New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered that all employees of all non-essential businesses must stay at home and urged residents to stay indoors as much as possible as the coronavirus cases in the state reached over 6,800.
"I will sign an Executive Order mandating that 100% of workforce must stay home, excluding essential services. This order excludes pharmacies, grocery stores, and others," Cuomo said.
He also announced Matilda's Law, named after his mother, to mandate people aged 70+ and those with compromised immune systems to remain indoors and pre-screen visitors by taking temperature.
Visitors should wear masks and stay 6 feet away from others, he said.
"I call it Matilda's Law. My mother's name is Matilda. Everybody's mother, father, sister, friend (are) in a vulnerable population this is about protecting them. What you do, highly affects their health and wellbeing," Cuomo said.
The Governor ordered cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason.
He said if people do go out for reasons such as buying groceries, they are required to stay six feet away from each other.
"We are laser focused on protecting those most at risk," Cuomo said.
Total COVID-19 cases in the US now stand at 10,442 and there have been 150 fatalities.
Cuomo said public transportation will keep running for nurses, doctors, law enforcement officers and other essential personnel.
"Everyone else: Limit the use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary," he said, adding that such measures will put the state in "PAUSE - Policies, Assure, Uniform, Safety for Everyone".
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