CDC: Cancel Gatherings Over 50 People For The Next 8 Weeks

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Update: CT, NJ, and NY have now officially banned gatherings of 50+ people. Expect more states to do the same.

Originally posted on 3/15:

The CDC is now advising that gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled for the next 8 weeks.

That guidance will affect everything from weddings to sports, and concerts to Pesach programs.

While weddings can be sized down to immediate family only, there are hundreds of Pesach programs that have hundreds of guests each at hotels across the world.

With dine-in restaurants, synagogues, and schools being closed across the country, there’s no practical way for those programs to operate with appropriate social distancing.

Many of those programs have previously advised that they plan to operate, though the CDC’s new guidance may be what they need to get a refund from their host hotels in order to cancel their programs without staggering losses. Program hosts would still be on the hook for some nonrefundable expenses, but this may mitigate those losses so that they can provide larger refunds or future credit to guests.

With Israeli hotels being forced closed, we may see the same in the US as well as we follow more of their policies.

The new rules also mean that sports leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLB will be suspended for at least the next 8 weeks. The NBA and NHL may either have to play to empty arenas, or they may have to forgo the playoffs this year depending on how long these new restrictions are in place.

Were you planning on hosting a wedding or going to a Pesach program? How will your plans be changing?

HT: lakewood34, via DDF

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48 Comments On "CDC: Cancel Gatherings Over 50 People For The Next 8 Weeks"

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My friends wedding is in Mexico in 2 weeks let’s see what happens.

Alex Torgueman

Flights have more than 50 people. Are all flights worldwide going to stop?


Why wouldn’t this apply to commercial buildings where there are hundreds or even thousands of people traveling through the lobbies?


It’s quite possible that large buildings will require people to queue up outside with reasonable spacing, and then allow people in 10 or 20 at a time until they enter the elevators and head to their floor.


That still wouldn’t stop the virus from potentially spreading to everyone who walks through the lobby after a carrier coughed there beforehand.


It’s not a matter of “stopping”, it’s just a way to reduce the probability.


Would that include flights?


Is it a recommendation or requirement?


Will they force to downsize weddings or it’s just a recommendation?


Yes. A wedding hall in Brooklyn will not perform weddings starting tomorrow as per CDC guidelines.


When the airlines claim poverty (bankruptcy) in a few months from now, WILL THE GULLIBLE TAXPAYERS HAVE TO BAIL THEM OUT AGAIN?!


The government actually made a profit from the bank bailout of 2008.


No. Their creditors will own them.


Can we all agree that the CDC needs a new logo?


We’re all in it together now. Crazy times. Good luck to everyone, stay smart and safe.


What about small retail stores where there can be a huge amount of people at one time? Or department stores for that matter? And yet the grocery stores have to a of people at the same time and there is nothing to be done about it

Shaul Morrison

Teaneck, NJ is capacity controlling markets.


The idea is to reduce but essential services still remain open. I did see one chain holding special hours for people over 65…seems like in frum communities we’re used to separate hours/times for things and could implement that.


Still sounds like a recommendation over an actual ban…


Why are they discussing curfews if Bars/restaurant’s are closed? I would think it’s better to go out from 8pm to 5am as there are less people around… Seems like they are just pushing nonsensical policies out of panic or to appear like they are being proactive…

Dan Fan

How will this apply to shuls that until now have been operating, often with 50+ at a minyan? Are they now legally required to cap minyanim at 50? And large yeshivos with big batei medrashim as well?


Wedding planned IY’H in 10 weeks..
Definitely will delay plans till we know more about the
Virus’s impact. Hope to have a better idea in 2-3 weeks.


In accordance with Jewish tradition, it isn’t so simple to push off a wedding set date.
Best to ask your local rabbi.
Why in Israel did they make do with the situation, it is tough conditions but everyone accepts and adapts to the new lifestyle.
How many wedding took place with just 10 people… On porches, in diding rooms, in supermarkets! the figured it out! And look at the clips floating around, the young couple look as happy as ever!
Why can’t this be adapted too in the USA instead of pushing off a date to make “the wedding up to standards”


Remember that Israel is a sheep surrounded by 70 wolves but the US is the big wolf here…we Americans are not used (or good at) living in suppressed conditions.


So time to adapt. No point living in denial. This is the new conditions we live in, let’s make the best out of the situation


Dan, do you think there will be flights from NY to LHR for Pesach?


Did I say the wedding hall is in New Rochelle?
Only a 5 min drive from where drive through Coronavirus testing is taking place now.


I’m pretty sure there is no halachic requirement to get married in a venue booked months in advance.


Maryland is also the same. Prohibited any social, community, religious, recreational sports, gatherings or events of more than 50 people in close proximity in all locations, establishments and venues all across Maryland.


Does pa have this rule?


Still waiting for cancellation of FL Pesach pgm. They claimed to have plan in place to handle situation, but that was at the beginning of last week. Now we can’t even get in touch w them. So frustrating.

Bubby H

I’m hoping to go to LA for Zpesach. Do you think domestic Flights will be dusk ended?