The latest announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo as COVID-19 continues affect communities throughout the state is yet another restriction on brick-and-mortar businesses as cases in New York have nearly doubled.
Wednesday, Cuomo held his now-daily briefing on the status of the virus’ spread and actions by the state “flatten the curve” with a mandate that ordered business with employees who cannot work from home cut shifts by 50% for all non-essential services.
“Society still has to function. People stay at home, people need to be able to order food, etc. So you have to keep those essential services running,” Cuomo said. “I understand that this is a burden to businesses, I get it, I understand the impact on the economy but in truth we are past that point as country… But let’s deal with one crisis at a time.”
An update to the number of confirmed cases has nearly doubled across the state with 2,382 tallied, and 1,008 being new positives. About 695 the newest cases are in New York City out of 1,339.
Total cases in the United States have increased to 6,994 and 115 people have died.
In New York, 23% of cases require hospitalization, according to the governor.
Cuomo used the figures to soothe anxieties, however, telling reporters that the doom and gloom depicted in a variety of media has given the wrong impression of the situation as one of chaos.
“This is a public health crisis, but worse than the virus is the fear that we’re dealing with,” Cuomo said. “Take a deep breath, we know what is going to happen here… The panic and the fear is wholly disconnected from the reality.”
If a patient recovers on their own and tests negative for the virus after 14 days, Cuomo says they are cleared to go back to work. The administration said the likelihood of an individual being infected twice is low.
As for a policy to have New Yorkers shelter in place would not only close down essential business would be harmful and would be ineffective if it were only citywide as Mayor Bill de Blasio has advocated for.
Cuomo once again confirmed his status as not only a Queens boy but also as a mama’s boy in expressing that his only fear at this point is for his elderly mother, Mathilda.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.