San Jose proposes new COVID vaccination ordinance for events with 50 or more people

San Jose’s mayor is proposing attendees at large events at city facilities like the SAP Center show proof of full vaccination. A negative COVID test could not be used as a substitute.

The mandate would apply to Sharks fans and those who attend concerts at the SAP Center. It would also apply to many out-of-towners who go to conventions in San Jose.

Wednesday was the last day of DesignCon at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Participants said the conference had a lot of safety precautions.

"Everyone had their mask on," said Brian Rautio, visiting from New York. "There were security guards that were patrolling and making sure people didn’t take them off."

There was no requirement of full vaccination at the door. However, that may change.

"Personally, I am vaccinated and our company wouldn’t send anybody that wasn’t vaccinated," said Rautio.

SEE ALSO: California to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for large indoor events

"If I’m going to public events like these, if they ask I’m fine with it personally," said Mayuresh Patki of Texas.

San Jose’s mayor wants to require all staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated before entering any event of 50 or more at city facilities.

The facilities include the SAP Center, the McEnery Convention Center, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, California Theatre and San Jose Civic.

It’s in response to rising COVID-19 infections.

"We recognize these large events can be perilous," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. "We don’t want a super spreader event here in the city of San Jose."

He said a negative COVID test won’t do.

"A test is only so good as the date and time that it’s taken," said Liccardo. "Having a test that says someone is negative a few days ago doesn’t help us much today."

The SAP Center said it’s looking at its options. Team San Jose nonprofit that manages the convention center and the city’s historic theaters said it’s waiting to see how the mandate will affect conventions SneakerCon and Silicon slated for the end of August.

"We are signing contracts now but we know things are changeable with the health conditions," said Scott Knies of the San Jose Downtown Association.

The Downtown Association doesn’t foresee any major loss of business. One convention-goer, who didn’t want to go on camera, worries about policing it and shows getting cancelled.

A Sharks fan said it’s better to be safe than sorry.

"If you want to go to a public event like that you should be fully vaccinated," said Levi Sommer of San Jose.

Due to San Jose’s high vaccination rate, the city isn’t requiring proof of the shot for indoor venues like restaurants and gyms just yet. However, many bar owners in San Jose require it on their own.

If the proposal is approved by the city council next Tuesday, the mayor said there would be a grace period.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or