Coronavirus closings: What not to do in Brooklyn this weekend
UPDATE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that as of 5 p.m. on Friday, all gatherings of 500 or more people will not be permitted in New York. In addition, any venue with an occupancy of 500 or fewer will have its legal capacity reduced by 50 percent.
The Brooklyn Eagle normally selects 10 things for readers to do each weekend, but as one can guess, this weekend isn’t like others.
With 62 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City as of Thursday morning, according to the mayor, many cultural institutions across the borough are taking precautions by cancelling or rescheduling events.
In an interview with CNN, Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration is “balancing the need to keep as much normalcy in society as possible while reducing the gatherings that are causing concern.”
Classes and parent-teacher conferences are being held virtually, private schools are shutting down entirely and businesses are reeling from the outbreak with many restaurants in areas like Sunset Park closed.
Below are some things you should not do this weekend, or rather, some gatherings you may want to avoid.
St. Patrick’s Day parades
New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was postponed due to the outbreak, and Brooklyn’s 45th annual St. Patrick’s Parade was planned to proceed as scheduled, but was later cancelled due to Cuomo’s order.
“The Parade committee made the difficult decision after the rapid developments that have occurred during the past 24 hours,” the parade’s hosts wrote on its Facebook page. “Our Committee is going to talk and work with community leaders and our Parade supporters about rescheduling our Parade in the future.”
Though the Nets did not have any home games this weekend, they will not be playing at Barclays Center for the foreseeable future as the National Basketball Association suspended the season after two players on the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus.
Brooklyn Public Library
The Brooklyn Public Library, as well as the Manhattan and Queens public libraries, have cancelled all events from Friday until March 31. The branches will remain open, however. BPL is encouraging social distancing in their locations and is implementing enhanced cleaning measures.
“The decision to cancel library programs was not taken lightly, as programs such as story times, technology training classes and English language classes are lifelines for so many,” the three public library systems said in a statement.
“But considering the current situation, and the need to limit large crowds, this was the most responsible path forward to support the health and wellbeing of our communities.”
BPL recently put together a curated list of books on epidemics throughout history that will help put the coronavirus in context. From London’s worst cholera outbreak to the 1918 flu pandemic, there’s something on there for everyone looking to read about infections, diseases and viruses.
BRIC has modified its schedule of events and altered its hours of operation for its Community Media Center. Large gatherings like the Brooklyn Poetry Slam and the Seventh Annual B Free Awards, both previously slated for later this month, have been postponed.
Smaller gatherings appear to be going on as planned, though one should check BRIC’s events calendar to be sure.
All of Green-Wood Cemetery’s events this weekend were either cancelled or postponed, including Winter Wanders, Discover Green-Wood and 5 x 10 at The Catacombs, hosted by BRIC.
Many nightclubs are now closing their doors and cancelling their events due to Cuomo’s order.
Public Records in Gowanus will be closed indefinitely.
House of Yes in Bushwick has also decided to cancel its events after initially saying it would keep its doors open.
On any given weekend in Brooklyn, there is normally an exhaustive list of events happening around the borough. We cannot include them all here so be sure to check in with the museum, venue or event space where your gathering is taking place.
Also as a rule of thumb, if you’re feeling sick, stay home.
Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.
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