California banned gatherings of 250 or more, and said smaller ones should only happen if people stand 6 feet apart

California banned gatherings of 250 or more, and said smaller ones should only happen if people stand 6 feet apart
gavin newsom

California has banned large public gatherings throughout the state to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further there.


On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that gatherings of more than 250 people should be canceled.

"Smaller gatherings can proceed if organizers implement six feet of social distancing," a statement from his office said.

The new advice overruled measures brought in by San Francisco mayor London Breed earlier that day banning gatherings of 1,000 people or more for two weeks. Oakland and San Jose had enforced the same measure.

Making the announcement, Newsom said: "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 move comes in the wake of news that the US, and California, is unequipped to test enough people to contain the outbreak.

Newsom said on Tuesday that California only has 7,675 coronavirus testing kits, and that many are incomplete.

"Many of these test kits are like printers, but without ink. The test kits don't include all the components to test," Newsom said. "You need reagents."

People wear masks at the international terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., amid reports of the coronavirus, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

1,138 Californians have been tested for the virus so far, but thousands who came into contact with them remain untested.

Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, and on March 2 requested a $20 million in emergency funding from the state government.


As of March 10 there were 177 cases of COVID-19 in California, with three deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.

22 of those cases are from the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in Oakland on Monday. All passengers are now quarantined on the mainland.

Three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Mineta San Jose International Airport tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

Princess Cruises Grand Princess

Businesses across the state are taking extra precautions to stop the spread of the virus, and some are registering huge declines in footfall.

In late January, all branches of the Chinese restaurant Sichuan Impression enforced mandatory temperature testing. If customers registered higher than 99.8 degrees Fahrenheit, they would be turned away, according to the Orange County Register.


As of Wednesday evening, the US has reported 38 deaths and more than 1,300 coronavirus cases across 45 states.