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New Year’s Eve Partying Could Be ‘Catastrophic,’ Officials Say

Also: The problems with shuttered parklets, and more news to know today

New Year celebrations in San Francisco
San Francisco has canceled its traditional New Year’s fireworks display in hopes that revelers will remain at home
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • “I can’t emphasize enough how catastrophic it would be if people celebrate in ways that we normally do for New Year’s Eve,” San Francisco Department of Public Health director Dr. Grant Colfax said at a media event Tuesday. “If we see a surge like we did from Thanksgiving, we will see thousands more people in the hospital, hundreds more people dying,” he said. “We simply cannot afford to have people to gather. There is more virus out there than ever before.” According to Colfax, “this surge is still our biggest yet and we cannot afford to have a Christmas or New Year’s surge on top of the surge we are already experiencing. That would be catastrophic. We simply can’t let it get worse.” He urged residents not to attend group dinners or underground nightclub events, saying “It’s one New Year’s Eve, I know it’s been a hard year but the vaccine is on the way. We need to gather by Zoom, by phone, whatever social media we use to gather with those outside our immediate household. But please do not celebrate in ways that have been done in the past.”
  • The regional stay-at-home order for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley has been extended “indefinitely,” state officials announced Tuesday. [ABC 7]
  • The Castro’s historic Twin Peaks Tavern has launched a new crowdfunding campaign as “the cost of remaining closed is taking a strenuous toll, and without an immediate infusion of funds, our doors will close for good.” [SFist]
  • East Bay bar the Ivy Room says its “in a good place” after it got a grant from A Bridge for Music Venues. [Bay Area News Group]
  • San Francisco has provided little guidance on how businesses should deal with their shuttered shared spaces platforms (aka parklets), which businesses pay to insure and must clean and maintain without city assistance. [SF Examiner]
  • Danville restaurant Incontro remains open despite health orders, and the city’s police chief says that its owners “are good people, they’re trying to do good things.” [KPIX]