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Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

UPDATED: California Gov. Newsom Calls For All Public Gatherings To Be Canceled

‘Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people’ – except Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood, and other large theme parks, theaters and casinos

By Katy Grimes, March 12, 2020 7:41 am

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that California public health officials issued a policy on gatherings slow the spread of COVID-19, and determined that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March.

“Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines,” the governor’s press statement said.

There is no explanation for how many businesses over 205 employees will continue, or gatherings such as jury waiting rooms, DMV waiting rooms, large warehouse stores, or movie theaters will continue to operate.

The latest policy said that a “gathering” could include spaces such as a stadium, arena, meeting hall, cafeteria or any other indoor or outdoor space.

There are 29 deaths this year from coronavirus while there are already 18,000-20,000 deaths this year from the seasonal flu, according to the Center for Disease Control. The fatality rate is one percent or lower, despite the media claiming a much higher rate.

“The people in our lives who are most at risk — seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice,” Newsom said.

“This guidance applies to all non-essential professional, social and community gatherings regardless of their sponsor.”

“Essential gatherings should only be conducted if the essential activity could not be postponed or achieved without gathering, meaning that some other means of communication could not be used to conduct the essential function.”

The California Department of Public Health says it is updating its website daily, however the latest information is from March 10, and reports:

As of March 10, 2020, 7 a.m. Pacific Time, there are a total of 177 CACommunityTransmissionbyCounty03positive cases and three deaths in California: 24 cases are from repatriation flights.

The other 153 confirmed cases include 55 that are travel related, 40 due to person-to-person transmission, 32 are community acquired (map of community transmission by county in California- PDF) and 26 are from unknown sources. Of all the confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0 – 17: 3 cases
  • Age 18 – 64: 104 cases
  • Age 65+: 67 cases
  • Unknown: 26 cases

Approximately 11,000 people are self-monitoring, across 49 local health jurisdictions, after returning to the U.S. from travel.

UPDATE 1:30 pm:

“At a news conference Thursday, Gavin said Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood, and other large theme parks, theaters and casinos are exempted from his order against gatherings of 250 people or more due to coronavirus due to the “complexity of their unique circumstances”, but discussions remain ongoing,” CBSLA reported.

Disneyland was ground-zero for the measles outbreak in 2019.

The CDC reported in 2019:

  • From January 1 to December 31, 2019, 1,282* individual cases of measles were confirmed in 31 states. Of these cases, 128 were hospitalized and 61 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.
  • This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. More than 73% of the cases were linked to recent outbreaks in New York. The majority of cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated.
  • All measles cases were caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3.

California’s Public Health Department also updated their stats (which was not updated at 7:00am as their notice says):

As of March 12, 2020, 7 a.m. Pacific Time, there are a total of 198 positive cases and four deaths in California: 24 cases are from repatriation flights.

The other 174 confirmed cases include 60 that are travel related, 43 due to person-to-person transmission, 44 are community acquired (map of community transmission by county in California- PDF) and 27 are from unknown sources. Of all the confirmed positive cases:

    • Age 0 – 17: 4 cases
    • Age 18 – 64: 113 cases
    • Age 65+: 79 cases
    • Unknown: 2 cases

UPDATE 1:50pm: Disneyland and California Adventure are closing from March 14-31.

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7 thoughts on “UPDATED: California Gov. Newsom Calls For All Public Gatherings To Be Canceled

  1. There is no real way to know for sure right now what Newsom intends — personally I think he realizes he is in over his head on this one — but this pronouncement does align with politicians on the left who like to prevent like-minded people from gathering and who would keep citizens isolated from one another. It’s easier to keep “the rabble” in the dark and powerless that way. I think it’s just something to keep an eye on when it comes to the public reaction to this darn coronavirus. Remember that a good part of Newsom et al’s political philosophy is “never let a crisis go to waste.”

  2. Looks like inconvenient protests against AB5 (and similar) in front of the State Capitol building won’t be happening for awhile. No need to break them up and send everyone home — make it their own idea not to show up in a crowd. Same thing for local city councils, school boards, etc. How convenient.

  3. 40 million residents…..only way to get their attention without panic is playing “take away”. Limited measures over a strategic time frame will do wonders to stop massive virus spread.

    Stop the criticism …..75% of the daily posters never had command/leadership positions or responsibility for others’ health and safety. Just get your own life in order and be positive-

  4. The carve-outs for Disneyland and other SoCal amusement parks to remain open seem arbitrary, especially (as was pointed out in the article) Disneyland was home to a big measles outbreak last year.
    (Doesn’t make sense, but neither did the carve-outs for AB 5.)

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