Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he will sign an executive order mandating 100% of New York’s workforce must stay home, excluding essential services, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state spiked.
In a tweet Friday, he said the order would exclude pharmacies, grocery stores, and others.
The announcement came after new figures showed New York state now accounts for 40 percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S, with New York City itself responsible for approximately 30 percent.
“This is the most drastic action that we can take,” Cuomo said.
He said the restrictions–which he called New York State on Pause– would take effect Sunday.
The restrictions would cause disruption, cause businesses to close, cause employee to stay home, “cause much unhappiness,” Cuomo said.
But he said they were necessary to protect New Yorkers.
“I beieve these policiies will save lives,” Cuomo said.
On Friday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City’s number of cases had climbed to about 4,000, and 26 people have died from the virus.
“We now constitute 30 percent of the coronavirus cases in the United States of America, 70 percent of the cases in the state of New York,” Mr. de Blasio told MSNBC. “We have to take really intense, radical action right away.”
Cuomo had been under pressure from de Blasio and others to issue a shelter in place order for New Yorkers to combat the spread of the virus.
But Cuomo denied that his order was a shelter in place.
The restrictions include a ban on non-essential gatherings, including “parties, celebrations or social events.”
“These provisions will be enforced,” Cuomo said. “These are not helpful hints.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.