New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his now-daily televised morning update to issue a statewide mandate that all non-essential workers in the state must stay home as the coronavirus continues to spread in the state. “16 days ago we were at zero [cases in New York] — today we’re at 2,900,” he said. “Those numbers are why we are taking this action.”
The “New York state on pause” directive follows a similar mandate laid down by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday night. Los Angeles County also has an order in place as of late Thursday afternoon.
“The measures are meant to flatten the curve because cases rising this fast will completely overwhelm the state’s hospital and medical supply capacity, which is already under strain,” Cuomo said today. “It’s more than we could possibly arrange. That’s why we are taking these actions.
“Just so we’re all clear: This is a statewide order. It’s not what your county executive is doing, It’s not what your mayor is doing, it’s not what anyone else but me is doing, and I accept full responsibility.”
He added: “We know from past history that what a locality does matters – the 1918 Spanish flu which reminds us that this has happened before in society – but St. Louis took one course of action and Philadelphia took another and it made a dramatic difference in the number of people that died.”
Cuomo added: “New York is testing per capita more people than China and North Korea. When you amp up the number of tests, you are getting more positive cases. Now, are we more nervous? No. Because it was the reality. It’s a good thing because we can isolate and track back. New York has 7,000 cases – California has 1,000. New York is in a dramatically different position. We may well be testing multiples of these other states. Does it mean we have seven times more people infected than in California? You don’t know. You know we are doing more tests than California — in total, testing 32,000 people. We did 10,000 tests last night.”
Jill Goldsmith contributed to this report.