U.S. San Francisco moves to Purple Tier in COVID-19 classification

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Amid the surge of COVID-19 cases, the U.S. state of California on Saturday moved San Francisco to the most restrictive Purple Tier in its pandemic classification, forcing most indoor activities to close by noon Sunday and placing the city under curfew starting Monday night.

San Francisco thus joined six Bay Area counties that were already in the Purple Tier. The retreat requires the city to halt indoor dining and shut down indoor operations such as museums, movie theaters, gyms and places of worship, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to require people to stay at home except for essential activities. Most other Bay Area counties are already subject to the curfew, the report said.

"This is about protecting ourselves, our families, and our community, and getting us to a better place so we can get people back to work and support our small businesses," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

San Francisco has reported an average of 130 new cases a day this week, compared to 73 per day in the first week of November, the city's public health officials said.

"The data are clear, the current surge of COVID-19 cases is more aggressive and widespread than we have previously experienced," Grant Colfax, the city's director of health, said in a statement.

"We must take decisive action now - as a city and as individuals - to stay ahead of this virus," he added.

The state assigned San Francisco from the least restrictive Yellow Tier, where virus transmission is minimal, to the more restrictive Red Tier, where virus transmission is substantial on Nov. 16.

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