Coronavirus Triggers Cancellations, Closures, and Contingency Planning Across the United States

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The coronavirus outbreak has hit the United States, prompting schools, companies, religious organizations, and local governments to consider cancellations, closures, and delays.

Some companies have encouraged remote work, temporarily banned international work-related travel, and cancelled planned events in a bid to minimize the risk that the coronavirus will spread. Others are cautiously planning to continue, but drawing up contingency plans to better prepare themselves if the situation should change abruptly.

Local school officials have largely been left in charge of their own closure decisions. Meanwhile, some people have floated contingency plans for popular events like the NCAA Tournament for college basketball, suggesting that teams play in empty arenas.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said residents of his state, which has seen the deadliest coronavirus cases in the United States, should be prepared for disruptions to daily life, asking them to “begin to think about avoiding large events and assemblies.” Inslee further said that while his government has not yet decided to order the cancellation of large gatherings, that step is still in the cards for the future.

Experts said the decision between moving forward with events as planned and cancelling them for public health reasons is fraught. A last-minute cancellation can contribute to widespread panic, put unexpected childcare and financial burdens on people, and lead to significant financial losses for businesses.

source: Washington Post

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