New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is likely to see a similar spread of COVID-19 as China, South Korea and Italy, where the new coronavirus has millions of people under lockdown and has shuttered commerce.
"I've said the same thing to you every day for the past three weeks, I think. You are going to see these numbers are going to go up," Cuomo said during a press conference Thursday.
"What makes you think that the virus in China, the virus in South Korea, the virus in Italy wasn't going to react any differently than the virus here?" he said. "You are going to see the same trajectory that you saw in China, South Korea and Italy, and it is going to happen here as the virus spreads because of the way it is actually contagious."
Cuomo announced a ban on gatherings of 500 or more people across the state "for the foreseeable future" as public officials try to contain a fast-moving coronavirus outbreak that's spread across 44 U.S. states and infected at least 127,800 people across the world.
Cuomo said the state was trying to limit the contagion by reducing "density," or events where a large number of people gather in a close environment. There are currently at least 328 confirmed cases in New York, he said, adding that if the state's actual cases were "10 times that, I would not be surprised."
He said there is no end date for the new rules and they will be "recalibrated" to the spread of the virus and the treatment of the virus.
"Obviously, we all want to get back to work as soon as possible," Cuomo said. "As soon as we go back to normal, we will go back to normal. But we are still ascending, right. We are still ascending on the upward trajectory of this disease."
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.