Novel Coronavirus: CDC upgrades travel alerts, San Franciscans take precautions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Centers for Disease Control is suggesting older adults and those with medical conditions hold off on traveling to Italy and Iran. Both countries have seen a significant jump in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile the CDC upgraded their travel health notices to South Korea to a level three. CDC recommends people avoid all non-essential travel to China and now South Korea.

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Igor Bertolucci is a store manager at Biordi, located in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. The store sells handmade and hand-painted Italian ceramics. Bertolucci says they canceled their trip to Italy in April because of growing concerns over the Coronavirus.
"We were actually planning a trip to visit the artisans, we go there every year. We had planned it for April but we decided to postpone it until the situation gets a little better. They might even close the airports so we're waiting until the situation maybe gets a little better," Bertolucci said.

He said tour groups sometimes go into the store from Chinatown, but he's noticed slower foot traffic.

"We're also close to Chinatown, and a lot of people are avoiding Chinatown. We have many tour guides and they come to the shop here and they said all the tour they would normally do in Chinatown have been canceled," Bertolucci said.

Conferences planned in San Francisco are also feeling an impact.
EA Sports and Sony's PlayStation are just some of the biggest names canceling their participation in this year's Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center.

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In a statement sent to, Sony stated: "We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily."

Fred Eric Tarabout is a game developer in San Francisco and still plans on attending the conference in mid-March. He said this is a major event for game developers like him to show off their projects and to see the latest games out by big companies. On Twitter, he said, "So how about we trade handshaking with a clean elbow bump for #GDC2020?"

Tarabout said he's glad companies are taking the Coronavirus seriously. "Especially VR companies that have headsets that seems like a very good way to share germs. We'll be like wiping game controllers make sure it stays clean so we'll do our best to make is safe," Tarabout said.

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