay ahead of this virus you’re falling far, far behind and very quickly.”

The lockdown includes the city and county of San Francisco as well as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Santa Clara counties.

Newsom announced Thursday that new regional stay-at-home orders would be enacted if ICU-bed capacity falls below 15% in a region of the state. Newsom said the order could come for Southern California in the next day or two, but that the Bay Area was in better shape.

“It’s sort of like waiting to put the brakes on when you’re about to go over the cliff,” Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith told the Mercury News. “If you’re going to get the public health benefit, you have to do it now.”

Starting at 10 p.m. this Sunday, the five counties will close all outdoor dining, outdoor playgrounds, zoos and aquariums along with limiting occupancy in stores.

“Low-contact retail such as pet grooming, electronics or shoe repair services, may only operate in a curbside drop-off context,” according to a statement from San Francisco. “All other retail, including grocery stores must reduce capacity to 20%.”

On Wednesday, California reported 18,591 new cases of coronavirus and 113 more deaths. Nearly 9,000 are hospitalized across the state, with over 2,000 in ICU beds.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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