New York Bans Gatherings of 500 or More
New York state will ban gatherings of 500 people or more beginning Friday at 5PM, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference on Thursday.
The announcement came as confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, reached over 328 people in the state. Cuomo said that 14 percent of the individuals diagnosed with coronavirus in New York have been hospitalized.
"We must plan for every contingency & we are taking measures to create a reserve workforce of health care professionals in the event of a staffing shortage," Cuomo's @NYGovCuomo Twitter account stated during the press conference.
Businesses that don't adhere to the gathering ban may be fined or closed down. Cuomo said the state is identifying a potential reserve staff including National Guard medics, medical school staff and former doctors and nurses.
"You're going to see the same trajectory you saw in China and South Korea and Italy," Cuomo said. "The only question is are you gearing up to handle that. We are still ascending, we are still on the upward trajectory of this disease."
In addition to the gathering ban and call for medical staff, the state will not permit visitors in state nursing homes. Cuomo said he expects school districts to close across the state, but the decision will ultimately be left to the individual school districts except in the case where a school has a child that tests positive for COVID-19. In the case of a student testing positive for the virus, the school must close for 24 hours.