Advocacy Alert: Coronavirus Update

Dear Members,

We are all concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus and the impact it will have on our industry, the financial markets, and the economies of New York City and beyond.

In an effort to answer your questions, I am sharing updates from Governor Cuomo’s and Mayor deBlasio’s press conferences. Of course, information changes with each new press conference, but here is what I have as of 4:00pm on March 9th.

On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. As of this afternoon, the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state hit 105. Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued new guidance for New Yorkers on how to prevent the spread of the virus. New York City so far has 19 confirmed cases; the epicenter of the state's outbreak is in Westchester County.

As of 2:00pm today, the City remains open for business.

In New York City, 2,300 individuals, most of whom travelled to China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea, are quarantined at home. Both the Governor and Mayor stated that they believe the number of cases will increase considerably before they go down, and urged us to remain vigilant and calm.

Today, the Mayor asked employers to consider offering their employees the option of telecommuting and staggering arrival and departure times to avoid overcrowding on public transportation. He urged people who are sick to avoid going to work, public events, or on the subway.

Yesterday, the Mayor announced two new coronavirus relief programs for small businesses: 

  1. Grants of up to $6,000 for businesses with 5 employees or less;
  2. Interest Free Loans of up to $75,000 for businesses with 100 employees or less.  

I am looking into having this program extended for nonprofit arts groups and will keep you all posted. In the meantime, if you are willing to communicate with me any additional costs (cleaning crews, staff overtime) or if you have lost any income from audience cancellations, event cancellations, etc. please let me know.

Below is the City’s Dept. of Health website information. For continued updates, click here.

Who is Vulnerable to the Coronavirus From Mayor deBlasio’s 3/9/20 Press Conference 

Most vulnerable: Individuals over the age of 50 who have a history of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, lung disease OR who have a history of smoking or vaping.  

Next vulnerable: Individuals under the age of 50 who have the above-listed pre-existing conditions or a history of smoking/vaping.  

Next vulnerable: Individuals over the age of 50 with no pre-existing conditions or history of smoking/vaping.  

Next vulnerable: Individuals under 50, who have no pre-existing conditions, no history of smoking or vaping. Those who get the virus will find it most likely to be like a case of the flu.  

The Mayor also suggested that people particularly vulnerable to the virus, such as the elderly, the sick, and those who are immunocompromised, refrain from attending "unnecessary gatherings and events," and for people who feel sick to avoid contact with them.

We are all operating in uncharted territory, without a rule book. As situations change, I will continue to provide updates. I feel extremely grateful that our community is strong and that we have one another. You continue to rise to the occasion; increasing the cleaning of your facilities; communicating with your staff, artists and audience and of course, continuing to perform.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  

Ginny Louloudes
Executive Director

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