- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday he would issue an executive order mandating his state to be placed “on pause” to combat the COVID-19 spread.

“We need everyone to be safe. Otherwise, no one can be safe,” he said at a press conference.

The New York Democrat said there are two rules. First, only essential businesses can function. People can work from home, but only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or be at the workplace.

The second rule is for everyone to remain indoors in order to protect their physical and mental health.

There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business not in compliance.

“Your actions can affect my health,” Mr. Cuomo said. “There is a social compact that we have.”

He has steadily decreased the number of workers that should be going to work in the state, but as of Friday, he said 100 percent of the workforce must stay home.

So far, 35 people in New York have died from the virus.

The governor said there are 7,102 total positive cases in his state, and he said there’s been 32,000 tests administered. On Thursday night, 10,000 were conducted.

New York is processing tests at a more rapid pace than China or South Korea, he touted.

“We have done a great job at ramping up the number of tests, but when you ramp up the number of tests you are going to get more positive cases,” Mr. Cuomo said.

In New York, along with other states, the lack of medical supplies has become a major issue.

Mr. Cuomo requested businesses that are able to produce personal protective equipment like gloves, gowns, and masks to help out and contact his office.

“We will give you funding to do it,” he said. “I’m asking businesses to be creative.”

He stressed the need for more ventilators too, saying they are necessary to win this war just as missiles were to winning World War II.

“That is the key piece of equipment,” he said.

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