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‘We’re Going to Close the Valve’: Cuomo Announces New York Coronavirus Lockdown

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gets a briefing from Michael Kopy, the New York State Director of Emergency Management, as New York State’s first drive through coronavirus mobile testing center opens March 13, in New Rochelle, March 13, 2020. (Mark Vergari/USA Today via Reuters)

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a 100-percent reduction in “nonessential” business operations on Friday, shutting his state down amid the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

“When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said during a press conference. He urged residents to “remain indoors to protect” their health.

“We’re going to take it to the ultimate step, which is we’re going to close the valve,” Cuomo stated. On Thursday, he ordered 75 percent of workers in “nonessential” businesses to work from home.

While Cuomo did not describe the executive order a “shelter in place” order — after saying Thursday that the term “came from nuclear war” — the directive effectively operates in the same way as that issued by California governor Gavin Newsom, who on Thursday ordered all 40 million state residents to stay at home.

Cuomo added that “these are legal provisions” and that “they will be enforced” with civil fines and mandatory closures for any non-compliant businesses, with “no civil fines on individuals at this time.”

“Your actions can affect my health, that’s where we are,” he stated. Cuomo also revealed that the state had 2,950 new coronavirus cases overnight to reach more than 7,000 total — with more than 50 percent concentrated in New York City — after doing “10,000 tests last night.”

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers on Wednesday that a directive to stay at home could happen in the next 48 hours.

“All New Yorkers, even though a decision has not been made by the city or the state, I think that all New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order,” he said.

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