Coronavirus cases in New York state climb by 112 to 328 as Cuomo bans gatherings of more than 500 people

Shuts down Broadway amid coronavirus spread

Cases of COVID-19 climbed by 112 to 328 on Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday at a press briefing.

Cuomo also said that he is banning gatherings of more than 500 people in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, effective 5 p.m. Friday. Schools, hospital, nursing homes, and mass transit are exempt from the ban.

New York will ban events of 500 people or more and impose restrictions on other gathering venues as part of its effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

Bars, restaurants and other venues with a listed occupancy of less than 500 will have their capacity temporarily slashed by 50%, Cuomo said.

In addition, New York will impose sweeping restrictions on nursing homes across the state, prohibiting anyone but medical staff to enter in hopes of preventing infection of the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus disease's effects.

Cuomo made the announcement around 2 p.m., saying the state needs to take dramatic steps to cut down on events with a high density of people.

“Science dictates these decisions,” Cuomo said. “This is about science. This is about data. And let the science and let the data make the decisions.”

Concerning the nursing home visitors, Cuomo said facilities can make exceptions for those looking to visit a family member who is particularly ill or facing death, though they will be required to wear protective gear.

Cuomo said the limitations will remain in effect indefinitely. The state will revisit them daily, but he said they remain likely to remain as the state's number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to increase.

We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state.

Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS.

Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 12, 2020

"I can't tell you anything more than the numbers tell me. I see those numbers going up on the number of cases, on the number of hospitalizations, I see those going up and I adjust on the numbers."

The Broadway League, the trade group representing Broadway theater owners and producers, said the New York theaters hope to reopen for performances the week of April 13.

"Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the trade group's president.

When asked whether he thinks Broadway will reopen April 13, Cuomo said: "We'll see."

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