A day after California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered non-essential workers to stay home as the state battles the coronavirus, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo followed suit and asked that 100 percent of the state’s workforce that can afford to work from home to do so.
Businesses that don’t adhere to the mandate will face civil fines or closures, NY1 reports. “When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said. The policy goes into effect on Sunday (March 22).
Additionally, services like barbershops, nail salons and other grooming outlets will close beginning Saturday (March 21) at 8 p.m. Food delivery will still operate, as well as the public transit system. Out of 7,102 cases in New York state, there have been 35 deaths. The city accounts for 4,408 of those cases. Cuomo’s plan-of-action, titled PAUSE (Policies, Assure, Uniform, Safety, Everyone) is an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus and somewhat ease the hospital system from experiencing an unmanageable overload. For 90 days, residential and commercial rent payments in New York will be halted as well.
For New Yorkers over the age of 70, Gov. Cuomo is recommending that they remain at home. Other than this mandate, the politician confirms that vital practices must remain as normal. “Essential services have to continue to function,” Cuomo said via Buzzfeed. “Grocery stores need food. Pharmacies need drugs. Your internet has to continue to work. The water has to turn on when you turn the faucet.”