Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, said he won’t give approval for a “shelter-in-place” order for the city, just one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio said to get ready for it, according to a report by CNBC.
“That is not going to happen, shelter in place, for New York City,” Cuomo said on a New York Times podcast called The Daily. “For any city or county to take an emergency action, the state has to approve it. And I wouldn’t approve shelter in place.”
Cuomo said the action would cause fear among the people of the city. The outbreak has infected over 6,500 people throughout the U.S., and 115 are dead as of Wednesday (March 18).
New York has more cases than anywhere else in the country. Cuomo pointed out that the actual totals are much higher, due to the fact that the testing ability is still nascent and guidelines are still very strict about who can be tested.
“Quarantine in place, you can’t leave your home,” Cuomo said. “The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus.”
On Tuesday (March 17), de Blasio said the shelter order could come in the next two days, but it was dependent on government approval. About 1,000 people have been infected so far in New York City, but that number is expected to increase and peak in more than a month.
“Get ready for the possibility, it’s a decision we would only make with the state of New York, of course, but people have to realize at this point that this disease is going to put many, many people, thousands, tens of thousands of people’s lives in danger,” de Blasio said on NBC.
In the San Francisco Bay area, more than seven million people were ordered to shelter in place. All non-essential businesses, like bars, were ordered to remain shuttered.