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California Governor Calls to Cancel Gatherings With More Than 250 People

In the aftermath of the first
Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has recommended the cancellation or delay of gatherings with more than 250 people in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. The policy, which will be in effect at least through March, extend to concerts, conferences, sporting events and movie premieres.

The course of action from California Department of Public Heath is in line with recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measures that include “social distancing” and avoiding small events at venues that do not allow six feet of space between people. Gatherings of people who are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus should be limited to no more than 10, the organization said.

California currently has 177 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Newsom’s announcement comes after multiple events in the state, including the Coachella Music Festival, E3 Expo video game conference and PaleyFest were canceled. On Wednesday, the NBA suspended its season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Industry events, where many from Los Angeles were set to attend, such as South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and CinemaCon in Las Vegas, were also canceled.

“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” Newsom said in a statement. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. 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.”