Health department denies Warriors' proposal to open Chase Center at 50% capacity

Chase Center San Francisco.

San Francisco's Department of Public Health denied the Golden State Warriors proposal to reopen at 50% for NBA season 2020-2021 games set to begin Dec. 22. 

In a letter obtained by KTVU that was sent to the Warriors over the weekend, SF DPH health officer Tomás Aragón said, "I cannot approve a plan for live audiences at indoor sporting events at this time." 

Aragón cited California's COVID-19 restrictions and said indoor sports with spectators is not allowed. 

The decision against the Warriors' proposal came just days before San Francisco reverted straight from the yellow-tier, bypassing orange, and into the more-restrictive red-tier for COVID reopenings as cases in the city have rapidly surged.  

Jeff Cretan, a spokesman with Mayor London Breed's office said, "We are in a difficult time right now with COVID cases surging, and our focus is on keeping the public safe and healthy so we can get through this pandemic and support our long-term economic recovery."

Cretan went on to say the city's Department of Public Health has met with the Warriors management over how to safely bring events back to the Chase Center in the future. He said that conversation went well. 

"We know the Warriors and events at Chase Center are an important part of San Francisco’s economy and our City, and we will continue to work collaboratively with them as we move through the challenging times ahead," he said. 

On an optimistic note, the health department said they are willing to work with the Warriors on permitting 25% capacity at Chase Center events as soon as San Francisco is reinstated to the yellow tier. 

From an epidemiological standpoint, the yellow tier means less than 1.0 daily new cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate less than 2%. 

Warriors were advised if they would like to hold games without fans at the Chase Center as the NBA's 75th regular season begins in December, they would have to submit a revised plan to the health department. 

That plan would have to detail sanitation, social distancing, health screening, and other procedures implemented to mitigate risk of infection to players, staff, media and broadcasting crews, according to the health department's letter. 

As of Wednesday, San Francisco County has 13,929 known cases of COVID-19 and 156 deaths.