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Coronavirus cases in New York jump to 950; 7 dead, Cuomo says

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Posted at 11:31 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 12:58:08-04

NEW YORK — The number of coronavirus cases in New York jumped to 950 on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Of those cases, 463 are in New York City, 220 are in Westchester County, 109 are in Nassau County, 63 are in Suffolk County and 16 are in Rockland county. Seven people have died since the outbreak began, the governor said.

Cuomo reiterated his call for the federal government to deploy the Army Corps. of Engineers to retrofit buildings into hospitals specifically to respond to the outbreak, but also said he was no longer willing to wait for the Trump administration to move.

The governor is working with local governments to identify existing facilities that could most easily be adapted to medical facilities, including dormitories and former nursing homes. New York City will need about 5,000 extra beds, Nassau and Suffolk counties will each need 1,000 extra beds and Westchester County will need at least 2,000 extra beds, Cuomo said.

Earlier Monday, Cuomo joined New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in a tri-state area ban on gatherings of over 50 people. Movie theaters, gyms and casinos across all three states will close at 8 p.m. Monday. Bars and restaurants will also shutter at 8 p.m., but will be able to offer take-out services. Online gambling, which is legal in New Jersey, will continue.

Cuomo also "strongly advised" non-essential businesses to close daily after 8 p.m.

Watch the governor's news conference below:

With many children home from school, Cuomo waived all fees for state, county and local parks. While gathering in enclosed spaces is discouraged, Cuomo said the likelihood of contracting coronavirus while practicing social distancing outdoors is lower.

Such Social distancing practices as avoiding large crowds and standing 6- to 8-feet apart from someone can help slow the spread of coronavirus, according to health officials.

All local governments must also reduce their workforce by 50%, with all non-essential personnel working from home, Cuomo said.

The governor also ordered the distribution of masks to all local police departments and emergency medical services units.