All workers in non-essential businesses across New York state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference Friday morning.
The executive order takes effect Sunday evening, Cuomo said, and comes a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home. The two states have a combined population of nearly 59 million people, meaning the two orders affect nearly 1 in 5 Americans.
Cuomo acknowledged that his actions “will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They’ll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also.”
The Democratic governor insisted he wasn’t issuing a “shelter in place” order, which he said referred to active shooter situations, but rather the state was “closing the valve” of everyday life to limit the outbreak.
Food delivery service and public transportation will remain operational, Cuomo said.
Civil fines and mandatory closures for businesses that don’t comply with the new mandate will be enforced beginning on Sunday, Cuomo announced.
“These provisions will be enforced,” he said. “These are not helpful hints. This is not if you really want to be a great citizen. These are legal provisions. They will be enforced. There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that is not in compliance. Again, your actions can affect my health. That’s where we are.”