Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to take the ban on gatherings of any size seriously amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The largest density control issue in the state is New York City. Of the state’s 20,875 positive cases, over 12,000 are from the city alone. Cuomo is currently awaiting word from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who is developing a plan that would focus on reducing the density in parks and other public places, specifically targeted at young people.
Cuomo toured parts of New York City this past weekend to see how residents were responding to orders to isolate.
“I saw the issue myself. I told New York City that I want a plan on how they’re going to control and reduce the density; I want the plan today, I want the state to be able to approve that plan…the numbers show you can get it [COVID-19] if you are a young person, and you can transmit it. [Gathering of young people] is reckless and it’s violative of your civic spirit and your duty as a citizen,” Cuomo said.
The governor plans to implement uniform policies in the five boroughs, and Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, which are all leading in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. The increased measures come in response to public ignorance of statewide social distancing orders.
“My density control measures weren’t enough, that was clear,” Cuomo said. “You could look at a park in Brooklyn or Manhattan, and it almost looked like any sunny Saturday when I went.”
Cuomo announced the executive order, “New York State on PAUSE,” on Friday which is meant to assure the streamlined safety of all New Yorkers. The 10-point policy hopes to dramatically slow the spread of coronavirus by closing all non-essential businesses, banning non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason, enforcing social distancing of six feet or more, among other policies.
“This executive order builds on the actions we have taken to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the wellbeing of our friends, colleagues and neighbors. But again, I want to remind New Yorkers that the panic we are seeing is outpacing the reality of the virus — and we will get through this period of time together,” Cuomo said
Cuomo also shared videos from famous New York residents Robert De Niro and Danny Devito, who are urging their fellow New Yorkers to stay inside and reduce the spread.
“We all need to stay home. We need to stop the spread of this virus and we can only do it together, not just to protect ourselves but to protect others,” De Niro said.
Robert De Niro is watching you. Stay home. Save lives.#NewYorkStateStrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/WgAsBuIrKk
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 23, 2020