San Francsico Chinese New Year Parade attendees encouraged to stay safe, take flu precautions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco City Officials gathered three days ahead of the Chinese New Year Parade where they discussed safety measures and coronavirus concerns.

President of the Board of Supervisors, Norman Yee, opened up his remarks regarding the fear of the novel coronavirus.

"Sometimes we create fear, and sometimes rightfully so but in this case, in the United States, in San Francisco, in the Bay Area, the creation of this fear is unfounded. There's more people getting hit by a car right now than people actually catching this," Yee said.

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He went on to say it's not right that Chinese people are being portrayed as a group that's being associated with this outbreak. "Racism is contagious. Coronavirus is contagious, but we don't have the same level of concern as Wuhan, China," Yee said.

Yee wanted to stress that people should come out and celebrate this weekend to support the community and honor the culture.

Director of the Department of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, said his department is working 24/7 and is in constant contact with the CDC. Dr. Colfax said his department is fully prepared for this rapidly changing situation.

"I think the key thing to remember right now is that there is no novel coronavirus in San Francisco," Dr. Colfax said. He advised people should take standard flu precautions like washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.

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"There's no indication for the general population to be wearing masks," Dr. Colfax said.

Regarding safety, SFFD Chief Jeanine Nicholson said every year they see fires and injuries during this weekend's festivities. She wants everyone to be safe.

Sheriff Paul Miyamoto wants everyone to they will be safe. And his department stands side-by-side with other public safety public partners.

Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director for the Department of Emergency Management, says their 911 dispatchers will be fully staffed up. If there were to be an emergency, Carroll says they have staff that can communicate in any language you need, just state the language you would like to communicate in, and dispatchers will connect you.

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