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Avoid crowded subways, work from home if possible, Cuomo says amid coronavirus concerns

MTA coronavirus cleaning
Posted at 2:30 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 22:17:07-04

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to stay away from crowded places, including workspaces and public transportation, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

The governor, speaking at Northwell Health Imaging at the Center for Advanced Medicine in Nassau County, said he’s been speaking to business leaders in the private sector about giving employees liberal sick leave policies.

“Basically we want to reduce, as much as possible, situations creating density,” Cuomo said. “If somebody is sick, stay home. If you feel symptoms, stay home. And I’d like the companies to communicate that to their employees that they will pay them liberal sick leave policy to stay home.”

Cuomo suggested companies able to allow employees to work from home should do so.

Mayor Bill de Blasio added that people should plan to have extra time in their commute to avoid packed subway cars. He also suggested staggering work schedules to avoid rush hour.

"We need everyone to do their part in reducing overcrowding," he tweeted. "I know that sounds impossible in New York City, but consider some basic steps like telecommuting if your job allows it."

Officials said avoiding crowded trains and buses would be ideal. The MTA has instituted a new cleaning policy in response to the virus outbreak, but Cuomo expressed concerns about how close people stand when a train or bus is packed.

“If you can move to a train car that is not as dense. If you see a packed train car, let it go by, wait for the next train. Same if you’re taking a bus,” the governor said. “It’s the density, the proximity that we’re trying to reduce.”

There were at least 105 coronavirus, or COVID-19, cases in New York, as of late Sunday morning. New Jersey has six presumptive positives and Connecticut announced its first presumptive positive case on Sunday.

Click here to learn tips on how to protect yourself amid COVID-19 concerns.