COVID-19 Forces Closing of Fresno Chaffee Zoo - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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COVID-19 Forces Closing of Fresno Chaffee Zoo



Photo of rhinos at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo
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Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan said Sunday morning that the Fresno Chaffee Zoo will close until the end of March to comply with state guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Wilma Quan-Schecter is Fresno's first female city manager.
“This difficult step is necessary to protect the health and safety of our patrons and our zoo staff.” — Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued guidelines last week that included a recommendation to cancel or postpone all gatherings of 250 people or more, along with additional strategies to protect public health.
City and zoo leaders will reassess the closure at the end of the month, Quan said in a news release.
“This difficult step is necessary to protect the health and safety of our patrons and our zoo staff,” Quan said. “This decision is based on discussions with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo board chair and senior management, Mayor (Lee) Brand and the city council, and county officials. With an abundance of caution, we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus so we can get back to enjoying the attractions and activities that make Fresno a great place to live.”

City Cancels Events Expected to Attract More Than 250 People

The Brand administration previously announced it would cancel all city-produced events, meetings, or conferences anticipated to attract more than 250 people. City staff is now determining which events will be affected by this decision.
City officials have contacted the operators of city-owned venues including the Convention Center, Selland Arena, the Saroyan Theater, Veterans Memorial Auditorium, and Granite Park to recommend actions that will reduce exposure from large public gatherings. Changes in events at those venues will be made in cooperation with event promoters.

Event Information

The latest information on whether events will be held is available by calling 3-1-1 or at

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email