Non-essential employees must stay home; gatherings banned

Gov. Cuomo gives an update on coronavirus on Friday. Gov. Cuomo gives an update on coronavirus on Friday. | Photo: Gov. Cuomo's Office.

Updated: March 20, 2020 06:58 PM
Created: March 20, 2020 11:38 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide.


“Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job,” Cuomo said of an executive order he will sign Friday.

Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed, Cuomo said.

Here's a look at how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting New York.


Barbershops, hair salons, tattoo and piercing parlors and nail salons in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania must close Saturday to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the governors of the four states said.

The multi-state order, which also covers hair removal services and related personal care services, is the latest in a series of business restrictions announced by the governors to reduce chances for the virus to spread from person to person.

The businesses must close by 8 p.m. Saturday.

New York state has more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 38 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

"These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans," Cuomo said in a statement.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover. ___


A public defenders group demanded the immediate release of 116 New York city jail inmates they say are vulnerable to the coronavirus.

A lawsuit filed Friday by The Legal Aid Society says the plaintiffs are older and sick inmates who are being held while they wait for trial or because they violated parole. Continuing to jail them “constitutes a deliberate indifference to the risk of serious medical harm,” it says.

A jail oversight board had already called for the immediate release of all high-risk inmates after an investigator assigned to the jails died from COVID-19, the disease that causes the virus.

The city’s jail system has about 8,000 inmates, most at notorious Rikers Island. At least one inmate there has tested positive for the virus.

A message was left Friday with the city Department of Correction.


The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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