Earlier today, it was revealed that California Governor Gavin Newsom recommended a limit on gatherings of more than 250 people as a safety measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is following California’s lead: He announced today that New York will implement a statewide ban on gatherings of over 500 people, which includes Broadway shows.
The ban will go into effect for Broadway theaters at 5 p.m. EST tonight, and for other venues at 5 p.m. on Friday. According to a statement from the Broadway League, all Broadway theaters will halt their performances until April 12.
This news quickly follows New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio guesting on CNN this morning and saying that he hoped to avoid a Broadway shutdown after an usher who worked at two shows tested positive for the coronavirus. Mayor de Blasio hoped to find a way to decrease the attendance at Broadway shows without stopping them altogether, saying, “I don’t want to see Broadway go dark, if we can avoid it. I want to see if we can strike some kind of balance.”
JUST NOW: @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio tells me a decision on Broadway shows coming in next 48 hours…
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) March 12, 2020
This is the latest in a flurry of coronavirus-related news over the past few days. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS have all suspended operations, and music festivals like Coachella and Ultra have been postponed.
Read more of Uproxx’s coverage on the coronavirus here.