Mar. 18–ALBANY — Businesses across New York are being ordered to keep at least 50% of their employees at home in a desperate attempt by officials to try to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The crisis at hand is a public health crisis,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in announcing this morning an executive order that will be imposed on all businesses except certain essential sectors, including those in the food, delivery and pharmaceutical industries.
“I understand that this is a burden to businesses,” Cuomo said of an order that is going to further hit an already battered state economy.
The state is also seeking federal assistance to double the number of hospital beds — now at about 50,000 — to handle an expected surge of hospitalizations by people with the virus.
President Trump has pledged assistance to New York, home to the most virus cases in the nation; on Wednesday, he dispatched a 1,000-bed military floating hospital ship to New York City harbor.
The state now has seen 2,382 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, up 1,008 from yesterday.
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