Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered the Empire State to shut down and
asked local businesses and manufactures to step up as officials mounted
a desperate struggle to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to be able to say to the people of New York — I did
everything we could do,” Cuomo told reporters at the state Capitol. “And
if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”
The restrictions take effect Sunday night at 8 p.m. and will shut
down all nonessential businesses across the state, leaving just grocery
stores, pharmacies and other essential operations open. All non-solitary
outside activities, like basketball and other team sports are also
The lockdown also requires all nonessential government and private-sector employees to work from home.
Cuomo said the MTA will continue to run city subways, buses and
Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains. The agency announced
Friday it will allow backdoor boarding on local buses beginning Monday
to help protect bus drivers from exposure.
“We have to do it, we have to be serious,” Cuomo said.
“Everyone has personal freedom, and everyone has personal liberty,
and I’ll always protect that,” he added. “But everyone also has a
responsibility to everyone else.”
Laundromats and gas stations will be allowed to remain open, as will
liquor stores and restaurants for take-out and delivery service only.
Doctors’ and veterinarians’ offices can remain open, too.