David Wilcox, AUBURN – Auburn business owners and event programmers are quickly adapting, with a mix of caution and concern, to a new state rule on public gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule, which took effect at 5 p.m. Friday, was announced Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to facilitate social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus. It prohibits any gatherings of more than 500 people, and places with a maximum occupancy of less than 500 people must not exceed 50% of that number. The only exceptions are schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mass transit.

Everyplace else — restaurants, churches, entertainment venues — is expected to follow the new rule.

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