Mass gatherings now banned in Santa Clara, WWDC under threat of cancellation

Posted:
in General Discussion
A new order has been issued by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department explicitly banning mass gatherings for at least three weeks, as the county gathers more information about COVID-19 casting further doubt on a timely WWDC.

WWDC 2019
Apple's WWDC 2019 drew thousands of developers from around the world.


An order issuing "new, stronger guidance" about coronavirus bans any gathering of 1,000 or more people, effective March 9, for at least three weeks. The ban comes just a few hours after the county experienced its first death from the virus, and 43 confirmed cases in the area.

"This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County. The strong measures we are taking today are designed to slow the spread of disease," said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer. "Today's order and new recommendations will reduce the number of people who develop severe illness and will help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. This is critically important for anyone with healthcare needs, not just those most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19."

WWDC is typically scheduled for the beginning of June. While technically not banned yet, a three-week delay is not a promising sign for the live event to happen on-schedule.

Update: Six new cases of #COVID19 in Santa Clara County. This brings the total number of cases to 43. We are at a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in the county. We are issuing a new directive: https://t.co/h8eL6QNW93 pic.twitter.com/ohz6d8Tvgq

— Healthy SCC (@HealthySCC)
The move comes after suggestions from the county that large gathering be cancelled. The previous guidance was issued on March 5, when there were 20 confirmed cases in the region. The county includes residents and employers living and working in the county's cities, including Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Sunnyvale.

A number of major international events have been canceled due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Facebook in February nixed live portions of its annual F8 conference, GSMA canceled the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, and Informa called off the 2020 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. On Monday, Google and Adobe canceled in-person segments of Google Cloud Next 2020 and the Adobe Summit, while Google a day later scrubbed the live portion of Google I/O.

Apple is also taking steps to curb potential COVID-19 fallout and this week restricted employee travel to Italy and South Korea. The company also withdrew from SXSW 2020, where it planned to premiere three Apple TV+ originals.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 319member
    Apple has almost certainly decided already that WWDC won’t take place this year, but Apple doesn’t like to tell half a story; they would prefer to announce it once they’ve got something to say about what will replace it (e.g. sessions delivered via the web). 

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens first: Apple’s announcement, or the local authorities banning gatherings in June. If the latter happens first, it will look as though Apple’s decision is based on what the local authorities say, not weeks of internal planning. 
  • Reply 2 of 14
    WWDC was announced and invitations started going out on March 14 last year, March 13 the year before. So I would expect to hear something definitive by next week — the people who go to this every year need to know what is happening. Apple can’t sit around waiting for someone else to tell it what to do.
    edited March 2020 ronn
  • Reply 3 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Large gatherings of people cannot be “banned”, that would be a constitutional infringement. I’m sure people are more than willing right now to voluntarily avoid large gatherings. The streets and airports are already looking like they are abandoned.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Testing in the US is going to climb and confirmed cases will climb along with it. Hospitals here in the NYC area are making decisions along the lines of, “Do we convert whole buildings over, or just parts of them?” The expectation seems to be that hospitalizations will peak in April or May, so June is a bit past that, but obviously nothing will be even remotely back to normal by then.

    In a preemptive response to those who say this is no big deal — the thing is, even if we get lucky and it is seasonal and only 10% of people who actually get it need to be hospitalized, that’s still 10% of a very large number. 
    ronn
  • Reply 5 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Testing in the US is going to climb and confirmed cases will climb along with it. Hospitals here in the NYC area are making decisions along the lines of, “Do we convert whole buildings over, or just parts of them?” The expectation seems to be that hospitalizations will peak in April or May, so June is a bit past that, but obviously nothing will be even remotely back to normal by then.

    In a preemptive response to those who say this is no big deal — the thing is, even if we get lucky and it is seasonal and only 10% of people who actually get it need to be hospitalized, that’s still 10% of a very large number. 
    I think the numbers hospitalized in New York are going to be enormous. People are packed together in that city and there’s a large older population. The pollution there contributes to poor lung function.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    While this whole thing I think is over hyped. It really gets people watching the news, which is what these news company's wants. The number of people who has does from this is a tiny fraction of those that die from the normal flue every year. Most of the people that die are the elderly. So long as you are washing your hands many times a day, which you should have been doing anyway, and avoid touching your face, which can be hard, and you may not even notice, you should be just fine. If you're in your 60's plus, maybe not go someplace where you're packed in with a bunch of other people. Some people are really rude and will sneeze and not cover up doing it so it just sprays out everywhere.

    You should be prepared at home just in case. Food and Water. It doesn't taker much of a disruption is shipping of products to have empty shelf's in the supermarkets. Places are already short on some products. From Toilet Paper, which I don't use much of at Home as I have a bidet for my toilet. Sanitary wipes are pretty much gone from shelf's where I've looked. At some point, you'll see empty food shelf's and people now start fighting over things. The CDC has said you should get prepared. Which you really should be anyway. You should have some long life food stuff at home put away some place. I have 20 gallons of water currently on the shelf. If it's not for this, it could be any number of other natural disasters. You don't want to be the one down the road fighting over scraps on the shelf's. I've just been buying a little here and there extra from my normal shopping. Stuff that will last a year, you can just eat down the road before it expires anyway.

    Still, I think this whole thing is overblown.
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 7 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    jbdragon said:
    While this whole thing I think is over hyped. It really gets people watching the news, which is what these news company's wants. The number of people who has does from this is a tiny fraction of those that die from the normal flue every year. Most of the people that die are the elderly. So long as you are washing your hands many times a day, which you should have been doing anyway, and avoid touching your face, which can be hard, and you may not even notice, you should be just fine. If you're in your 60's plus, maybe not go someplace where you're packed in with a bunch of other people. Some people are really rude and will sneeze and not cover up doing it so it just sprays out everywhere.

    You should be prepared at home just in case. Food and Water. It doesn't taker much of a disruption is shipping of products to have empty shelf's in the supermarkets. Places are already short on some products. From Toilet Paper, which I don't use much of at Home as I have a bidet for my toilet. Sanitary wipes are pretty much gone from shelf's where I've looked. At some point, you'll see empty food shelf's and people now start fighting over things. The CDC has said you should get prepared. Which you really should be anyway. You should have some long life food stuff at home put away some place. I have 20 gallons of water currently on the shelf. If it's not for this, it could be any number of other natural disasters. You don't want to be the one down the road fighting over scraps on the shelf's. I've just been buying a little here and there extra from my normal shopping. Stuff that will last a year, you can just eat down the road before it expires anyway.

    Still, I think this whole thing is overblown.
    In cities where there are lots of older people, lots of smokers or heavy air pollution I think there will be high mortality rates. New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, etc. The very high mortality rate in China reflects the generally poor health of the people there. Their pollution is unbelievably bad.
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 8 of 14
    jbdragon said:
    While this whole thing I think is over hyped. It really gets people watching the news, which is what these news company's wants. The number of people who has does from this is a tiny fraction of those that die from the normal flue every year. Most of the people that die are the elderly. So long as you are washing your hands many times a day, which you should have been doing anyway, and avoid touching your face, which can be hard, and you may not even notice, you should be just fine. If you're in your 60's plus, maybe not go someplace where you're packed in with a bunch of other people. Some people are really rude and will sneeze and not cover up doing it so it just sprays out everywhere.

    You should be prepared at home just in case. Food and Water. It doesn't taker much of a disruption is shipping of products to have empty shelf's in the supermarkets. Places are already short on some products. From Toilet Paper, which I don't use much of at Home as I have a bidet for my toilet. Sanitary wipes are pretty much gone from shelf's where I've looked. At some point, you'll see empty food shelf's and people now start fighting over things. The CDC has said you should get prepared. Which you really should be anyway. You should have some long life food stuff at home put away some place. I have 20 gallons of water currently on the shelf. If it's not for this, it could be any number of other natural disasters. You don't want to be the one down the road fighting over scraps on the shelf's. I've just been buying a little here and there extra from my normal shopping. Stuff that will last a year, you can just eat down the road before it expires anyway.

    Still, I think this whole thing is overblown.
    You should be more concerned about what will happen if you are one of the people who need to be hospitalized. All your preparation to survive the apocalypse at home won’t help you with that. Instead, you’ll need a village — a government and healthcare professionals who actually give a damn and will risk their lives to help you. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    jbdragon said:
    While this whole thing I think is over hyped. It really gets people watching the news, which is what these news company's wants. The number of people who has does from this is a tiny fraction of those that die from the normal flue every year. Most of the people that die are the elderly. So long as you are washing your hands many times a day, which you should have been doing anyway, and avoid touching your face, which can be hard, and you may not even notice, you should be just fine. If you're in your 60's plus, maybe not go someplace where you're packed in with a bunch of other people. Some people are really rude and will sneeze and not cover up doing it so it just sprays out everywhere.

    You should be prepared at home just in case. Food and Water. It doesn't taker much of a disruption is shipping of products to have empty shelf's in the supermarkets. Places are already short on some products. From Toilet Paper, which I don't use much of at Home as I have a bidet for my toilet. Sanitary wipes are pretty much gone from shelf's where I've looked. At some point, you'll see empty food shelf's and people now start fighting over things. The CDC has said you should get prepared. Which you really should be anyway. You should have some long life food stuff at home put away some place. I have 20 gallons of water currently on the shelf. If it's not for this, it could be any number of other natural disasters. You don't want to be the one down the road fighting over scraps on the shelf's. I've just been buying a little here and there extra from my normal shopping. Stuff that will last a year, you can just eat down the road before it expires anyway.

    Still, I think this whole thing is overblown.
    You should be more concerned about what will happen if you are one of the people who need to be hospitalized. All your preparation to survive the apocalypse at home won’t help you with that. Instead, you’ll need a village — a government and healthcare professionals who actually give a damn and will risk their lives to help you. 
    Considering the doctors, nurses and other hospital workers are also getting infected at an alarming rate, some people might be on their own to deal with this.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,845member
    Large gatherings of people cannot be “banned”, that would be a constitutional infringement. I’m sure people are more than willing right now to voluntarily avoid large gatherings. The streets and airports are already looking like they are abandoned.
    Of course they can be. For example I live in an actual city and we have many large gatherings of people known as "festivals", which certainly do require government-issued permitting. Permits can be denied for multiple reasons, and this could be one of them. See Austin and its decision not to allow its SXSW festival to be approved this year.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,845member

    Testing in the US is going to climb and confirmed cases will climb along with it. Hospitals here in the NYC area are making decisions along the lines of, “Do we convert whole buildings over, or just parts of them?” The expectation seems to be that hospitalizations will peak in April or May, so June is a bit past that, but obviously nothing will be even remotely back to normal by then.

    In a preemptive response to those who say this is no big deal — the thing is, even if we get lucky and it is seasonal and only 10% of people who actually get it need to be hospitalized, that’s still 10% of a very large number. 
    I think the numbers hospitalized in New York are going to be enormous. People are packed together in that city and there’s a large older population. The pollution there contributes to poor lung function.
    Sounds like a good argument for further regulation.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,845member
    jbdragon said:
    While this whole thing I think is over hyped. It really gets people watching the news, which is what these news company's wants. The number of people who has does from this is a tiny fraction of those that die from the normal flue every year. Most of the people that die are the elderly. So long as you are washing your hands many times a day, which you should have been doing anyway, and avoid touching your face, which can be hard, and you may not even notice, you should be just fine. If you're in your 60's plus, maybe not go someplace where you're packed in with a bunch of other people. Some people are really rude and will sneeze and not cover up doing it so it just sprays out everywhere.

    You should be prepared at home just in case. Food and Water. It doesn't taker much of a disruption is shipping of products to have empty shelf's in the supermarkets. Places are already short on some products. From Toilet Paper, which I don't use much of at Home as I have a bidet for my toilet. Sanitary wipes are pretty much gone from shelf's where I've looked. At some point, you'll see empty food shelf's and people now start fighting over things. The CDC has said you should get prepared. Which you really should be anyway. You should have some long life food stuff at home put away some place. I have 20 gallons of water currently on the shelf. If it's not for this, it could be any number of other natural disasters. You don't want to be the one down the road fighting over scraps on the shelf's. I've just been buying a little here and there extra from my normal shopping. Stuff that will last a year, you can just eat down the road before it expires anyway.

    Still, I think this whole thing is overblown.
    Meh, that's just "survivor fantasy" stuff. If there's a serious world event that is going to disrupt the food & water sources for civilization, your 20 gallons of water and a few buckets of Costco food slop aren't going to do jack. Unless you have an underground bunker with food and water to last years, you're in the same boat as everyone else in civilization.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,650member
    Large gatherings of people cannot be “banned”, that would be a constitutional infringement. I’m sure people are more than willing right now to voluntarily avoid large gatherings. The streets and airports are already looking like they are abandoned.
    This is the County of Santa Clara's public health officer making the decision in the interest of public health. The US Congress is not involved.

    Apparently you need a refresher on politics -- specifically how government functions and responsibilities can be controlled at the local, state and federal level for different subjects.
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,341administrator
    Large gatherings of people cannot be “banned”, that would be a constitutional infringement. I’m sure people are more than willing right now to voluntarily avoid large gatherings. The streets and airports are already looking like they are abandoned.
    They absolutely can be at the local or state level, and it is absolutely not a constitutional infringement.
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