With fear of the spread of COVID-19 continuing to mount, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is banning events of 500 people or more and shutting down Broadway.
Cuomo said that the ban on large gatherings will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13, though Broadway theaters have been instructed to close as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12.
- Related story: New Positive Coronavirus Cases Bring State Total To 328
Cuomo said that he’s already spoken to theater owners and some actors, who were all in agreement in shutting down to curtail the spread of the virus.
“We’re looking to reduce the density, so we’re going to take dramatic actions in that regard to reduce the number of people in contagious environments,” he said. “So with that in mind, we’re banning gatherings of 500 people or more statewide.”
The Broadway League, which represents Broadway theater owners and producers, stated that New York theaters hope to reopen for performances within a month.
As of Thursday, March 12, there were 328 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York. Globally, there have been 129,589 confirmed coronavirus cases that resulted in 4,749 deaths. In the United States, there have been 1,364 confirmed cases that resulted in 38 deaths.
New York continues to be one of the hardest-hit states in the country, with 328 confirmed cases, behind only Washington’s 338 cases, which resulted in 29 deaths
Additionally, Cuomo announced new rules that will force facilities that house less than 500 people at a time to halve the number of their listed capacity. He noted that the new rules don’t apply to schools, hospitals, nursing homes or mass transit operations.
“This is about reducing the spread,” the governor said. “It’s about reducing density and reducing the spread. We’re doing more aggressive testing, and with the new density restriction guidelines, we think it can slow down the spread.
“Science dictates these decisions. This is about science. This is about data. Let the science and let the data make the decisions.”
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