The Sharks will play the Minnesota Wild as scheduled Thursday night following the Santa Clara County public health department's coronavirus recommendations, but the team said in a statement it will "be evaluating further upcoming events in the coming days."
"Guests attending tonight's game and future SAP Center events are strongly encouraged to follow the health department's suggestion," the statement said, "which recommends that 'persons at higher risk avoid mass gatherings such as parades, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm's length of one another.' "
The public health department recommended "postponing or canceling mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm's length of one another." SAP Center, which seats 17,562, "undergoes a rigorous cleaning procedure after each and every event, with particular attention paid to high-traffic, high public-contact areas," according to the statement.
"Many areas will receive additional, enhanced measures throughout the course of events for the foreseeable future," the statement said.
The Sharks are scheduled to play Saturday afternoon and Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche, respectively. The Barracuda, their AHL affiliate, also are scheduled to play Friday and Saturday night. Neither team will play at SAP Center again before March 17, but motivational speaker Tony Robbins is scheduled to have an event at the venue from March 12-15. Robbins has not indicated whether his event will be postponed.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday as a result of the spread of coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has deemed "COVID-19." The state's first death related to the virus was confirmed Wednesday, and The New York Times wrote Thursday that there have been nearly 98,000 cases worldwide. Twelve deaths in the United States have been confirmed.