Amid growing concerns about the health risks around the coronavirus, Flushing Town Hall has canceled its annual Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar that was scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Though there have not been any reported incidents of coronavirus in the area, Flushing Town Hall organizers said they are “aware of the concerns that many people in the community have about large gatherings at this time, especially because the full risks of the virus are not yet known.”
The cancellation of the event comes after careful consideration and consultation with many local community leaders, members of its board of directors, the Chinese Cultural Committee, event sponsors, elected officials and event participants, organizers said in a statement.
“The sentiment most expressed by those we consulted with, was that we should cancel out of an abundance of caution in light of genuine public health concerns,” the organization said. “Our decision respects the feedback, concerns and requests for cancellation we heard from our community.”
While they are saddened by the cancellation, the organizers said, “We must do what is right for our community. We greatly appreciate the community’s understanding of this decision. Our board of directors, staff and artistic family recognize that the Lunar New Year is a time of joyous celebration, and while this is a difficult moment for all, we wish everyone a peaceful and healthy Lunar New Year.”
Those who have purchased tickets for the event will receive a full refund.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Tuesday confirmed that 10 patients in New York City were being tested for possibly contracting the coronavirus.
The New York State Department of Health has sent samples for the individuals to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing, with seven found to be negative and three more still pending.
So far, there are no confirmed cases in New York state.
Meanwhile, in Queens, the Centers for Disease Control entry screening program began at JFK International Airport for passengers arriving from Wuhan, but so far no passenger has required further evaluation.
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell.