The San Francisco area is circled heavily on the PGA Tour calendar as being this year’s PGA Championship host city. The year’s second major will be played May 14-17 at TPC Harding Park. The city also made news this week in connection with the coronavirus. Mayor London Breed on Tuesday issued an emergency declaration to prepare the city for a potential virus outbreak. No cases of the virus have been confirmed in San Francisco.
According to a USA Today story, Breed’s declaration was made in the name of preparation.
“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step up preparedness,” Breed said. “We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”
The declaration raises awareness, mobilizes city resources, accelerates emergency planning and coordinates agencies across the city, Breed said in the USA Today story. She said it also allows for future reimbursement by the state and federal governments.
Related: Coronavirus explained
Across the country in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where the first round of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic got underway on Thursday morning, the PGA of America indicated it was already watching the situation in San Francisco. The organization issued the following statement:
“We are carefully monitoring the situation as it relates to the 2020 PGA Championship in San Francisco. We will follow the guidance of public health authorities and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.”
Coronavirus news entered the golf sphere in a big way this week with Wednesday reports of two Italian players being isolated at the European Tour’s Oman Open as a precaution. Originally, they withdrew from the event.
By Thursday morning, the European Tour had clarified that coronavirus tests for Lorenzo Gagli, one of the men in question, had come back negative. He and Edoardo Molinari, his roommate for the week in Oman, were reinstated in the field.
“This is a difficult global situation, one during which we will continue to follow all guidance given to us on preventive measures, and all decisions will continue to be made in the interests of overall public health,” said Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour.
According to the USA Today story, the global death toll hit 2,801 on Wednesday night.
Heightened awareness of the virus on the West Coast may stem from an infected person in California – confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday – that would represent the first U.S. person to contract the virus despite not visiting a foreign country recently or coming in contact with an infected patient.
USA Today reported that it brings the number of coronavirus cases detected in the U.S. to 15, with 12 of them related to travel and two to direct contact with a patient.
“At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” the CDC said in a statement. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.”