New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Friday directed non-essential businesses to keep all of their employees at home as the number of Chinese coronavirus cases continues to swell in the state.
“When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Albany.
“These actions will cause disruption, they will cause businesses to close,” he added. “We’re all in quarantine now. We’re all in various levels of quarantine and it’s hard.”
The move comes as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly asked Cuomo to invoke a shelter-in-place order for his city — a request the governor has denied.
“It is not a shelter in place order,” Cuomo clarified of his order. “Shelter in place is used currently for an active shooter or a school shooter.”
As of Thursday, New York City has confirmed 3,954 coronavirus cases and 26 deaths.
“We’re seeing an explosion of cases here in New York City,” De Blasio said at a press conference Thursday. “This number is, nonetheless, very, very painful.”
New York City is expected to receive $1.38 billion in federal funding to help ease the financial strain caused by the virus, but De Blasio has said the aid is not enough. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), citing a massive drop in riders, has is asking for a $4 billion bailout from the federal government.
“It’s hugely important but it’s only the beginning,” said the mayor. “Right now, we have immense expenses that we’re having to address with declining revenue. It’s a very tough time … the city government is trying to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources.”