Coronavirus update: 24 cases confirmed in Kings County as mayor declares State of Emergency

A man loads water into his car in the Costco parking lot, after the first confirmed case of coronavirus was announced in New York State.
Reuters/Andrew Kelly

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to climb in Kings County as the novel virus continues to disrupt daily life in the borough. 

By midday on March 12, health officials had documented over 24 infections in Brooklyn, and 95 citywide — lending Mayor Bill de Blasio to institute a state of emergency in the Five Boroughs, giving the city special powers to potentially restrict travel and exert more control over the functioning of hospitals.

“I don’t think for most of us who have been in public life for quite a long time we’ve seen a situation quite like this,” the mayor said. 

New York State, which has been in a declared state of emergency since March 7, leads the nation with over 300 confirmed cases as of March 12. 

At a press conference on the state’s response, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a mandatory cancellation of all gatherings with over 500 people. 

Out of an abundance of precautions, however, a number of smaller events in Brooklyn have been canceled for fears that the virus might spread. 

  • The Brooklyn Historical Society is shutting down until at least March 31. 
  • The Brooklyn Public Library is halting public programming through at least March 31. 
  • Brooklyn Museum is closed until further notice. 
  • Both the Bay Ridge and Park Slope Saint Patrick’s Day parades are postponed indefinitely. 
  • Under the governor’s mandate banning gatherings of over 500 people, the boroughs large venues including the Barclays Center and Kings Theatre will cease operation until further notice. 
  • Bushwick nightclub House of Yes is shutting down starting Friday. 
  • Most Brooklyn Community Boards are postponing their upcoming meetings. 
  • Many Brooklyn private schools have closed, although Brooklyn’s public schools remain open — including a Park Slope elementary school where a parent tested positive for the virus

Even with the suspicion of many large processions, the mayor grimly predicted that the citywide total would surpass 1,000 cases citywide by next week. 

“This is a battle, we are going into a long battle,” he said. “This will not be over soon.” 

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