San Francisco Issues Moratorium on Large Gatherings of 1,000 or More to Slow Spread of COVID-19
The City and County of San Francisco will issue a Public Health Order prohibiting gatherings of 1,000 or more persons, recommends cancelling events of 250 people or more
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that the Health Officer of the City and County of San Francisco will issue a Public Health Order prohibiting all large group events of 1,000 or more persons. This measure is necessary to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community and builds on the City’s March 6th public health recommendations.
The Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends cancelling or postponing other large gatherings of 250 people or more, such as concerts, sporting events, conventions or large community events. Additionally, DPH recommends that vulnerable populations (people who are 60-years-old and older and people with certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems) do not go to gatherings of ten or more people unless it is essential.
“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.”
On March 6th, the Department of Public Health issued aggressive recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The recommendations for social distancing are intended to disrupt the spread of the virus and protect community health. These are systemic as well as individual changes that will make a difference in people’s lives. Although the recommendations cause inconvenience, they are necessary and worthwhile to reduce the spread of the virus and interrupt its transmission from person to person.
The Public Health Order will initially go into effect for two weeks and can be reauthorized by the Health Officer. The Order will be updated as the COVID-19 situation evolves in San Francisco.
On March 7th, the City issued a Public Health Order restricting non-essential group events at City-owned facilities. The order is available here: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/files/OrderProhibitingGatherings-City-OwnedLocations-Order-C19-02-03072020.pdf
Read the recommendations that apply to vulnerable populations, large gatherings, workplace and businesses, schools, transit and health care settings at www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp and stay up-to-date on coronavirus news and information.
You can also call 311 and sign up for the City’s alert service for official updates: text COVID19SF to 888-777.
Remember, these are the best ways for all San Franciscans to reduce their risk of getting sick, and preventing COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like a wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer.
- Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a caregiver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage a school closure.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.