New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said residents should be prepared for the possibility of a “shelter in place” order within days.
Tuesday was the first St. Patrick’s Day in more than 250 years without a large parade in New York City, but that didn’t stop a few dozen organizers from marching in a makeshift celebration as the city ground to a halt. State officials scrambled to bring more hospital beds online as the number of confirmed cases in the state rose above 1,300.
De Blasio said that no decision had been made yet, but that he wants city and state officials to make a decision within 48 hours, given the fast spread of the coronavirus.
“New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order,” de Blasio said at a news briefing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier Tuesday he had no interest in imposing local quarantines, but he stopped short of ruling it out. Cuomo said more restrictions on business would come first and that a quarantine would have to be at least statewide.
Cuomo said that citywide quarantines would only encourage people to stay with friends or relatives outside the zone, making transmission problems worse.
Officials in six San Francisco Bay-area counties issued a shelter-in-place order that went into effect Tuesday, requiring nearly 7 million residents to stay inside and venture out only for food, medicine or exercise for three weeks.