Santa Clara County in California has had 43 cases of Coronavirus so far, and just recently it’s first COVID-19-related death happened not too long ago. And in the wake of that news, the county officially banned any and all large gatherings of over 1000 people in one place in the hope that it will curb possible future infections of the Coronavirus, and it will go into effect on March 11th.
BREAKING: Santa Clara Public Health Officer just announced a legal order banning events w/ more than a thousand people in attendance. It will take place Wednesday March 11 & last for three weeks. It does not include places like airports or shopping malls @kron4news #Coronavirus— Taylor Bisacky (@TaylorBisackyTV) March 10, 2020
And that’s where we come to hockey: the Sharks happen to play at the heart of Santa Clara county, and the three-week ban on gatherings happen to line up with the Bruins game on the 21st, and the league has begun looking into a number of things that could end up happening, but the SAP Center’s website hasn’t shown any major cancellations yet and their liveblog has yet to involve any of the ordinances put in place, so we can at least assume right now organizers and the league itself are working overtime to come up with a solution to this for their own sake.
Told the #sjsharks will abide by Santa Clara County’s order / guideline. Three options now for three home games sked during ban on mass gatherings.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 10, 2020
1) Play w/o fans in SAP Center
2) Neutral Site
3) Postpone & Reschedule
Exact path TBD, plenty of time w team away on 9-day trip.
Of the three, I can’t imagine the Sharks choosing option 1 for any reason other than the schedule being unusually inflexible or the Bruins promising a cash payment in order to recoup losses. Options 2 or 3 seem like the most viable for the league at the moment, since other owners in other sports have made it known they absolutely do not want to do empty arenas...but they absolutely do not want to have more Coronavirus cases kicking up.
As for now, the only thing we can do is wait for the B’s, the Sharks, and the league to come to a satisfying compromise on what’s to be done here.
Oh, and wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds. Even if you’re feeling fine. Flatten the Curve and all that.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared a State of Emergency as of 3:45pm. The state’s warnings of making meetings virtual and leaving the state as of right now currently only apply to public schools and to state employees, but Governor Baker did also discourage going to large gatherings as well. We’ll be monitoring this and discussing further measures implemented if it impacts the Bruins and other Boston hockey teams.