Ontario or Toronto govt. shut down all theatre shows to help flatten curve of COVID-19

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Right now theatre show with a capacity of less then 250 have not yet been recommended to close. Theatre production with audience of over 250 have.

See: On Friday March 13  Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said  “immediate suspension” of all gatherings over 250 people because of COVID-19 pandemic.

But all theatres with a seating capacity lower than 250 and productions with an planned house of less than 250 are not advised to close. Insurance providers have said pay-outs to cover cancelation loses will not kick-in unless the productions are mandated through government recommendation to close. This situation has left smaller arts companies who have decided to cancel with no access to insurance pay-outs to help cover their losses.

Production continuing to run means dancer/actors/musician are going to rehearsals in situations where due to the nature of their work (close embrace partnering, text scenes with heightened emotions and shared props) social distancing is not possible. While it is each artist's choice about what type of work they will engage in during the pandemic the pressure that the "show must go on" is a powerful force for dedicated hard-working actors/musicians and dancers. If shows are cancelled in a very clear government mandated way both artists and companies who shut-down/postpone their shows will have more access to compensation amounts.

In Ontario and or Toronto we can learn from countries that have been dealing with COVID-19 and can learn from their mistakes. All the data shows that if social distancing is not implemented early enough a steep transmission rate will overwhelm country's healthcare system resulting in devastating loss of lives. This  can be seen in statistics coming in from other countries. Let's give our health care system more time to prepare and then a slower curve of transmission so that they can stay on top of things.

Another reason to do so is to help out theatre companies. Many theatrical insurance plans will not give out payout for shows cancelled due to COVID-19 unless the production is mandated to close by the government. Theatre company who decide to cancel because they think it is the right thing may then have no insurance pay-outs to cover their losses. 

For all these reasons I think it is time to temporarily shut down all theatres and concert halls in Ontario no matter their audience size.

See article if you want to dive into these statistics that indicates social distancing and can flatten the curve and save lives.

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