For now, the city government is still supporting public events like the Game Developers Conference, attended annually by tens of thousands of people in the video games industry, and GDC officials say the event is still moving forward.
“At a press briefing, [Breed] encouraged people to go forward with their plans, including attending gatherings,” said San Francisco Travel Association CEO Joe D’Alessandro in a letter to GDC organizers and attendees. “We also want to assure you that the official agencies are being extremely proactive to keep visitors and residents safe and healthy.”
Coronavirus concerns have kept some big-name companies from traveling to San Francisco, including Sony, EA and Kojima Productions.
Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of Public Health, stressed this is a proactive measure, and the emergency declaration was made “based on the evolution of the disease globally.” The declaration would also help them staff up to prepare for any potential outbreaks in the city.
“For instance, as we prepare for a greater number of clinical questions about ‘What can I do,' we will have clinicians on call 24/7 in order to respond,” Colfax said in a news conference Tuesday. “It also allows us to pull more staff who have language skill sets to better educate the community. … It also allows us to look at things like shelters and other opportunities to expand in the event that’s necessary.”
City officials say the risk for contracting the disease remains very low. The declaration will last for seven days before being voted upon by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors next week.