SAN FRANCISCO - The City of San Francisco announced on Wednesday that it's canceling all large gathering of 1,000 or more people for at least two weeks, including Warriors games where fans would normally be in attendance.
Mayor London Breed said the move is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the community.
“We know that this order is disruptive, but it is an important step to support public health,” she said. The mayor continued on to say the decision was made based on recommendations from public health officials.
The moratorium order runs through March 25 and can be extended if deemed necessary.
City leaders consulted with health experts and determined that all San Francisco public schools will remain to remain open for now, even those campuses with more than 1,000 students, as they sever a critical function.
San Francisco Public Unified School District Superintendant Dr. Vincent Matthews said, "The board of education unanimously and I, agree with the benefits of keeping our schools open at this time outweigh the benefits of a citywide closure."
The district said it's a fluid situation and it will consider closing schools on a case by case situation or even systemwide if needed.
School officials said parents who want to keep their children home can do so, but they should notify the school of their plans.
San Francisco's ban on large gatherings is a blow to sports organizations who operate in the city.
"We know canceling 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," Breed said.
In light of the moratorium, the stands at Chase Center will empty for Thursday's game as the Warriors are forced to play without an audience. The team confirmed that fans are barred from attending the home game against the Brooklyn Nets.
People who purchased tickets will receive a full refund.
As the coronavirus continues to threaten sporting events, the NBA's governors board is mulling over several scenarios on how the league will move forward, ESPN reports. One possibility is to move some games to NBA cities where the number of coronavirus cases is low.