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Mayor Tells New Yorkers to Skip Packed Subway Cars as Cases of Coronavirus Increase

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March 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin

With the number of coronavirus cases in New York increasing daily, Mayor Bill de Blasio advised New Yorkers to skip packed subway cars and to work from home if possible.

New York City now has 16 confirmed cases, including two in Queens, the Mayor said this morning. Yesterday, the city total was at 13 cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 — but the mayor warned of triple-digit numbers in the coming weeks.

“I think we could well be at a hundred cases or hundreds of cases over the next two or three weeks,” de Blasio said at a press conference Sunday.

Statewide, there are more than 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus and the governor declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

As the number of cases increases, Mayor de Blasio said to avoid close contact, like crowded subway cars, as the virus spreads from close person-to-person contact.

“If you are traveling by subway and the train that comes up is all packed and you can possibly wait for the next train in the hopes it might be less packed, please do,” de Blasio said.

He said New Yorkers should walk or bike to work if they’re able to or hop on the bus if it’s less crowded than the subway.

He said employers who can institute telecommuting should do so and if not, they should stagger work times so that less people are commuting at the height of rush hours.

“Right now, at the height of rush hour, obviously people — we’ve all experienced it, we’ve all been the sardines in the subway. We’re in super close proximity,” de Blasio said. “We’d like to open that up a little more and one of the good ways to do it is to stagger work hours.”

COVID-19 is transmitted when respiratory droplets from a sneeze, cough or spit of an infected person is transferred directly into another person. According to city disease detectives, the virus doesn’t survive for more than two or three minutes in open air.

Health officials advise people to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

As of Sunday, 19 New York City residents were under mandatory quarantine and 2,176 are under voluntary home isolation.

Compared to the 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, there were 201 negative tests and 86 are still pending, the mayor told NY1 today.

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