SF bans large events at city-owned properties to prevent contagion

The City and County of San Francisco has banned “non-essential group events” at any city-owned facilities for the next two weeks because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, according to an order Saturday signed by the county’s top health officer.

The “city-owned facilities” covered by this order include City Hall; the Moscone Center, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the New Conservatory Theatre; the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center; the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre; the San Francisco Public Library (100 Larkin St.) and Piers 27 and 35.

“This order is issued on the basis of scientific evidence and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” according to the order signed by Tomas Aragon, health officer with the City and County of San Francisco. “The age, condition and health of a significant portion of the population of the City and County of San Francisco places them at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19,” coronavirus.

Under this order, the first day public events at city-owned venues can resume is March 20.

“Non-Essential Group Event” is defined as “any congregation of 50 or more people for any social, cultural, entertainment, or other special event or other non-essential purpose where people are not separated by physical space of at least four feet (which is slightly longer than an average arm’s length).”

Such city-owned facilities can otherwise remain open for business during the duration of the order, according to the order.

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