state of emergency in city
New York: Mayor de Blasio declared a state of emergency, and Gov. Cuomo banned public events of more than 500 people Thursday as the potentially-deadly coronavirus picked up steam, nearly doubling the number of infected New Yorkers in just a single day, reports NY Daily News.
The ban starting Friday applies to large houses of worship, arenas and concert halls including Madison Square Garden, and Broadway shows.
Even bars and restaurants that draw crowds of less than 500 people can only be filled to 50% capacity under the ban.
“We’re going to take very dramatic actions,” Cuomo said. Exempted – for now – are hospitals, schools, nursing homes and mass transit, he said.
De Blasio said there were 95 confirmed cases across the five boroughs including an alarming 42 cases in just one day. Of the sobering total, 29 people were in mandatory quarantine, he said.
Under a state of emergency, the mayor can order public spaces to be closed and cleared, restrict vehicle access, initiate curfews and modify labor contracts.
De Blasio said the restrictions will be hard on city businesses. But about schools, he said, “It is where our children are very safe, and our parents have no alternatives. We’re going to do our damndest to keep the schools open.”
The state, meanwhile, will impose restrictions on nursing homes across the state, including banning all visitors, and will mandate that all staff wear masks and be monitored for symptoms.
The elderly are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus.
Cuomo also called for increased testing, and said authorities are working on plans to expand capacity at hospitals across the state. The governor also asked retired doctors and nurses to get ready to pitch in if necessary.
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