New York State will ban gatherings of greater than 500 individuals starting on Friday at 5 p.m. (2100 GMT) as a way to sluggish the unfold of the brand new coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated on Thursday.
Establishments that may match 500 individuals or fewer should halve their capability starting on Friday, Cuomo stated.
Broadway theaters in Manhattan must begin observing the brand new guidelines on Thursday night time, Cuomo instructed reporters at a information convention in Albany. He declined to say how lengthy the ban would final. He stated it will be evaluated each day.
“This is about science, that is about knowledge,” Cuomo stated in asserting what he described as extraordinary measures for a state that features the nation’s most populous metropolis. “Let the science, let the information make the selections.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on account of transient reporters in a while Thursday.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 328 individuals within the state confirmed to have contracted the brand new coronavirus, which causes a typically lethal respiratory illness known as COVID-19. A minority of these individuals have been hospitalized, however to date no deaths have been reported in New York.
Hospitals, nursing houses, mass transit and sure different amenities can be exempt from the brand new rule, Cuomo stated. The rule solely utilized to “congregant areas,” state officers stated: an workplace constructing that matches greater than 500 individuals wouldn’t be topic to the rule, however a single open-plan workplace area that matches 500 individuals would.
In the neighboring state of New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy beneficial the cancellation of all gatherings of greater than 250 individuals.
On Wednesday night time, Cuomo introduced that the centuries-old St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, on account of happen on March 17, could be postponed to a later date.
Cuomo additionally expressed frustration with sluggish progress in ramping up testing capability, though he declined to attribute blame. The state has approved 28 labs to hold out diagnostic assessments for suspected COVID-19 sufferers who meet sure standards, Cuomo stated.
“We are manner behind in testing,” he stated. “There’ll be loads of time to do a retrospective. We want to extend testing as shortly as attainable and get the quantity as excessive as attainable. The extra individuals you check, the extra individuals you may isolate.” The state has additionally contracted with a nationwide laboratory, which Cuomo didn’t identify, to do automated testing, which hastens the method, pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Once that’s allowed to proceed, the state might run 5,000 assessments a day, Cuomo stated.