On March 13, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City. The declaration will ” place occupancy and spatial limits on New York City’s large venues and cancel all existing and future events exceeding a capacity of over 500 people until further notice, with restrictions put in place on establishments with a capacity under 500 people.”
“To curb this pandemic, we need greater social distancing,” said the Mayor. “Each of us needs to change our lives to protect the people most act risk. We’re therefore cancelling large gatherings and implementing strict reductions on smaller ones. This isn’t the first set of restrictions we’ve handed down and it will not be the last. As we learn more about COVID-19 and how it spreads, we’ll continue taking steps to keep New Yorkers safe.”
Currently, there are 95 confirmed cases of coronavirus (AKA COVID-19) in New York City, with 29 residents under mandatory quarantine and 1,784 under voluntary home isolation.
The Mayor’s directive effectively closes down Broadway, a major tourism draw and source of tax revenues for the City, sporting events, and other large gatherings. The NYC public school system, however, remains open. More than one million children attend school in this system, but concerns over burdening parents and disadvantaging students who cannot do tele-learning, have, so far, kept this option from serious consideration. In the pandemic of 1918, school closures had a marked positive effect on controlling the spread of disease, and it remains an option if the virus spread continues unabated.