On Friday afternoon, as they do every spring, baseball fans will head to San Francisco to participate in the Giants’ home opener.
But to enter this year’s venues, they need to bring something besides the tickets: proof that they have been vaccinated or have undergone a negative COVID test within the past 72 hours.
With this requirement imposed by San Francisco public health officials, are Bay Area residents asking: As California continues to open up, is this a new trend or an outlier?
Experts say that at present, this is a unique case. However, broader issues are still developing.
President Biden and Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) recently stated that for people attending a party or event, they do not need a “vaccine passport”
The Giants’ early game capacity was only 22%, with approximately 8,900 fans per game. The research team said that fans will be randomly checked at the boarding gate to obtain vaccine and testing information. As more people in society get vaccinations, the rules may change later this season.
“I think this is a one-off,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I think San Francisco is very cautious now, but the request may disappear. Asking to cover up and sit in a small group of people is enough. Testing doesn’t help it much.”
Gandhi pointed out that other baseball teams in California, including the Oakland A team, do not need to be tested. There are only two other baseball teams in the country, the New York Yankees and the Mets, that require proof of testing or vaccination.
Gandhi is a member of the San Francisco 49ers’ Health Advisory Committee and said that when the team returns to the game next season, the committee will not recommend the 49ers’ game requirements. She added that outdoor activities pose far fewer health risks than indoor activities. Participating in activities where people wear masks and separate is basically the same as going to the beach or dining at outdoor restaurants, and neither of these activities requires vaccines or tests. prove.
“Do I think this will become the standard? I really don’t know.” she said. “Outdoor transmission is really low. About 1 out of every 1,000 transmissions occurs outside. If anything, we should encourage outdoor activities. Ventilation is as good as outside.”
The health departments of several Bay Area counties, including Alameda and Sonoma, said on Wednesday that they did not go beyond the state’s plan. Currently, these rules do not require testing or vaccinations to participate in events. Instead, they set limits on the number of people who can participate.
In California, until June 15th, if the counties of professional sports teams are classified as red reopening, they can receive up to 25% of pre-pandemic vaccinations or no vaccinations. In the orange class, this percentage has increased by 33%, which includes all Bay Area counties except Solano, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and other areas.
The first home game was the San Jose earthquake on April 24. A 20% capacity is being planned, with masks and separate seats, but no mandatory vaccine certification or testing.
However, if the team verifies that all fans have tested negative or have been vaccinated, the state’s regulations allow orange-level athletes to accommodate up to 67% of normal capacity.
Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) and other state officials did not disclose what will happen to the rules of sports events after June 15.
New York State has also recently issued regulations that allow venues for concerts, plays, or other events to welcome larger groups of people if they require participants to show proof that they test negative for COVID-19 or are fully vaccinated. However, California will continue to restrict certain large-scale events, such as music festivals and indoor conferences. As far as the convention is concerned, state regulations will prohibit participation in events with more than 5,000 people until October 1-unless the organizer obtains evidence of a vaccination or negative test from the participant.
When asked about vaccine verification at a press conference on Tuesday, State Minister of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly said: “The state currently has no plans to implement or have a vaccine passport system.”
“That said,” Ghaly added, “We know that companies are already exploring how to ensure that vaccinated people can come and enjoy certain privileges of getting vaccinated through verification. This is what many companies (and many customers) expect Method, so we are working with many individuals and entities across the state to ensure this is done in a responsible, fair and just manner.”
UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford (George Rutherford) said that this seems to be the direction of a larger trend. Rutherford said that he supports the Giants’ rules because fans gather closely on the sidewalk outside the arena, but he expects that as the number of cases continues to decline, New York City will promote them as soon as possible.
But he said that some form of “vaccine passport” system is likely to be promoted by private companies (such as airlines and music promoters) that want to get more paying customers than state or federal regulations allow, and spread The risk is lower. Both the European Union and China are developing vaccine passport programs for international travelers.
“I think it is inevitable,” Rutherford said.
The Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter (Staci Slaughter) said that while some fans may find this requirement troublesome, others said they appreciate the extra security.
She would only say that the Giants “prepared a backup plan for the fans,” they showed their tickets but did not have a vaccination certificate or a negative test for COVID, and refused to explain what it was. She said: “If they don’t know what they need to do, we can work with them to improve their ability to enter the stadium.” “We will do this.”
She said it remains to be seen whether other parts of California will replicate San Francisco’s requirements.
She said: “I believe this will be county by county, and as more people get vaccinated, the consistency across the state may be higher. But it is difficult to predict these things. We are all doing our best. “