More developments this morning (March 13) on the novel coronavirus outbreak impacting communities across the state and country:
Gov. Cuomo has now banned all gatherings in New York of 500 people or more, effective most places at 5:00 this evening. However, it doesn’t apply to schools, hospitals, nursing homes or public transit at this time.
Venues with under 500 people have also been limited to half their normal capacity.
Additionally, the governor has confirmed 109 additional cases of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 325.
So far there are still none diagnosed in Cortland County, although several people have been monitored with three still remaining under a precautionary quarantine.
SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum also issued more clarity yesterday evening on the school’s transition to a distance learning model, as directed by the governor taking effect immediately after the upcoming break.
Today’s classes will continue as planned before students head home for a spring recess that’s now been extended by a week as well, meaning all classes are suspended from March 23 through March 30.
That’s when distance learning programs will begin and continue until at least April 13.
However, the campus is not closing. Residence halls, Neubig Dining and other campus facilities and buildings will remain open, although with limited or reduced services.
All campus activities and events are cancelled until April 13 with limited exception.
For those who will ultimately be forced to leave campus because of the outbreak, U-Haul announced yesterday that it’s offering 30 days of free storage to students.
The company will also offer special rates for truck and trailer rentals, but space is limited.
Additionally, all SUNY Cortland winter and spring sporting events have been suspended for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester.
Marathon and DeRuyter boys basketball were set to continue states their state tournaments this weekend, but those games have been postponed indefinitely by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
The NBA was the first to make the shocking decision to suspend the rest of its season Wednesday night, and yesterday the rest of the leagues followed suit, as did the NCAA, which canceled its “March Madness” basketball tournaments for both men and women just a week before they were set to begin.
Last night’s Syracuse basketball game was also called off, along with the rest of the ACC championship tournament.
Championships have been canceled in every spring sport, including hockey, baseball and lacrosse.
More major sports making changes:
The NHL and AHL both suspended their seasons, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman saying he still hopes to resume play later and award the Stanley Cup at the end of the year.
Major League Baseball suspended the rest of spring training and delayed the start of its season by at least two weeks, which had been scheduled for March 26th.
XFL canceled the rest of its inaugural season, after completing half of the 10 weeks. League officials said they’re “committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”
The PGA Tour canceled the rest of The Players Championship after the opening round was played yesterday, and suspended its other tournaments for the next three weeks.
The LPGA also postponed three tournaments beginning next week.
Major League Soccer said it was shutting down for 30 days after it just started on February 29th.
IndyCar and NASCAR said they will hold their races this weekend and next, but without fans in the stands.