The city of San Francisco has banned non-essential events with 50 or more people held in city-owned facilities for 2 weeks

Downtown San Francisco. Katie Canales/Business Insider
  • San Francisco is banning large events for two weeks amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Events involving 50 people or more in city-owned facilities will be banned until March 20.
  • The order comes as two confirmed cases of the virus have been found in the city.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The city of San Francisco has banned non-essential group events held in city-owned facilities for two weeks as concerns of the coronavirus disease continue to rise.

The order went into effect on Saturday as the city attempts to contain the virus-spread disease, known as COVID-19, and will end on March 20.

A “non-essential group event” is defined as a gathering of 50 people for social, cultural, or entertainment events “where people are not separated by physical space of at least four feet,” or about arm’s length, according to NBC Bay Area.

The facilities implicated by the order include City Hall, the San Francisco Public Library, the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, and Moscone Centre, a venue in the city’s SOMA district where many tech conferences are usually held. Symphony events and ballet performances are among the events being cancelled, and the city’s upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed

While events are being cancelled, these venues are still allowed to remain open.

The order comes as two cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in the city.


The cases are likely the result of community spread or transmission – neither of the patients travelled to countries known for virus outbreaks – and authorities say the virus is now likely being transmitted throughout the city.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health also announced that there are six “presumptive” cases of the virus in the city, with all six patients isolated in their homes and in “good condition.”

Offices are closing temporarily and companies are asking employees to work from home in an attempt to contain the disease.

Downtown San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The city of San Francisco declared a state of emergency on February 25 to prepare for a potential outbreak.

Source: Business Insider

The city’s tech conferences are also being cancelled.

Moderator John Donvan, left, is introduced by Director of IBM Research Dario Gil during IBM’s Think 2019 conference at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Many of them were planned to take place at the city’s Moscone Centre, one of the city-owned facilities affected by the order banning large-scale events.

There are at least 554 confirmed cases in the US, with 21 reported deaths.

Cameron Nightingale adjusts his mask and gloves, a precaution to protect himself from coronavirus, while walking by cable car in San Francisco, California on February 27, 2020. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

One of them was an elderly person in Sacramento, California. The person had just returned from a cruise aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, where 21 passengers have since been tested for and confirmed to have been infected by the virus. The ship is set to dock in Oakland Monday.

The Grand Princess is not to be confused with the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship whose passengers were quarantined first onboard in Japan and then at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield on the outskirts of the Bay Area.

Source: Business Insider