New York's governor has announced several new restrictions to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including what he described as the "most drastic action" possible.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Friday he's signing an executive order requiring all employees at nonessential business to stay home after previously ordering a mandatory 75 percent reduction. Essential businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores are excluded, as is food delivery service.
"When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take," Cuomo said.
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Cuomo additionally announced Friday he's banning all nonessential gatherings of any size for any reason in the state, saying that "any concentration of individuals" must be "because you're an essential business and an essential workforce." The number of coronavirus cases in New York has surpassed 7,000.
This comes after the governor of California on Thursday issued a statewide stay-at-home order, though residents are permitted to leave their homes for essential activities like getting food, and they can exercise outside while practicing social distancing. In New York, residents must "remain indoors to the greatest extent" they can, Cuomo said.
The new policies, which will go into effect on Sunday, are not "helpful hints" and will be enforced, Cuomo emphasized, and any businesses that don't comply will face a fine and mandatory closure.
"This is not life as usual," Cuomo said. "Accept it, and realize it, and deal with it."
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