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San Mateo County bans gathering of more than 50 people due to coronavirus concerns


(Photo: courtesy MGN)

SAN MATEO COUTY, Calif. (KRON) — San Mateo County has banned gatherings with more than 50 people in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow made a revision to his previous order and limited the number of people who can gather at one time to no more than 50.

Effective as of 12:01 a.m. March 15 through 11:59 p.m. on April 6, public and private events of more than 50 people are banned in San Mateo County.

During the same timeframe, gatherings of fewer than 50 people are banned in San Mateo County unless hosts or sponsors implement all of the COVID-19 risk mitigation measures (listed at the end of this article).

Health officials still strongly urge hosts and sponsors to cancel all such events, even with the implementation of mitigation practices.

The order defines a gathering as any gathering that brings together or is likely to bring together 10 or more people at the same time in a single room or single enclosed area, such as restaurants, bars, theaters, event centers and boats.

The order includes enclosed outdoor spaces, like those with a fence, physical barrier, or where people are present and likely to be within arm’s length of each other for more than 10 minutes.

Exceptions are made for normal operations at airports or spaces where persons are in
transit, commercial office space or hotels, places of worship for religious purposes, grocery stores, shopping malls and other retail establishments, and hospitals and medical facilities.

The health officer strongly urges the implementation of COVID-19 risk mitigation measures in these settings as well.

The order does not include a group of residents within their residence.

The mitigation measures, which are required of gatherings of fewer than 50 persons, are:

• The space in which the gathering is held must accommodate social distancing by
allowing all attendees to stand or sit at least six feet from any other attendee;
• Proper hand hygiene and sanitation material must be readily available to all persons
at all times, including soap and waste receptacles. If soap and water are not
available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used.
• Persons hosting gatherings must alert prospective attendees at least 24 hours prior
to the gathering that gatherings pose a heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission,
and that older adults and individuals with existing health conditions are at
particularly serious risk if they contract COVID-19 and should not attend;
• Persons hosting gatherings must clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes or other
standard cleaners before, during, and after the event.

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