The Golden State Warriors are scheduled to play at Chase Center in San Francisco Tuesday night. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Warriors to keep playing in SF despite advice to cancel large events

Cases of COVID-19 increase to 14 in SF

As cases of coronavirus increased Tuesday, the Warriors confirmed the game against the Clippers tonight at Mission Bay’s Chase Center will occur as scheduled despite advice by city officials to cancel large gatherings.

The Warriors played Saturday at the arena against the same advice, which was issued Friday by Mayor London Breed and the Department of Public Health after the City’s first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were diagnosed.

The number of diagnosed cases has since grown to 14. Santa Clara County, meanwhile, which has reported 43 cases, issued a health order Monday under state law to prohibit gatherings of more than 1,000 through the end of March.

The San Jose Sharks, a National Hockey League team, announced they would comply with the order regarding their scheduled three home games later this month at the SAP Center in San Jose. Details on how the team plans to comply, such as by playing without fans, is unclear at this time.

San Francisco has issued guidelines advising the cancellation of large gatherings like music concerts and sporting events, but has not yet outright prohibited them like Santa Clara.

Andy Lynch, Mayor London Breed’s spokesperson, said Tuesday in a statement that “our focus is protecting public health and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in San Francisco.”

“The Mayor continues to recommend that everyone listen to the advice of our public health experts, who recommend cancelling large gatherings,” Lynch said. “If they choose to have events, they should follow the clear public health guidelines that have been released like having available hand sanitation stations, frequently cleaning high-touch surface areas, and finding ways to minimize close contact as much as possible.”

At a press conference about proposals to help small business and employees weather the economic impacts of the virus, Supervisor Aaron Peskin responded to questions about whether the Warriors should cancel games.

“We’re a little bit behind San Jose and Santa Clara but I have no doubt that we’re going to get there because that is ultimately going to be found to be the best way to stop transmission,” Peskin said.

He said that he hoped organziations would cancel events voluntarily but “until we issue an order, that is between the Warriors and their guests.”

“But I certainly heed the advice of our health professionals that going to mass gatherings and not participating in social distancing is only going to contribute to this public health crisis,” Peskin said.

The Warriors told the San Francisco Examiner that measures they took for Saturday’s game to reduce the risk of attendees spreading the virus remain in place, such as extra soap in the bathrooms and using hospital-grade disinfectant spray throughout the arena, which has a capacity of about 18,000.

A new sign will also greet attendees that tells them not to enter the arena if in the past two weeks they have experienced fever, tiredness, dry cough, arches or pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat, or if they have traveled to areas where there were outbreaks of COVID-19 like China or Iran.

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