Cuomo says NYC quarantine is not being considered

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Washington (CNN)New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday dismissed the possibility that New York City residents will be asked to quarantine, hours after the city’s mayor said they were “absolutely considering” a shelter in place order to combat the spread of coronavirus.

“We hear New York City is going to quarantine itself. That is not true. That cannot happen,” Cuomo said during a press conference. “It cannot happen legally. No city in the state can quarantine itself without state approval. And I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city.”

Earlier on CNN’s “New Day,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota “we’re absolutely considering that” when asked if New York was considering a measure similar to the shelter in place order issued in Northern California that affects nearly 7 million people.

“I mean, right now we have taken a series of steps to reduce the number of people who are circulating around. But we’re going to look at all other options and it could get to that for sure. It could get to that for the whole country,” said de Blasio, who is also a Democrat.

Listen to the CNN Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast with chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta here.

The mayor also said that although the drastic measure was possible, he is concerned about the lack of medical supplies and capacity. He did not provide additional details about what how the city could legally implement a shelter in place order.

Health officials in Northern California have ordered residents to stay home. Health services, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and food delivery services will remain open, as will mass transit for travel to and from essential services.

New York state has taken several moves to address the spiraling crisis. Cuomo has issued an executive order to increase hospital capacity in the state and called the federal government to use the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary medical facilities. The state is producing its own hand sanitizer to deal with commercial shortages.

On Monday, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people to slow the spread of the virus.

CNN’s Kristen Holmes and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13524 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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