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20 Mar 2020 | 11:35 AM UTC

US: New York state to implement stay-at-home measures March 22 /update 30

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo orders all residents to restrict non-essential movement from March 22 to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)



On Friday, March 20, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a state-wide stay-at-home order, effective Sunday, March 22, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close, and residents are being requested to limit movement until further notice. Civil fines and mandatory closures for businesses that don't comply with the new mandate will be enforced. Public gatherings have also been banned. Cuomo added that a moratorium on evictions, both residential and commercial, will be implemented for 90 days; it was not immediately announced when the moratorium would come into effect. Food delivery service and public transportation will remain operational throughout the state. At least 7000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New York.

The US Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory, its highest-level travel alert, on Thursday, March 19, urging citizens to avoid all international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Citizens who are currently abroad but reside in the US have been advised to return home immediately, if possible.

To date, there have been over 14,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.