Today as the World Health Organization declared coronavirus officially a pandemic, a number of local organizations have postponed or canceled events, while others remain open due to concern for their bottom line and the financial wellbeing of their staff.

The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce and Home Made Theater announced they are postponing major events due to the virus. There are currently 121 cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 in New York state. Two of those cases are in Saratoga County. Local colleges have also canceled or postponed a host of arts events scheduled this month. 

The Chamber of Commerce was set to honor Philip Morris of Proctors Collaborative and Sarah Johnson of CDPHP on March 26 at the Albany Capital Center. That event will now take place on June 17. 

Home Made Theater Company of Saratoga has postponed their March 14 fundraiser at the Spa Little Theater. The company is considering a summer date for the event. 

A coalition of major local entertainment venues met last Friday to discuss their approach to the virus. The group has committed to communicating their approaches. Citing the financial impact on the organizations and staff, many local venues plan to keep their doors open unless the government requires them to close. 

Local venues have implemented increased cleaning procedures, made hand sanitizer readily available and are recommending staff and patrons stay home if they are sick

Large entertainment events across the country are contending with how to handle the virus. South by Southwest, an annual music festival in Austin Texas that regularly draws over 17,000 each March, was canceled earlier this week, impacting some local bands scheduled to play. 

Coachella, the Southern California music festival, has been rescheduled to October. Major industry gatherings like E3 and the NY Auto Show have also been canceled.  

Broadway, however, remains open despite a decline in ticket sales. The Wall Street Journal reports that major Broadway shows saw a prominent decline in week-to-week decline in ticket sales last week. The producers of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “West Side Story,” “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Book of Mormon” announced that remaining tickets to the performances of those shows from today through March 29 will be sold for $50.

Meanwhile, several local colleges have either canceled classes or moved to online learning, which could decrease attendance at local arts and entertainment events that remain open.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that all SUNY and CUNY schools will move to remote learning next week. 

Yesterday, Siena College in Latham extended their spring break by one week and today the college began implementing a policy banning events of more than 50 people. “Spectators will be prohibited from attending home athletic contests, and we are working to cancel or reschedule all public events through March 29,” says a statement from the college. 

RPI in Troy suspended all in-person instruction this week and canceled all school-sponsored events. A host of upcoming events at EMPAC have been postponed. 

Skidmore in Saratoga canceled classes this week and delayed the return of students from spring break through March 22.

*Update The Albany Patroons have canceled the remainer of their season.

The NCAA as announced that tournament games will be played without a crowd in attendance. Albany was set to host the tourney this year.

Albany has canceled its St Patrick’s Day Parade.