In hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus, a Hudson Valley health official recommends canceling all large social gatherings or events.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

On Wednesday, Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman recommended and encouraged the cancelation or postponement of any large social gatherings or events in Orange County, for at least the next 14 days,

The purpose is to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep communities and residents healthy. As of this writing, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Orange County. But the second person to test positive for coronavirus in Ulster County went to a medical facility in Orange County for his confirmed coronavirus test.

“The Orange County Health Department will continuously monitor the new cases in the region with the hope of being able to reduce this recommendation if we see cases dropping,” Gelman said. “The nature of the virus has demonstrated internationally that as community spread is limited, cases reduce. Accordingly, by taking strong actions now, it is our hope to be able to weather this challenge faster than elsewhere.”

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, the CDC strongly encourages event organizers and staff to prepare for the possibility of outbreaks in communities. Postponing and canceling mass gatherings and large community events can help protect you, the health of your event participants and the local community.

With larger outbreaks in surrounding counties and confirmed community transmission in Ulster and Rockland counties, multiple cases in Nassau and New York City, as well as the larger-scale outbreak in Westchester County, limiting large social events at this time is important to maintaining public health, officials say.

Examples of these gatherings include planned or spontaneous events with many people in attendance such as concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.

Additionally, it is highly advised that senior centers discontinue activities until further notice as COVID-19 has been disproportionality affecting individuals over the age of 60 with pre-existing medical conditions, officials say.

In related news, the 259th St. Patrick's Day Parade has been postponed. Other St. Patrick's parades in the Hudson Valley have also been postponed or canceled.