Coronavirus Concerns Lead to Cancellation of Lunar New Year Celebrations

Several events to mark the Lunar New Year have been cancelled out of caution, but there have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Michigan.

Local Lunar New Year events are being canceled or postponed because of concerns about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The Detroit chapter of the Association of Chinese Americans postponed a banquet that was supposed to happen Feb. 1, and a lantern festival scheduled for this coming weekend.

“It’s not so much that it’s so much fear. We’ve been operating on the extreme caution side.” – Brian Gao, Detroit Chinese Business Association

The Detroit Chinese Business Association had planned to celebrate at the end of the month. The date was meant to accommodate people who travel to China in February to celebrate the new year. But, Brian Gao, the nonprofit’s president, says his organization decided to cancel its celebration because many of its members traveled to China in January.

“There was a large automotive conference just two weeks before the outbreak or public announcement of the coronavirus,” Gao says. “Many of our members potentially have attended that automotive conference.”

Gao says some people who have traveled to China recently have quarantined themselves. He says community organizations have been advised to avoid large gatherings.

“It’s not so much that it’s so much fear,” Gao says. “There’s so much still waiting to be unveiled with the research. So we’ve been operating on the extreme caution side.”

He says it’s unfortunate that the community won’t be celebrating the new year together. But, he says, the DCBA will host an event during the upcoming North American International Auto Show as a gathering for local and international business people.

There have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Michigan.

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.