New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

insider@insider.com (Connor Perrett)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks in front of stacks of medical protective supplies during a news conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which will be partially converted into a temporary hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., March 24, 2020.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday afternoon he was extending the state's PAUSE order for another two weeks. 
  • The policy, now in place until at least April 15, will be re-evaluated in another two weeks, Cuomo said on Twitter.
  • The state of New York has been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
  • Trump had suggested he could place New York and neighboring states in an "enforceable quarantine" on Saturday, though he later backtracked. 
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced he would extend his "PAUSE" program by more than two weeks — until at least until April 15 – meaning the "the non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said in a tweet

Cuomo said the decision to expand the order would be made every two weeks, indicating the governor doesn't see April 15 as the end of his PAUSE program, which he enacted March 20. The PAUSE order directed "non-essential businesses" in New York to close by 8 p.m. on March 22. The order also banned all "non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason." Essential businesses, like grocery stores and healthcare facilities, have remained open.

New Yorkers are not prohibited from leaving their homes, though the state recommended people only leave their homes for necessary reasons, like trips to the grocery store or the pharmacy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called for the cancelation of events that require groups larger than 10 to congregate.

To that extent, hoops at 80 basketball courts across New York City were removed by officials in order to prevent groups of people coming together to play, NY1 reported. The CDC says people should remain six-feet apart to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"What's not fine anymore is any kind of basketball game between people who do not live under the same roof, because, let's face it, it's a contact sport, people are going to get close together, it creates a danger," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ordered the hoops removed, said according to NY1.  

States around the country have enacted similar orders to encourage residents to remain at home, though the language they've used surrounding such orders has varied. States like neighboring New Jersey have called such demands "stay at home" orders. 

The extension comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump said he was considering placing New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on an "enforceable quarantine." Cuomo had rejected such a plan, saying he didn't "know how that could be legally enforceable."

"From a medical point of view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing. I don't even like the sound of it," he added.

The president on Saturday night said after speaking with leaders in the states he named, he decided against putting such a policy in place. Instead, he ordered the CDC to issue a "strong" travel advisory. 

While Trump has suggested social distancing measures could be scaled back as soon as Easter, Cuomo has suggested social distancing procedures could remain in place for months — as long as nine months, he said. 

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is expected Sunday to deliver recommendations to the president over how to potentially scale back social distancing guidelines in portions of the country that have not yet experienced serious COVID-19 outbreaks. The potential guidelines would not likely apply to New York City, an official told a CNN reporter earlier Sunday.  

The state of New York has been hardest hit by the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the US as it becomes a new epicenter of the disease that is believed to have originated in China at the end of last year. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 53,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, and 834 deaths.

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