You are reading

Cuomo Orders Businesses to Keep Half their Workers Home, COVID-19 Cases Hit 2K

Gov. Cuomo at a press conference today (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

March 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Prompted by the number of coronavirus cases across New York state surpassing 2,000, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all businesses to keep half their workforce home or working remotely.

The executive order — which goes into effect Friday — is meant to reduce density of people and reduce the spread of the virus which has now infected 2,382 New Yorkers and killed 20. In New York City, 1,339 residents have contracted COVID-19.

While the number has drastically risen — the increase is in part due to an increase in testing capacity, Cuomo said. The state has now tested nearly 14,597 people for COVID-19.

Still, he is furthering the state’s action to reduce social interactions and will sign an executive order today directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies, if they have no already done so.

Businesses that rely on in-office personnel must decrease their in-office workforce by 50 percent.

“No more than 50 percent of the workforce can report for work outside of the home,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That is a mandatory requirement.”

The governor previously enacted the same order to government agencies on Monday.

Essential services are exempt from the order, however. The industries deemed essential include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions and other industries “critical to the supply chain.”

Cuomo acknowledged that the new order will be a hardship for many businesses.

“I understand that this is a burden to businesses, I get it. I understand the impact on the economy, but in truth, we’re past that point as a nation.”

He added that the public health crisis now at hand must first be addressed, before the resulting economic crisis.

The governor also said that the 50 percent reduction may be increased if necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’ll see if that slows the spread,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If it doesn’t slow the spread, then we will reduce the number of workers even further.”

In addition to the reduction measures, Cuomo has announced that effective 8 p.m. Thursday that all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys must close.

In addition, he is working to increase the healthcare capacity in the state and aims to establish 50,000 more hospital beds statewide.

USNS Comfort

The federal government, he said, is now deploying the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with 1,000 beds, to New York City.

The governor is also meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers today to discuss ways to increase hospital capacity.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.