Alameda County recommends canceling, postponing large events amid COVID-19 outbreak

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Alameda County Department of Public Health announced its recommendation Wednesday afternoon that all events or gatherings with 1,000 or more people be canceled or postponed in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

This recommendation comes after the county announced its third case of the virus on Tuesday.

Alameda County's decision follows similar decisions made in San Francisco and Contra Costa County.

"At this time, we recommend postponing or canceling non-essential mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm's length of one another," the county said in a statement. "Mass gatherings do not include typical office environments or stores."

RELATED: SF issues ban on all group events larger than 1,000 people

The county also announced recommendations for smaller and medium-sized events -- focusing on the size and duration of the events.

Alameda County health officials say shorter events with fewer attendees are best. They say it's also important to keep people at a "social distance," or an arms length, at the event.

This recommendation in Alameda County comes after San Francisco issued a ban on events and gatherings with 1,000 or more attendees.

The order in San Francisco prohibits such events, while the recommendation in Alameda County is a recommended guideline to follow.

Because of the ban in San Francisco, the Giants canceled its March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland A's. The game was supposed to be played at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

With Alameda County's latest recommendation, it's unclear where the remainder of the Bay Bridge series will be played.

In a statement earlier in the day Wednesday, the A's said, "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community. We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority."

In Contra Costa County, health officials are asking that those at higher risk for the virus avoid gatherings with 50 or more people.

There are now three cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County, 14 in San Francisco and 10 in Contra Costa County.

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