It is a far trickier question when it comes to what extent should municipalities be actively cancelling events and gatherings. Emergency management authorities at the County, State and Federal levels have not advised us to do this, nor directed us to. Some cities have unilaterally taken measures. For instance the City of Miami cancelled Ultra – an international music festival where thousands come here from all over the world including from nations with already documented high incidents of the virus. Some groups scheduled to meet here have cancelled their own events – usually based on the challenges they are facing with international travel, exhibitor and organizer availability and related issues.
At this point, while we are closely monitoring the situation and in constant communication with local and federal health care and emergency management officials, our City is not prohibiting community events nor affirmatively cancelling gatherings. It would be difficult to go down that road in the absence of informed advice from professionals. Do we cancel all arena events where large groups of people gather like NBA basketball games or every concert at the Arsht or Fillmore? What about movie theaters and public schools? Do we close down hotels and restaurants, all of which receive tens of thousands of visitors daily? Our decision making must be grounded in health care and emergency management expertise. Panic should not be part of our playbook.
So to be clear, we will take every counter measure that health care professionals and emergency management personnel advise. We need to be smart and careful and prepared, and counsel vigilance within our community.