As COVID restrictions ease, gatherings must be avoided

By: David J. Canepa San Mateo County District 5 Supervisor, dcanepa@smcgov.org, 650-363-4572

San Mateo County is currently in the “purple” zone according to the state’s new COVID-19 guidelines for reopening the economy, which is excellent news for many San Mateo County retailers who have suffered great losses during this pandemic. Barbers and hair salons are now open as well as businesses located at the Serramonte Shopping Center in Daly City, for instance.
The county’s health officer, Dr. Scott Morrow, has said repeatedly he does not believe the virus is spreading largely because of restaurants, gyms or nail salons. He, instead, has pointed out private gatherings as a likely contributor to the surge in cases. The spread of the infection, he says, is often related to fairly small gatherings of family and friends.
COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, this has become clear as cases continue to climb. So far, 8,895 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in San Mateo County and 136 people have died. This is why it is imperative to continue to wear our masks in high-risk settings, wash our hands, maintain physical distancing and perhaps most importantly, avoid large gatherings.
As Dr. Morrow has previously said: “Please note, your seemingly innocuous get togethers are driving the spread and are a major reason why you can’t go to a restaurant, why you can’t go to the gym, why you can’t go get your hair cut, why kids can’t go to school. Until, or unless more people get this fact, we will continue to be stuck in the situation we are in.”
In other news, On Tuesday, Sept. 1, I had the pleasure of distributing free face masks to workers in essential businesses in both Colma and Daly City. As we know, science confirms that wearing a face mask is one of the best ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.
During the giveaway, I was able to chat with many workers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. These are individuals who understand that if we want to reopen the economy, we must double down on our core behaviors of wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Together, we can beat this.
David J. Canepa serves on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors representing Brisbane.