New York issues a ‘pause’ on nonessential services and gatherings. Here’s what that means.

Times Square is sparsely populated due to ongoing...Photo
by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The new restrictions are aimed at stopping the spread of
COVID-19 throughout New York state

As the number of COVID-19 cases balloons throughout New
York—which now has
the most confirmed cases in the United States
—Gov. Andrew
Cuomo has ordered all non-essential retailers and businesses to
close, and for residents across the state to stay home as much as
possible in an effort to stop the spread of the novel
coronavirus.

“We need everyone to be safe, or no one can be safe,” Cuomo
said during a press conference announcing the new regulations.
“This is not life as usual. Accept it, realize it, and deal with
it.”

The executive order, which Cuomo calls PAUSE—which stands for
“Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone”—will take
effect on the evening of March 22, according to the governor. It
mandates that any businesses not deemed “essential” must keep
100 percent of their workforce home. Any businesses that do not
comply could face fines or enforcement measures.

What
qualifies as an essential business
is fairly broad: The list
includes hospitals and other health care facilities (including vets
and walk-in clinics); utilities; mass transit and airports;
retailers like grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, farmers
markets, and restaurants (for delivery only); banks and other
financial institutions; services like mail delivery, trash
collection, laundromats, auto repair (but, notably, not bike
repair), and child care; news media; construction; and groups that
provide services to the homeless and other vulnerable New
Yorkers.

What’s nonessential: bars, restaurants, malls, movie theaters,
gyms, businesses providing grooming services (barbershops, nail
salons, and hairdressers), casinos, theaters, sporting events, and
“worship services.”

The order also mandates that New Yorkers to halt any gatherings
“of any size, for any reason” for the foreseeable future,
although it stops short of discouraging people to leave their homes
entirely. Instead, it states that people should continue to
practice social distancing, and limit activities to things that can
be done alone or while maintaining at least six feet of distance
between themselves and others. (So going for a solo run is fine;
playing a game of basketball with some friends or hosting a dinner
party, not so much.)

New Yorkers over the age of 70 or who are otherwise considered
“vulnerable” are discouraged from leaving their homes at all.
Fines or penalties were not immediately announced for individuals
who do not heed the governor’s mandate.

The moves comes after city and state lawmakers increasingly
called for Cuomo to adopt a shelter-in-place model for New York,
following the lead of places like San Francisco—which
went into effect
earlier this week—and
Los Angeles county
. On Thursday night, California Gov. Gavin
Newsom instructed the state’s 40 million residents to stay
indoors under an
order he called “safer at home.”

Over the past few days, Mayor Bill de Blasio has joined other
officials in calling for a San Francisco-like order for the city.
“We need to go to a shelter in place model,” Mayor Bill de
Blasio said on The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday morning. “If we
don’t slow [the spread of COVID-19] down, our hospitals will
simply not be able to handle the burden.” Cuomo issued the new
guidances an hour after that appearance.

New Yorkers have already been told repeatedly to hunker down,
but officials had, until Friday, not gone so far as to legally
mandate it. Cuomo, in particular, bristled at the “shelter in
place” language, and refused to call this new policy by that
name.

“This is about saving lives,” Cuomo said during the press
conference. “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be
happy.”

This is a developing story; more information will be
added as it becomes available.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
New York issues a ‘pause’ on nonessential services and gatherings. Here’s what that means.