Health and Science

NYC mayor pushes for 'shelter-in-place' order as coronavirus cases surge to almost 1,900

Key Points
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve a "shelter-in-place" order for the city as coronavirus cases surge to almost 1,900 across the five boroughs.
  • De Blasio, speaking to NY1 local television station, said he had a "very good conversation" with Cuomo.
New York CIty mayor Bill de Blasio announced state of emergency following outbreak of Coronavirus in city at City Hall.
Lev Radin | Pacific Press | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he's pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve a "shelter-in-place" order for the city as coronavirus cases surge to almost 1,900 across the five boroughs.

De Blasio, speaking early in the evening to NY1 local television station, said he had a "very good conversation" with Cuomo about an hour earlier.

Cuomo on Wednesday morning said he wouldn't approve a "shelter-in-place" order for New York City after de Blasio told residents to prepare for one.

"That is not going to happen, shelter in place, for New York City," Cuomo said on The Daily podcast by The New York Times. "For any city or county to take an emergency action, the state has to approve it. And I wouldn't approve shelter in place."

De Blasio told NY1 that he's pushing for restrictions similar to those put in place by San Francisco earlier this week. "It's not shutting down the city," de Blasio said, adding that bridges and tunnels would still be open.

In a CNN interview later Wednesday evening, Cuomo spoke about his conversation with de Blasio, saying he's not in favor of "quarantining the city or imprisoning people."

Shelter in place "is a little deceptive," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer. "It sounds like you are imprisoned in your home, but that's not actually what it is."

People can go to the doctor and exercise outside, he said.

Northern California officials announced Monday a "shelter-in-place" order that will affect nearly 7 million residents of six counties in the Bay Area as the region tries to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The order asks all residents of six Bay Area counties, including San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda, to remain home as much as possible.

New York state and other hard-hit regions across the country are trying to slow the spread of the virus so that the nation's health-care systems don't get overwhelmed. Cuomo and other tri-state area officials on Monday banned all gatherings of 50 or more people and placed restrictions on restaurants, bars and other places of recreation.

COVID-19 has infected more than 7,300 people across the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In New York state, there are more than 2,900 cases, the highest in the nation.

"When we're going to have a real problem is when cases hit their apex and descend on the health-care system and we will not have enough hospital beds," Cuomo said during a press briefing Tuesday. 

Cuomo said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is sending a floating hospital to help the state manage an onslaught of coronavirus cases.

Cuomo doubled the number of projected hospital beds and revised the hospitalization rate from his estimates on Tuesday, when he said the state needed 55,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients and said the hospitalization rate was 19%.

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