California governor advises against large gatherings

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Gavin Newsom speaking at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco, California.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has recommended that event coordinators cancel large gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Under a new policy, the California Department of Public Health has asked that future events not have more than 250 attendees. According to the Los Angeles Times, events with fewer people can continue as planned if the venue allows for 6 feet of space between attendees as part of “social distancing.”

“Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease,” Newsom said. “Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now.”

People with a high risk of contracting the virus should avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more. The state of California recommends postponing or canceling events that do not meet the criteria of their new policy, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

State health officials suggest staggering arrival times to minimize the number of people entering an event space or waiting in line at one time. A document from the governer’s administration also proposed that Californians reevaluate their everyday habits as the limit on large gatherings “does not apply to essential public transportation, airport travel, or shopping at a store or mall.”

According to Business Insider, the governor had previously declared a state of emergency on March 4.

As of 9:08 a.m. PST, San Mateo County Health has reported 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

On March 11, Redwood City announced that they scheduled a City Council Special Meeting to declare a local state of emergency. The meeting will happen tonight, March 12, at 7:30 p.m., and is available to stream live on http://www.redwoodcity.org/councilmeetings.

To promote more robust communication with the community in the wake of the global pandemic, San Mateo County has: 

  • Established a 24/7 call center (211) where residents can call (or text “coronavirus” to 211211) with non-medical questions about the virus 
  • Created a dedicated website with EOC updates at cmo.smgov.org/eoc 
  • Proclaimed a local state of emergency

 

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