Health Care

Tri-State Area Governors Announce Closure of All Bars, Gyms, Theaters, Casinos

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers remarks at a news conference regarding the first confirmed case of coronavirus in N.Y., March 2, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have agreed to close all movie theaters, gyms, bars, restaurants, and casinos in the states starting at 8p.m. on Monday, part of coordinated efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states, so don’t even think about going to a neighboring state because there’s going to be a different set of conditions. I believe we’re the only region in the country that has done this,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Cuomo along with Governors Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Phil Murphy of New Jersey agreed to ban gatherings of more than 50 people in the tri-state area. Restaurants will serve take-out only. The rules are in effect “until further notice,” Murphy said.

“I think the federal government should have set up a uniform set of rules, so, absent that, regional coordination is imperative,” the Democratic governor added. “The faster and better societies close down, the sooner they reopen.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the “drastic step” is an “effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors.”

“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“We need to treat this like wartime— and we have a simple mission: protect the people most vulnerable and protect our health care system,” the mayor said in a tweet.

On Sunday, New York City closed its 1800 public schools serving more than 1.1 million students, the largest school system in the country. Cuomo called on city school officials to come up with a plan in the next 24 hours to provide childcare for the city’s essential workers, such as health care workers, as well as find a way to feed students who depend on their schools for meals. The city also closed senior centers and will convert them into feeding centers where our seniors, who are some of the most vulnerable to the coronavirus, can pick up meals.

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