New York state officials have taken stronger precautions as the novel coronavirus has infected at least 328 people across the state.
Although New York States ranks second for the most reported positive cases, health officials in the Buffalo area still have not reported a positive case. Rochester did report two positive cases on Thursday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday that all gatherings of 500 people or more are now cancelled or postponed. That includes Broadway plays, parades and other events. Exempt from the restriction are hospitals, schools, nursing homes and mass transit.
In addition, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz called for cancelling of local events of 250 or more people.
“As soon as we can go back to normal we’ll go back to normal,” Cuomo said.
“But we are still ascending, right? We are still on the upward trajectory of this disease.”
Although the virus has now reached a pandemic, which according to the World Health Organization is declared when a new disease that lacks a vaccination spreads across the world, doctors are attempting to calm fears.
Dr. Thomas Russo, an infectious disease expert at University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine, said people should be cautious, but there is no need to panic.
“I think it is almost certainly inevitable that we will see cases here,” Russo said.
“And so I think we need to utilize the time before we have our first cases to become educated about what we should do to keep ourselves safe, and not to panic and base our actions on sort of a logical process to minimize risk for each individual.”