Indoor mask mandates resume / Local corn dog wins high praise

It's Monday, August 2.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

One step forward, two steps back? 

On Monday, our storied cable cars began running again after 15 months in hibernation. Riders can hop back on for free in August before they return to their full schedule (and full price) in September. 

“Our cable cars are part of what makes San Francisco a world-class destination,” Mayor London Breed said on Monday. “And their return is just the latest sign that our city is bouncing back.” 

SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin called the cable car’s return a “symbol of resilience.”

But on the same day, San Francisco, along with seven other Bay Area counties, updated its masking policy to require that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings while indoors. 

“Indoor masking is a temporary measure that will help us deal with the Delta variant, which is causing a sharp increase in cases,” San Francisco Acting Health Officer Dr. Naveena Bobba said on Monday. “When we all wear face coverings indoors, we are protecting our fellow residents and helping our healthcare workers.”

The San Francisco Department of Public Health had lifted its indoor mask mandates for vaccinated residents on June 15. Then a month later, as new case numbers began increasing, it started recommending masks be worn inside. Now, we are back to a full-on requirement. 

It’s all pretty demoralizing, and not just because we have to dust off those ole’ masks. The rise in cases brings into question all sorts of things again, like travel and weddings and a return to work and a return to school. (Just writing that last sentence bummed me out!) 

For now, I guess all we can do is be safe and, if we can, get vaccinated. Oh, and stay positive. We should do that as well!

And with that… onto some news… 

San Franciscans between 25 and 39 years old, who make up 33% of the city’s population, accounted for nearly 50% of new Covid cases in July. That’s up from 35% of new cases in May. 

“It’s a perfect storm,” UCSF infectious disease professor Dr. Peter Chin-Hong told the Chronicle, regarding the age group’s tendency to be social and the Delta variant's contagiousness. The professor also pointed to the group’s relatively low vaccination rate, which lags behind all other age ranges in San Francisco (when considering residents between 25 and 34 years old). 

Quick bits: 

  • 😔 Heath Caceres, the principal of New Traditions Elementary School in NOPA, died on Thursday after suffering a head injury while camping near Modesto. A GoFundMe page was set up over the weekend to support Caceres’ wife and four daughters. (Chronicle

  • 🚈 Starting today, BART is back to running its late-night trains from 9 pm to midnight, Monday through Saturday. (SFist

  • 🌭 48 Hills food correspondent Adrian Spinelli had high praise for the new food menu at Magnolia’s Dogpatch location, especially the $7 “Chaat Corn Dog,” which he said was “about as can’t miss of an SF bar snack as I’ve had in the past year.” (48 Hills

And finally… 

The Examiner had a good profile on local filmmaker Eric Goodfield, who spent 140 days during the pandemic capturing video footage across San Francisco. The project, called “San Francisco Covid Days: sights and sounds of the pandemic,” isn’t yet completed, but snippets can be found on Goodfield’s website (and above).

“The City sounded different,” Goodfield told the Examiner. “The background sound, the hum of The City, eventually falls away without its occupants and just a few cars.”

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all. 

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Thanks again, everyone! See you tomorrow. -Nick B. 

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