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Coronavirus concerns prompt Corey Johnson to postpone State of City Address

Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilman Stephen Levin announce recommendations for a new approach to solving homelessness. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak prompted City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to put off his own State of the City Address, which he had prepared to deliver this Thursday, March 12, in Manhattan.

Johnson was to make his address before an audience at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, but on Tuesday, announced that he would postpone it “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We felt this was the right decision to ensure that Council employees and the hundreds of guests we invited remain safe and healthy,” Johnson said in a statement.

The speaker did not announce an alternate date for the address, but indicated he would release his report on New York City government, and his proposals for the future, this Thursday.

While the city has not yet prohibited large public gatherings, the Health Department and city officials have made multiple warnings urging seniors, people with pre-existing conditions and those with compromised immune systems to avoid crowds and help stave off potential coronavirus infection.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning that there are now 25 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City. The disease is being spread, in many instances, from person to person through the discharge of infected bodily fluid from coughs and sneezes.

“I was looking forward to the speech, but at a time when we are urging New Yorkers to consider measures like telecommuting and staggered work hours, it seemed an unnecessary risk,” Johnson added.

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