New York will bar events of 500 or more people, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday, a move meant to block the spread of coronavirus in New York by limiting dense spaces.
The move also require other spaces -- including restaurants, bars and houses of worship -- to cut in half their occupancy limits for the forseeable future.
Broadway shows are being suspended as a result starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mass transit, as well as government buildings, will not be affected by the development.
Cuomo said the move is meant to reduce density that could lead to the further spread of coronavirus.
Closing Broadway, with no timetable given for when shows will re-open, will mean a revenue and economic impact hit of more than $1 billion for the economy.
There are now 328 positive cases of the virus in New York, including 112 new cases from the last 24 hours. Of those cases, 47 people have been hospitalized in New York, a rate of 14 percent.
The state is eyeing, however, what comes next: How to handle capacity issues at hospitals as positive cases are expected to increase.
Cuomo said the state is considering how to expand hospital capacity and bring people to upstate beds. Elective surgery is being considered for postponement.
Nursing homes will bar non-medical visitors unless there is an exigent case. Staff will be required to wear facemasks at all times.
Testing capacity remains at issue. Cuomo said it is unlikely there will be a time in the foreseeable future in which any New Yorker who wants a coronavirus test can obtain one from a health care provider. So far, 2,134 people have been tested for the virus in the state.
“This was always going to get worse before it gets better,” Cuomo said at a daily briefing to provide updates on the state's response.
New York officials this week moved to create a containment area over a 1-mile radius in New Rochelle that closed schools in the area, which began earlier in the day.
On Wednesday, Cuomo announced SUNY and CUNY schools would suspend classes for the rest of the spring semester and move to online classes by next week.
Sporting events and parades are being postponed, while the MLB season is being pushed back. The NBA and the NHL have suspended their seasons.