ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday extended the “New York on PAUSE” directive — mandating that companies have 100 percent of their non-essential workforce working from home — another two weeks to April 15.
The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New York state again jumped overnight, rising by 7,195, or nearly 14 percent, to 59,513. Nearly 97 percent of the people infected with the virus are in the greater New York City region. Deaths in the state soared by 237, or nearly 33 percent, to 965 Sunday from 728 on Saturday.
New York state has 8,503 people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, which represents 14 percent of all cases. Of those, 2,037 patients are in the ICU. Meanwhile, 3,572 patients have been discharged from the hospital.
“We’re doing it in two-week intervals because every day is a new day. We’ll see what happens day to day, but I think it’s not even questionable today but that we’re going to need two more weeks of non-essential workers” staying home, Cuomo said regarding the decision to extend the restrictions. He spoke at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis in Albany.
The PAUSE plan first went into effect last Sunday night, March 22. The directive also bans non-essential public gatherings like parties. And of course, numerous businesses remain completely closed including casinos, fitness centers, movie theaters, bars, restaurant dining rooms, malls, bowling alleys, amusement parks, barbershops, and hair salons. Those were shuttered in the days leading up to March 22.
“People ask, When is this over,” said Cuomo. “You tell me when they come up with an inexpensive home test or point of care test that can be brought to volume, I think that’s probably when you see a real return to normalcy in the workforce.”
He concluded, “If you can test millions of people today, you could send them back to work tomorrow.”
On Saturday, Cuomo issued an executive order pushing back New York’s tax filing deadline for personal and corporate taxes to July 15 from April 15. The federal government previously moved the federal tax deadline to July 15.