Coronavirus prompts New York Auto Show postponement

The show was originally slated for April 10 through April 19

The New York International Auto Show will be postponed from April to late August because of concerns related to coronavirus, organizers said on Tuesday.

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The annual auto industry showcase will now take place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 6 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, officials said. Press access will be held on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.

The show was originally slated for April 10 through April 19. There were 173 confirmed individual cases of coronavirus in New York as of Tuesday afternoon, more than any other U.S. state.

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“We are taking this extraordinary step to help protect our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which owns and operates the New York Auto Show.  “For 120 years, ‘the show must go on’ has been heavily embedded in our DNA, and while the decision to move the show dates didn’t come easy, our top priority remains with the health and well-being of all those involved in this historic event.”

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared of state of emergency as authorities worked to slow the virus’ spread. Officials have created a one-mile “containment area” in New Rochelle, New York in order to contain what Cuomo referred to on Tuesday as “probably the largest cluster of these cases in the United States.”

The epicenter of the outbreak in New York is just north of New York City, in Westchester County, where there were 57 in cases total. Many if not all of those cases were from the first cluster that was brought to authorities' attention last week.

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An attendee takes a photograph of a Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 35 sedan displayed during the 2019 New York International Auto Show in New York on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Natan Dvir/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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The New York Auto Show postponement followed similar measures taken by organizers of other major annual gatherings in recent days. South By Southwest, Facebook’s F8 developers' conference and Google I/O are among the events canceled thus far.

New York Auto Show organizers said the event is responsible for more than $330 million in economic benefit each year. The event draws hundreds of thousands of attendees.

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