You are reading

New York State Will Shut Down Sunday to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus

Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefing reporters Friday (Photo: Governor’s office)

March 20, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York will essentially shut down on Sunday in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, following an order Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in Albany today.

All non-essential businesses must close or have all employees work from home and New Yorkers should stay home as much as possible.

There are now 4,408 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City and 7,102 cases across the state, Cuomo said this morning. Cuomo added that 35 state residents have died and about 18 percent of all cases have led to hospitalizations.

The rise in cases — though connected to increased testing — warrants the statewide shutdown in order to preserve the state’s healthcare capacity, Cuomo said.

“This is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said. He referred to an analogy of flattening the curve, or reducing the spread of the coronavirus, by turning a public “density valve” tighter and tighter.

“We’re going to take it to the ultimate step, which is we’re going to close the valve,” Cuomo said. “Because the rate of increase in the number of cases portends a total overwhelming of our hospital system.”

The new restrictions include:

  • – 100 percent of the workforce of non-essential businesses must stay home
  • – all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size are banned
  • – people must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others in public
  • – individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact
  • – individuals should limit the use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary
  • – sick individuals should not leave their home, unless to receive medical care
  • – young people should practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations
  • – essential businesses should also implement rules that facilitate social distancing

Greater restrictions apply for more vulnerable New Yorkers who are at greater risk of severe illness and possible death if they contract COVID-19.

Seniors over 70, immunocompromised people and those with underlying illnesses, must remain indoors except to go outside for solitary exercise or medical attention. They should pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperatures and wear a mask when in the company of others, who should also wear masks.

Members of the vulnerable group should also stay at least six feet from others and should not visit households with multiple people. They must not take public transportation unless “urgent and absolutely necessary.”

Cuomo said all the measures and restrictions introduced today are mandatory.

“These provisions will be enforced,” he said. “These are not helpful hints, this is not if you really want to be a great citizen — these are legal provisions, they will be enforced.”

Businesses not following the state’s order will be subject to civil fines and mandatory closures, the governor said.

Cuomo acknowledged that the new measures may not be popular with everyone and that businesses will close and people will be out of work, but said the state must be prepared for the worst.

“When we look back at this situation 10 years from now, I want to be able to say I can say to the people of the State of New York I did everything we could do,” Cuomo said. “This is about saving lives and if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

The governor rejected the notion that the shutdown was a “shelter-in-place” order. Instead he called it “PAUSE” which stands for “Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone” and is working to get nearby states onboard.

The governor also acknowledged the devastating impact the measures will have on the economy and said New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants.

Still New Yorkers’ lives come first, Cuomo said.

“I believe these policies will save lives and I’m not willing to put a price on human life.”

email the author: [email protected]

8 Comments

Click for Comments 
Gardens Watcher

Too many people out walking side by side today. Social distancing is not working.

4
2
Reply
Lost my job in Woodside

I work for a very small company near Penn Station. I was going g to work everyday despite the germs & risks out there.
On Wed ,March 18 , I was told by the sleazy boss that he was laying me off !!
Did he do this to get out of paying while home since my job really was ans the phones, post checks & enter invoices.
What a real schmuck,Let Karma get even with him.

23
1
Reply
Observer

For all his protests “no we won’t lockdown” he had to know as most of us knew this was inevitable. If they don’t find a vaccine it will go on much longer.

14
Reply
#dumpdeblasio

E Edwards- As much as I may not agree with paying for healthcare for illegal aliens, this pandemic is a great example of how dangerous it is to have an untreated sick population in the community. Maybe the people hiring illegals should cover the costs since they’re the ones profiting from the crime of illegal alien labor and putting the general population at risk.

21
97
Reply
Why has Trump completely failed to deliver one of his central campaign promises?

Good point, Trump’s so weak on border security it’s a safety hazard.

He lied that Mexico would make a “one-time” payment for Mexico for The Wall, you believed him.
He said a costly government shutdown would do it, you believed him.
He begged for more taxes to pay for it, complete failure.

The republicans control the senate–why is Trump too weak to build a single in of Wall?

2
2
Reply
E Edwards

While I give credit to Gov Coumo for his handling of this crisis…..keep in mind this is the same politician that just a few months ago pushed for open borders and health care for illegal aliens……while he “knew” that New York was totally unprepared for a health emergency due to lack of capacity. Further, if he didn’t “know” how can he lay blame on the Federal Govt? How do you square that? Or his statement the responsibility of government is to protect its “citizens” Again while reforming bail laws and providing sanctuary for illegal aliens?

30
15
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.