Come Sunday, Saratogians, things are going to get a whole lot quieter out there in the Spa City. An executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office was issued today (Friday, March 20) effectively locking down the entire state, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. In New York alone, confirmed cases have escalated above 7,100, with an alarming 3,000 new cases since Thursday. In a rigorous effort to stop the spread of the virus, Governor Cuomo has pushed forth “Matilda’s Law,” a provision named after his mother Matilda to represent the population most vulnerable to the virus, including the elderly and immunocompromised.
The mandatory shutdown requires that all nonessential businesses across the state close by Sunday at 8pm, leaving only essential businesses open. All nonessential employees must work from home during this period, and all nonessential gatherings of individuals will be prohibited. Places that can remain open include banks, gas stations, laundromats, grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation services and other businesses deemed essential by the state. Restaurants may remain open for takeout and delivery service only. Even the US tax deadline has been delayed from April 15 to July 15.
This statewide mandate follows California Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders for a stay-at-home lockdown as well, which began on the night of March 19. The number of COVID-19 cases is nearly 210,000 worldwide, with the number of deaths doubling in one week to over 10,000, as of today. In the US, there have been more than 200 deaths and 15,000 cases. In New York, there have been 35 deaths as of today.
“We’re going to take it to the ultimate step, which is we’re going to close the valve,” Governor Cuomo said during a media briefing.
To stay up to date on local, national and worldwide news concerning the coronavirus, check out the sources that Saratoga Living has compiled here.