New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Bans Gatherings of 500 Over Pandemic

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
March 12, 2020COVID-19share
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Bans Gatherings of 500 Over Pandemic
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers remarks at a news conference regarding the first confirmed case of coronavirus in New York State in Manhattan borough of New York City, on March 2, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is banning public gatherings of 500 people or more over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement on Thursday, the governor said his office is “taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state.” So starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, gatherings with more than 500 people “will not be permitted.”

“Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50 percent,” Cuomo wrote.

These new rules, he added in a press briefing, will go into effect even sooner for Broadway theaters in Manhattan, and they will be shut down at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

“So, we’re going to take very dramatic actions in that regard to reduce the number of people in a contagious environment,” he said. “No gatherings with 500 people or more.” Schools, hospitals, nursing, and mass transit facilities will be exempt, he added.

Some businesses will get a “closed order,” which will direct them to close, Cuomo said.

Regarding nursing homes, Cuomo said that facilities can make exceptions for those seeking to visit a family member who is sick or dying. However, they will have to wear protective gear.

More than 200 people in New York have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes, although no deaths have been reported. The majority of the cases have been linked to a cluster in Westchester County, located just north of New York City.

“I can’t tell you anything more than the numbers tell me. I see those numbers going up on the number of cases, on the number of hospitalizations, I see those going up and I adjust on the numbers,” Cuomo said during the news conference.

A man in a face mask rides the subway
A man in a face mask rides the subway in Manhattan, New York City, after further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in New York on March 5, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

In an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus, Cuomo also declared the Westchester County city of New Rochelle, which has a population of around 80,000, a containment area, and called in the National Guard to bring in food and sanitize buildings. Cuomo has said that streets are not closed and movement has not been restricted.

On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Philip D. Murphy also recommended that all public gatherings of more than 250 people be canceled due to the outbreak.

From The Epoch Times

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