Fast decisions in Bay Area helped slow virus spread

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Experts say a three-hour call by health officials in the Bay Area and the bold decisions to come out of it were central to helping California avoid the kind of devastation the new coronavirus has brought to parts of Europe and New York City. The doctors who met that day are members of the Association of Bay Area Health Officers, a group born out of the AIDS epidemic that ravaged San Francisco in the 1980s. The San Francisco Bay Area became the first place in the nation to order residents to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. A highly informed population and media attention to a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship idled off San Francisco’s coast helped ensure compliance.