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Oakland Cancels All Events Of 1,000+ At City-Owned Venues Through End Of March

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- The city of Oakland has cancelled all events with 1,000 or more people in city-owned venues until the end of March, city officials said Wednesday. It's the latest move by Bay Area city officials to contain the spread of the coronavirus among large, metropolitan populations.

Notable large venues in Oakland include the Oakland Coliseum where the Athletics play, the Oakland Arena (formerly Oracle Arena), the Paramount Theater and the Fox Theater.

"Although there are no known positive cases of COVID-19 within Oakland right now, postponing large gatherings will help prevent the spread of the virus. We take these measures to prepare and protect our community and ground our decisions in facts, not fear. We will continue to work closely and take guidance from our partners at the Alameda County Public Health Department and keep our residents updated," said Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.

Oakland A's games are among the affected events, with the A's home opener against the Twins on March 26 and subsequent home games at the Coliseum through the end of March canceled.

The team issued a statement about the change, saying they are "working with Major League Baseball on alternative plans for our games that will be impacted by the Oakland Coliseum."

The team said, "We will provide more information about our plans for the games, including our ticket policy for impacted games, as soon as possible."

That means is the only professional sports team left in Oakland will likely not need its part time workers.

No events in the Coliseum complex means fewer dollars for workers in the East Bay. Elba Padilla, a waitress, says her tips have plummeted while her bills still have to be paid. Padilla added, "They're not going to give you a discount on the rent for the coronavirus. We have to pay and it's hard."

Two events at the Oakland Arena--Ana Gabriel on March 19 and André Rieu on March 22--have been postponed, arena officials said. "We are working to reschedule these events on alternate dates. Saturday's Oakland Panthers game will be played without fan attendance," an official statement read.

Members of the Oakland Sports community held a meeting to talk about concerns about the coronavirus and the impacts it will have for months to come.

"All of us fear, we fear this change," said Chris Dobbins with Save Oakland Sports.

The Oakland Arena will be reviewing all future concerts, Oakland Panthers indoor football games, and Oakland A's games. The arena will be offering refunds for Saturday's Oakland Panthers game, which was going to be their first game of the season.

Fears of the coronavirus have forced some businesses to post closed signs in Oakland's Chinatown. Peony's Seafood Restaurant and Fortuna Buffet are closed. C&M Bistro is only fulfilling to go orders. Carl Chan, the President of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce says, "I've been in this community for over 40 years and it's very difficult for me to see it suffering."

Chan estimates business has gone down an average of 50 to 75 percent. He says Chinese social media posts circulated false rumors about passengers from the Grand Princess Cruise staying in downtown Oakland and walking around Chinatown and those rumors devastated this community. Calvin Tong, the owner of the Sweet Booth, has also been feeling the effects.

"It's hurt a lot. At least 50 percent," Tong said.

Updates on COVID-19 for Alameda County can be found here:

The city has also expanded sanitation services for unsheltered residents and a local health emergency was declared on Monday.


Also Wednesday, the city of San Francisco banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people at public events for at least the next two weeks in wake of the local outbreak.

San Francisco likely set a precedent for large sporting events across the country as the Warriors on Wednesday were slated to be the first NBA team to play a game behind closed doors, with no fans and only essential staff in attendance (Thursday's game against the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center).

Santa Clara County was the first in the nation to enact such a ban on large gatherings on Monday.

KPIX 5's Andrea Nakano contributed to this report.

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