Western Mass. Chinese New Year celebration postponed

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Staff Writer
Published: 1/25/2020 1:55:30 PM
Modified: 1/25/2020 1:55:14 PM

CHICOPEE — Leadership at the Chinese Association of Western Massachusetts canceled a Saturday celebration of the Chinese New Year, which will be rescheduled for a later time.

Linda Hill, vice chair of the association, said the decision to cancel Saturday’s Chinese New Year Celebration gala at the Mercedes-Benz dealership on Burnett Road was made to ease potential concerns from participants about the recent coronavirus outbreak in mainland China. 

Hill conceded that there is an extremely low chance that people in western Massachusetts are at risk of exposure to the virus. But people may still have lingering symptoms such as coughs from the flu season that might make others nervous about catching the coronavirus, she said.

“We want to be cautious and we want everyone to have a good time,” Hill said.

According to the CDC, the coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China and has resulted in hundreds of cases in China and two in the United States. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and the virus can be transmitted person to person. This specific virus has been newly identified, the CDC said.

Hill said the association will make a decision on a new date for the new year celebration within the next month. She said it was unlikely the canceled event would have been attended by people who recently traveled to China.

“We want to celebrate at a time where people can be happy and sit down and be there to celebrate the Chinese New Year,” Hill said.

According to a press release, vendors, sponsors or guests who have purchased tickets will be eligible for a refund.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 

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