San Francisco declares 'state of emergency' over coronavirus

Grant Boone
February 27, 2020

The emergency declaration allows the city to mobilize resources, accelerate emergency planning, coordinate agencies, and prepare for reimbursement by state and federal governments, according to the mayor's office.

A 7th coronavirus case has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where a man in the San Francisco Bay area became ill after traveling from Wuhan, China back to the USA, the Santa Clara Health Department said Friday. More than 77,000 cases have been confirmed in China, with 2,000 confirmed elsewhere. Chinese officials Wednesday reported another 406 cases and 52 additional deaths, all of them in hard-hit Hubei province and all but 10 in the epicenter of the city of Wuhan.

"Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness", said Mayor Breed in a statement.

"Given the high volume of travel between San Francisco and mainland China and the spread of the virus to other countries, there is a growing likelihood that we will see cases in San Francisco", he said.

A senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Yanzhong Huang, says it's possible for coronavirus to live on hard surfaces and money. Facebook, Facebook's Oculus, and Sony won't be attending the event, which is scheduled to be held in San Francisco from March 16 to 20 at the same venue that Facebook's cancelled conference would have been held. The Facebook event typically brings in about 5,000 guests, and San Francisco estimates that visitors to the city for conferences spend around $567 per day.

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"I think it's a good thing because there are so many mixtures of people in San Francisco", said one resident.

Some Chinatown business owners have seen a 50% drop in business over fears of coronavirus exposure that have been widely seen as racist, ABC 7 News reported.

To encourage tourists and locals to continue patronising Chinatown businesses, Pelosi toured the neighbourhood Monday, stopping at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and a dim sum restaurant for lunch. There are no confirmed coronavirus cases in San Francisco to date.

"It's not so much a question of if this will happen any more, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness", Messonnier said at a media briefing.

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