Cuomo orders 100% of non-essential workforce to stay home amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 22:37:58-04

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo Friday ordered all non-essential businesses in New York to close their offices and let 100% of their workforce stay home in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus amid the pandemic.

Cuomo referred to reducing 100% of workforce as “the most drastic action we can take” to help reduce the risk of infection.

"First rule, only essential businesses will be functioning. People can work at home, but only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job. Second rule, remain indoors to the greatest extent to protect physical and mental health," Cuomo said.

New York state is on "PAUSE," which stands for Policies that Assure Uniformed Safety for Everyone.

The restrictions take effect Sunday. Restrictions include requiring non-essential business employees to work from home, the ban of non-essential gatherings of any size, and any concentration of people outside their home must be limited to essential workers.

Cuomo also issued an order for all personal-care businesses, including hair salons and barbershops to close as of 8 p.m. Saturday.

Provisions will be enforced, according to Cuomo. There will be civil fines and mandatory closures for businesses not in compliance.

Amid the outbreak, New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants.

When in public, people are advised to practice social distancing, staying six feet away from each other. Public transportation will be running because essential workers need to get to and from the job. Individuals should only use public transportation if necessary.

The move comes as Cuomo announced nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the state's total cases to 7,102 as of Friday. This includes 4,408 cases in New York City and 1,091 cases in Westchester County.

Watch Cuomo's full announcement in the video below.