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Cuomo Rejects de Blasio's Thought of a Shelter-in-Place for NYC

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Cuomo Rejects de Blasio's Thought of a Shelter-in-Place for NYC

2020-03-18 17:44:101 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Bill de Blasio (Image source: Screenshot)

Six counties in the San Francisco Bay area in California were put under a shelter-in-place order on Monday as an answer to slow down the pace of coronavirus cases. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he is considering a similar order, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has flat-out rejected the idea. 

The San Francisco Bay area's order will affect around 6.7 million people. Up until Tuesday night the state had 700 confirmed cases and a dozen deaths.

A "shelter-in-place" order can differ slightly in what type of emergency it is covering and through the jurisdiction that ordered it. The term means residents are required to stay in their homes and not leave unless necessary under a list of exceptions that are provided. 

Those who are not already sick are only allowed to leave their homes under the following essential activities: "engaging in or performing tasks essential to health and safety," such as visiting a doctor and picking up prescriptions; "obtaining necessary supplies or to deliver supplies to others," such as grocery shopping; outdoor exercise that doesn't jeopardize social distancing; and caring for a family member or pet in another location.

Where it gets really serious is the additional statement attached that breaking what is essentially a legal order is a misdemeanor and "punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both." 

In New York City, de Blasio is considering issuing a similar order, one that would affect 8.3 million people. He appeared on "Today," and when asked whether he will urge Cuomo to approve a shelter-in-place order for NYC, he said, "I'm almost to that point." He feels this legal order "has to be considered seriously starting today."

"This disease is moving so rapidly," he told host Savannah Guthrie. "We're going to have to come up with huge new approaches to make sure that people have food and medicine because they sure as hell don't have income now." 

De Blasio acknowledged such an order would need Cuomo's approval and said he would be talking to him later about it.

Cuomo rejected the thought outright upon hearing about it. "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," said secretary to the governor, Melissa de Rosa, in a statement. 

Cuomo himself chimed in later at a press conference to say, "It just can't be New York City," adding, "I'm from Queens, and if you tell me to shelter-in-place, I'll just go stay with my sister in Westchester (County) and have a good time."

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