Just two days after Santa Clara County issued a ban on all mass gatherings over 1,000 people due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, San Francisco followed suit.
Mayor London Breed issued the following statement Wednesday, banning such gatherings for the next two weeks.
“We know that this Order is disruptive, but it is an important step to support public health,” said Mayor Breed. “We’re following the recommendations of public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This order mirrors actions being taken by other local governments and is informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. We know cancelling these events is a challenge for everyone and we’ve been talking with venues and event organizers about the need to protect public health. Today I spoke with the Warriors to discuss the steps we’re taking to cancel large events and they are in support of our efforts.”
“Today’s action is going to help us fight the new coronavirus together. The virus needs people to spread. It jumps from person to person, so by reducing the opportunity for that to happen, we can effectively slow the spread,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health. “Our chief concern is for vulnerable populations who are most at risk of getting very sick, or dying, if they get COVID-19. That is why we are recommending that people over 60, or with certain underlying health conditions, stay home as much as possible. For the general public, reducing the opportunity for exposure to the virus is the top priority, and by cancelling events, we are improving the odds. We encourage all San Franciscans to cut back on the time you spend in groups and wash your hands consistently.”
The Warriors and Giants, who both hold their home games in downtown San Francisco, responded Wednesday. The Warriors will play Thursday's home game at Chase Center against the Brooklyn Nets without fans, the team confirmed in a tweet. The Giants canceled their March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland A's at Oracle Park.
After Thursday, the Warriors leave on a five-game road trip through Milwaukee, Toronto, Indiana, Detroit and New York. They return to Chase Center on March 25 to play the Atlanta Hawks, which would fall in this two-week window. This is followed by three more home games on March 28, March 29 and March 31 before hitting the road again.
The Giants currently remain in Scottsdale, Ariz. for spring training. They begin their regular season on March 26 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Their home opener is scheduled for April 3.
Other Chase Center events affected include: Friday, March 13 – Tame Impala (postponed); Saturday, March 14 – Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Austin Spurs (moved to Santa Cruz); Thursday, March 19 – Post Malone (canceled or postponed - TBD); Saturday, March 21 – Bell Biv Devoe & Friends (postponed).
Over 1,000 people are confirmed to have the coronavirus in the United States, which is labeled COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. Twenty-eight people have died nationwide, according to NBC News.
The NBA, NHL MLB and MLS announced Monday that it would bar media from locker-room access amid concerns over the outbreak.
San Franciso has also provided assistance and guidance for businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus. View it here.