Community expresses concern over ban on large gatherings in Santa Clara County

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Public health officials in Santa Clara County hope that a mandatory ban on all large gatherings will help contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. However, there are concerns about the viability of small businesses near major event facilities that rely on foot travel and immediate cash flow.

"What are the steps ultimately that a city, a county, a state, a federal government agency can provide to support small business as they're going to really feel the impacts of COVID-19," said Matthew Mahood with The Silicon Valley Organization.

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At SAP Center, impacted events over the next three weeks include three Sharks games, five nights of Cirque de Soleil, four shows by motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and a concert featuring pop star Marc Anthony. Less business means less work for hourly employees, which can be disastrous for those living paycheck to paycheck in Silicon Valley.

"We know that this isn't going to be solved in a few days, so how do we pass policies now that address the issue, but also protect us in the future," said Working Partnership USA's Maria Noel Fernandez, who has been working with leaders in the public and private sector about issues such as paid sick leave as more employees are being told to stay home if they're ill.

San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo has proposed a temporary moratorium on the evictions of residents facing financial hardship due to the virus.

Liccardo said, "We gotta do everything we can to keep families in their homes. The point of this eviction moratorium is to ensure that we don't make a crisis worse by pushing thousands of families out on the streets."

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County leaders are reminding residents that they too are here to provide social services.

"If you're experiencing setbacks, come here and let us try to help you, because we're trying to set up an additional layer of safety net, so that people don't struggle too much during this crisis," Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.

While the ban is officially on the books for the next three weeks, the county says it may look into the possibility of extending it depending on what happens with the outbreak.

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