San Francisco public parks have implemented an ingenious way of keeping people at a socially responsible distance from one another while still enjoying the outdoor resources of the city. Social distancing circles now have been painted on the grass of local gathering spots that allow people to spend time with friends while staying six feet apart amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In new photos of Memorial Day Weekend, when the temperature climbed to the upper 70s and low 80s in the Bay Area, dozens of people can be seen sprawling out on the grass of the public parks. With the Bay Area largely having flattened its curve, allowing San Francisco to move further into Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening plan, people appear to be more willing to gather in groups, although many were spotted with their masks beneath their chins or altogether missing.
During a warm weekend earlier this month, police told the San Francisco Chronicle that 138 people at public parks were informally warned to socially distance and wear face coverings. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott told the paper at the time that officers had patrolled 25 parks, handing out face masks and reminding people to stay at least 6 feet apart from one another. People who were warned took the note well, he added, and came into compliance without a fuss. "Almost by and large, everyone who was warned informally came into compliance," Scott said. "We want to thank you for that ... because that is what makes this work."
As Memorial Day Weekend brought out more people looking to get their time outdoors, police were photographed patrolling and handing out masks. "We will continue to focus efforts on educating the public regarding the provisions of the COVID-19 Health Order through both social media and engagement," the SFPD wrote in a recent statement. "This weekend, SFPD officers will focus attention on parks and high-traffic areas in the city. We will also be directing our attention to areas with bars and restaurants in an effort to ensure compliance with requirements of the Public Health Order."
Sunday, the California Health and Human Services Agency tracking the spread of COVID-19 reported 17 new cases in San Francisco, bringing the total number to 2,367. The city's death toll remains at 40 people. For more information on the latest safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit the agency's website.