NEW YORK, New York - In New York state all business not considered to be 'essential' have been ordered to close.
The move by New York to close all non-essential businesses in the state followed a dramatic increase of more than 70% of coronavirus cases, from 4,152 to 7,102, an increase of 2,950 cases. New York has the highest number of cases of all the states in the U.S.
The number of deaths in the state on Friday increased by 50% with 14 new deaths taking the prior total of 29 to 43.
Later President Trump declared a major disaster in New York state, which will free up federal funding.
New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his 'New York State on Pause' Executive Order on Friday.
Essential services are considered 'groceries' and healthcare.' It is not known whether Wall Street falls under the order, and whether it will re-open on Monday.
"We need everyone to be safe. Otherwise no one can be safe," Cuomo said Friday."These provisions will be enforced. These are not helpful hints. This is not if you really want to be a great citizen. These are legal provisions. They will be enforced."
The governor also announced "Matilda's Law" - named for the governor's mother - to protect New York's most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance.
Cuomo also announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions. He did not clarify as to whether businesses that will be closed will continue to have to pay rent on their premises, however those that have freehold premises will get a waiver on mortgage payments, subject to proving financial hardship.
Additionally, amid a shortage of personal protective equipment - or PPE - products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the governor says he is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used.
The governor is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state, he said, is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel.
"Yes, New York has the tightest controls in the country. You look at those numbers and you understand why. Look at the increase in the number of cases. Sixteen days ago we were at zero. Today we are at 2,950. Those numbers are why we are taking these actions. Just increase that curve and you will see it more than doubles our healthcare system capacity. It more than triples the number of ICU beds with ventilators that we could possibly arrange. That's why we're taking these actions," Cumo said Friday.
"These actions will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They'll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also. I've spoken to my colleagues around the state, the elected officials. I've spoken to business leaders. There's a spectrum of opinion. Some people say that we don't need to do this, it's going to hurt the economy. I understand that. Some people want to make it clear that they are disassociated from these actions. I understand that. And 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."
"I've been in public service for many years on every level of public service. I've managed dozens of emergencies. The philosophy that's always worked for me is prepare for the worst, hope for the best. That's what we're doing here. When we look back at this situation ten years from now, I want to be able to say to the people of New York I did everything we could do," The New York governor said.
With many other states, and in some case cities having closed restaurants, cafes, bars and cinemas, and with a ban on almost all sporting tournaments and competitions, and with its borders shuttered, the U.S. is in virtual lockdown.
Similar bans and restrictions are being put in place across the world.
With a virtual collapse of the global economy at hand, stock markets, oil, and non-U.S.dollar currencies around the world are crashing. The Dow Jones on Friday fell 913 points and is now 35% lower than its peak on 12 February, just five weeks ago. The world is already in recession and will be lucky to escape a depression.
Source: New York Statesman - https://www.newyorkstatesman.com/news/264378239/four-us-states-order-citizens-to-stay-at-home-new-york-goes-further