March Madness Will Be A TV Affair

Mar 12, 2020
Joe Robbins / Getty Images

Originally published on March 12, 2020 12:30 am

Updated at 11:21 p.m. ET

March Madness is going to be very different this year. The NCAA has decided both the men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments won't be played in front of fans. The energy. The excitement. The yelling. All gone. Thanks, coronavirus.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Starting March 14, SUNY Buffalo State is cancelling all classes and won’t resume them until March 30. This comes in response to fears of the coronavirus spreading at a faster rater through large public gatherings. From March 30 on, instruction for the remainder of the semester will be by remote methods. Nick Lippa spoke with students who are asking, ‘What comes next?’


Nursing homes across New York state have been restricting visitation in light of the coronavirus outbreak, cutting visiting hours and screening visitors for flu-like symptoms. Now the head of a statewide nursing home trade group says many of them will soon outright prohibit almost all visitation. 

Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid "to keep new cases" of coronavirus "from entering our shores."

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

WBFO file photo

One day after it was announced New York State youth hockey championships will be played in Western New York without spectators, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced it, too, will close its hockey championships in Buffalo to fans as a COVID-19 virus-related measure.

Niagara Falls Tourism

On both sides of the Niagara Gorge, tourism promoters are expecting a drop in overseas tourists because of COVID-19 and more domestic tourists arriving by car.

Office of the Governor

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is now making New York Clean, a hand sanitizer, in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak and sanitizer shortages that have developed. But prisoners' rights advocates gathered in Albany Tuesday to criticize the use of inmate labor in making the product.

Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state health officials imposed unprecedented restrictions in a one-mile radius in the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County in an attempt to contain what is currently New York’s epicenter of the coronavirus.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University will suspend residential instruction from this Friday until at least March 30 and move to online classes, over concerns from the coronavirus that continues to spread across New York, the university announced Tuesday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

As a means to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, youth teams competing in the New York State Amatuer Hockey Association state tournaments at three Western New York venues this weekend will still be able to play, but not in front of any fans including family members.

WBFO file photo

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo expects it will eventually have to suspend the sharing of a common cup during Holy Communion due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

WBFO file photo, Mike Desmond

With college campuses and sporting events elsewhere making changes to curb the spread of COVID-19, Buffalo's mayor says one of the city's most popular draws remains on schedule.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

There will be a public information meeting in Brockport Tuesday night to help answer questions residents may have about the coronavirus, as well as some SUNY study-abroad students who have been housed at a dorm on the Brockport Campus.

Office of the Governor

The head of the state’s Port Authority has tested positive for coronavirus, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health officials are releasing a plan for possible school closures if a child is found to have the illness. Meanwhile, the state is manufacturing its own hand sanitizer to deal with the shortage of the disinfectant product.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

In a world where renowned scientists are racing to decode coronavirus, average citizens have a lot of questions. Many showed up Monday night to the Fruit Belt's Moot Community Center to ask those questions.

Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

There are now 142 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York, more than any other state in the nation.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Staying isolated in your bedroom. Using a bathroom that’s only used by you. Texting your temperature to health officials.


That’s life for the approximately 116 Erie County residents under 14-day voluntary quarantine due to the new coronavirus. Those quarantined don’t necessarily have the virus — no one in Erie County has tested positive thus far — but they are being monitored due to recent travel history or because they’ve been in contact with someone who does have the virus, as per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.


Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

As the novel coronavirus reached a global milestone, topping 100,000 cases across more than 100 countries over the weekend, Italy has imposed extraordinary restrictions on about a quarter of its population and limited public activities throughout the entire country.

Brenda Tremblay / WXXI

Eighteen SUNY students returning from study abroad in Italy will call the College at Brockport home for the next two weeks. SUNY officials took immediate measures to return the students to New York, whose programs were in countries at the center of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Around the world, some large public gatherings are being cancelled due to COVID-19. In Buffalo, events like the Old First Ward’s 42nd annual Shamrock Run are operating normally, with a few precautions.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Western New York organizations like Kaleida Health are preparing for COVID- 19 by treating it as a virus that will eventually make its way to the region.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

While the two Erie County families who recently traveled to Italy have tested negative for the new coronavirus, county officials warn the local fight against the outbreak, and the testing of more county residents, is far from over.



While health officials continue to monitor reports of new cases of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 illness, amateur sports officials are sticking to their plans to host state tournaments this month, some of which begin this weekend in Western New York.

Canada's Prime Minister has created a new coronavirus committee to oversee the nation's response. PM Justin Trudeau said the cabinet-level committee will look at economic disruptions and health impacts of the new threat.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

The University at Buffalo announced Wednesday that it is bringing nine students home who are currently studying abroad in countries affected by the novel coronavirus.

Updated on March 16 at 1:56 p.m. ET

Kids, this comic is for you.

It's based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Despite no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Western New York, Erie County officials are preparing for the worst.

Public health officials in Ontario have confirmed a new presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Toronto. The patient is a woman in her twenties who is now recovering in isolation at home.