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New York Dramatically Tightens Rules for Public

Employees of non-essential businesses must stay home, and all gatherings are banned
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2020 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The entire state of California is on lockdown. Across the country, New York is taking pretty much the same steps. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered workers in nonessential businesses to stay home, and he banned gatherings of any size and for any reason, reports the AP. “This is not life as usual," said Cuomo, per the Daily News. "Deal with it.” The governor also mandated that people who are allowed to go out stay 6 feet from one another. The rules take effect Sunday night. "We’re going to close the valve, because the rate of increase in the number of cases portends a total overwhelming of our hospital system," said Cuomo. He declined to use the term "shelter in place."

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CNN does the math on the populations of New York and California and concludes that 1 in 5 Americans are essentially under orders to stay home. Cuomo spoke as the number of cases in New York jumped to 7,000 (partly as a result of increased testing) and as the number of fatalities rose to 38, according to Johns Hopkins University. The figure of 7,000 is now the highest by far of any state, notes the New York Times. The majority of cases are in New York City. The governor also said all hair and nail salons, along with tattoo parlors, must close by Saturday evening. One of the New York City fatalities is a technician who worked at NBC's corporate headquarters, per the AP. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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