NEW YORK — New York’s governor ordered all Broadway theaters to shut their doors in the face of ongoing coronavirus concerns, plunging into darkness one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and causing turmoil in the run-up to the Tony Awards.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday banned gatherings of 500 or more in the city, effectively forcing the hand of Broadway producers who had previously said that Broadway would be “open for business” unless advised not to by the government. Shows will resume April 13.
The move comes a day after Broadway’s two largest theater chains revealed that a part-time usher and security guard who worked at two theaters in recent days tested positive for COVID-19 and was under quarantine.
The pressure on Broadway to go dark steadily increased as other New York entertainment hubs shuttered, including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, the NBA, NHL, CinemaCon, Coachella and Major League Soccer.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.