As of Monday March 15th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that organizers cancel or postpone gatherings of 50+ people for the next eight weeks due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus.
While the latest statement from the CDC is not a legal mandate, local governments across the US are looking to get ahead of the curve by implementing their own regulations.
State by State
California Governor Gavin Newsom called for the statewide closing of bars, nightclubs, and pubs. However, he emphasized that it was not an order at this time. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti enacted an executive order to shut down all bars/nightclubs, dine-in restaurants, entertainment venues, and gyms.
In Las Vegas, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts have announced that they will be closing their locations starting Tuesday March 16th.
Moving across the coast, New York has finally closed their public school system. Restaurants and bars are to serve in a delivery and take-out capacity only.
Miami and Fort Lauderdale have enacted mandatory curfews for select businesses. Restaurants, bars, and non-essential retail stores are required to close at 10pm. In addition, Miami Beach will be closed for the next 30 days.
Similar action is being taken all across the United States. Ohio, Washington, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts have all taken measure to close non-essential businesses. Not to mention the various city governments that have put their own policies in place, like New Orleans.
What does this mean?
The situation is developing rapidly, and it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better. US officials are reportedly considering a domestic travel ban, and questions about a nationwide mandatory quarantine are surfacing.
But its not all bad news. Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 virus originated, has reported that infection rates are down and normal life is starting to resume. South Korea has seen a 50% drop in the number of new cases, down from 500 per day to under 250. In addition, the Trump administration announced Monday morning that a vaccine was being put into Phase 1 clinical testing.
The situation is slowly improving, but the implications for festival season are still huge. While EDC Las Vegas did announce that they planned to go on with their 2020 festival, this was before the official CDC recommendation. With large events all but banned for the next 8 weeks, the fate of summer 2020’s festival season hangs in the air.