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Governor limits in-office workforce for businesses by 50 percent

Posted 18 March 2020 at 2:21 pm

Number of coronavirus cases grows by 1,000 in state

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Provided photo: The USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed hospital ship, is headed to New York harbor.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the USNS Comfort will be deployed to New York harbor and is expected to arrive in April.

The 1,000-bed hospital ship has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms and will significantly increase New York’s hospital surge capacity. The Governor is meeting with leadership of the Army Corp of Engineers today to discuss ways to increase hospital capacity in New York.

The Governor also announced he will issue an executive order directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies effective Friday, March 20. Businesses that rely on in-office personnel must decrease their in-office workforce by 50 percent.

The executive order exempts essential service industries, including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.

“We are fighting a war against this pandemic and we know that two of the most effective ways to stop it is by reducing density and increasing our hospital capacity so our healthcare system is not overwhelmed,” Governor Cuomo said. “The deployment of the USNS Comfort to New York is an extraordinary but necessary step to help ensure our state has the capacity to handle an influx of patients with COVID-19 and continue our efforts to contain the virus. Partnering with the private sector to require nonessential employees to work from home will also go a long way toward bending the curve. My number one priority is protecting the public health so that a wave of new cases doesn’t crash our hospital system, and we will continue taking any action necessary to achieve that goal.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 1,008 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 2,382 confirmed cases in New York State.

On Monday, Governor Cuomo directed nonessential state employees statewide to work from home. The Governor also directed local governments to reduce their overall workforce by 50 percent and allow nonessential employees to work from home.

Also on Monday, Governor Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced a regional approach to combating the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area. These uniform standards limited crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, and required restaurants and bars to close on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. The three governors also temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms and casinos.

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