Mayor Breed announced guidelines for indoor events to return next week in SF, and the Warriors will let fans in the stands on April 23 for a Nuggets game.
It’s with a mixture of excitement and pants-pooping fright that we bring you the news that live, indoor events will be allowed to take place again on April 15, according to a Thursday morning announcement from Mayor London Breed. There will be capacity restrictions, proof of negative test or vaccination requirements, and distancing must be enforced. And this comes right on the heels of Gavin Newsom’s reopen everything in California on June 15 (tentative) proclamation, but also coincides with a small but alarming uptick in cases locally, and nationally, Saint Anthony Fauci saying just today that cases are increasing at a "disturbingly high level" amidst the new variants ravaging younger people, and again urging "Now is not the time, as I've said so many times, to declare victory prematurely."
One wonders if the reopen bandwagon should be stepping on the gas pedal or hitting the brakes right now. But regardless, we’re doing this.
San Francisco just isn't the same without live events, and I'm excited they'll soon be able to return with capacity limits and safety precautions in place.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) April 8, 2021
We're going to keep up our good progress on vaccinations and everyone should remain vigilant to keep our case numbers low. https://t.co/SvAJk7HZOW
“We know that much of what makes San Francisco special are the live performances and events where people can come together for music, sports and cultural performances, and graduations,” Breed said in her Thursday announcement. “We’ve all been missing these events over the last year, and we are excited for this step and what lies ahead, but we all need to keep doing our part to put safety first. That means getting people the vaccine as fast as possible and ensuring everyone remains vigilant in keeping our case numbers low.”
There are rules and restrictions, but these depend on the size of the event. The general rule is 35% capacity for indoor events, proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, and an approved “Health and Safety plan” for the venue that emphasizes social distancing. Venues can also avoid these restrictions by going with 15% capacity, and 200 people or fewer, though the Health and Safety plan is still required.
The announcement added they will issue updated guidelines on Wednesday, April 14, so more restrictions, regulations, and last-minute surprises for venues are likely in the works.
The Golden State Warriors immediately jumped on this news and announced they’re allowing fans back in the stands April 23 for a Denver Nuggets game, the Chronicle reports. They’ll allow but 6,300 people into the Chase Center, well shy of the foolishly envelope-pushing 9,000 fans plan they announced in November which was immediately shot down by the city. They’re going with the proof of vaccination route, and if you don’t have that, they’re actually sending home testing kits so fans can provide proof of a negative test. The Warriors have nine home games remaining, and exceedingly slim playoff hopes.
Parenthetically, the Giants home opener Friday night will also have testing and vaccination requirements, but they play in an open-air venue, so that’s a whole different, you know, ballgame.
Certainly the economic damage of venues sitting empty for a year has been excruciating, but that cannot be our main priority. These reopening plans are all predicated on smooth vaccination rollouts, but supply is actually dwindling ahead of the April 15 open season date. As someone who has personally had their first shot, I can tell you scheduling the second dose has been substantially more difficult than scheduling the first. Plus you will inevitably have covidiots who will get the first shot and think they’re instantly immune, not realizing that you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second shot.
We are definitely at a crossroads with COVID-19. The question whether the path we’re taking tests positive or negative.
Image: Ted Thomas via Facebook