Large gatherings should be canceled due to coronavirus, Gov. Newsom says

Gov. Gavin Newsom joined state health officials in recommending the cancellation of gatherings of 250 or more people “at least through March,” escalating the effort by his administration to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new policy from California Department of Public Health marks the first time the state has issued a request for all residents across California to adopt so-called “social distancing” measures and represents a new sense of urgency in the administration’s approach to fighting the virus in a state with 177 confirmed cases.

“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.”

The size recommendations have the potential to touch virtually all corners of life across the state — community meetings, sports events and school theater performances.

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