SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – As California approaches nearly one month sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, mass gatherings won’t likely be allowed to take place in California during the summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
Large gatherings, such as sporting events or festivals, in June, July or August are “unlikely,” Newsom said Tuesday, at a news conference where he outlined the conditions that need to be met before the state loosens restrictions on gatherings and eases social distancing.
“The prospects of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine,” the governor said. “So large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens-of-thousands of strangers all together across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise is not in the cards based on our current guidelines and current expectations.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and part of the White House’s coronavirus task force, has said a vaccine may be 12-18 months away, but other experts said it could take even longer.
The long string of major Bay Area events being either rescheduled or canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak continued Tuesday, with the 2020 Pride parade and the Pride 50 celebration set for June in San Francisco being canceled. Meanwhile, organizers of the PGA Championship, which was moved from May to August at TPC Harding Park, announced that they are looking at the possibility of holding the golf tournament without spectators.
On Monday, Mayor London Breed urged people not to meet in San Francisco or anywhere else in the Bay Area for 4/20, saying that mass gatherings to celebrate cannabis would not be tolerated. Breed said the site of the annual 420 celebration in Golden Gate Park, which was canceled weeks ago, would also be closed off.
The shelter-in-place, which began in the Bay Area on March 17th and continues until at least May 3rd, has led to the cancellation of countless gatherings as people are urged to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.
Newsom and Dr. Sonia Angell, the director of the California Deparment of Public Health, both cautioned at Tuesday’s news conference that life may not return to the way things were anytime soon.
“It’s about going forward in ways that are healthy for all of us. But it won’t look the same. Different ways that we think about how we do our everyday work will mean that we’ll be making changes,” Angell said.