The Golden State Warriors will play the Brooklyn Nets in an empty Chase Center on Thursday after “escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus,” the Warriors announced. San Francisco officials on Wednesday banned any gatherings with more than 1,000 people as the city fights to slow the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus—prompting the first professional sports team in the U.S. to play without fans because of the pandemic. “Due to escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, tomorrow night’s game vs. the Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans,” the NBA team tweeted Wednesday. “Fans with tickets to this game will receive a refund in the amount paid.” The professional basketball team has seven more home games left this season, though it is not known yet if future games will also be closed off to fans.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also said Wednesday he’s banning gatherings of more than 250 people in several counties across the state. At least 23 residents have died in the state, many in King County, where Seattle is located.