In a news conference this afternoon, Mayor Bill De Blasio addressed something that has been on everyone’s mind as a possibility: a “shelter in place” requirement.
“In my view I think the right guidance to give all New Yorkers, is even though a decision has not been made by the city or by the state, I think New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a ‘shelter in place’ order,” he said. “It has not happened yet but it’s definitely a possibility at this point.”
He said they will be communicating closely with New York State government to make the decision, which should be final in the next 48 hours.
“It’s a very difficult decision, but is particularly difficult in a city so densely populated,” he said. It would legally require all New Yorkers to stay at home at all times (except to leave for getting essentials like food or medical aid).
But, as the NY Times reported, an aide to Governor Cuomo (who would have the final say) said “Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require state action and as the governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time.” So, there are definitely some mixed messages coming about.
As of this hour (4pm, March 17), De Blasio said the confirmed number of cases in NYC is 814: 248 in Queens, 277 in Manhattan, 157 in Brooklyn, 96 in the Bronx, and 36 in Staten Island.
He also announced alternate-side parking would be suspended from March 18-24 (for now).
featured image source: Twitter / @NYCMayor