SAN FRANCISCO—At a press conference on August 20, San Francisco’s director of health advises people to stay at home due to extremely unhealthy air quality, which also includes avoiding outdoor dining. 

A statement from the Environmental Protection Agency states: 

“The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure to particle pollution is even linked to premature death.”

While COVID-19 can be avoided as best as possible with the preventative measures that are in place, the smoke cannot be avoided at the moment. That is why officials have said the best thing that people in the Bay Area can do to protect themselves is to stay at home, as it offers protection from both the coronavirus, and temporary protection from dangerous pollutants while the smoke lingers in the air.

At a press conference on August 20, Dr. Grant Colfax said that the air quality is so severe “that everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects and members of more groups may experience more serious effects.”

The City of San Francisco posted an update via Twitter on August 20, stating:

“SF Air Quality is Yellow (Moderate). People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. These are signs to take it easier.”