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Cuomo mandates that businesses reduce “in-office” staff by 75 percent

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (right) holds a coronavirus briefing on Thursday morning. Dr. Howard Zucker (left) and Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo (center) joined him for the briefing. (Photo credit: Don Pollard, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo via Cuomo Flickr page)

ALBANY, N.Y. — After the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New York state jumped overnight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday morning announced that businesses in the state must have no more than 25 percent of their workforce working in person in the office.

“That means 75 percent of the workforce must stay at home and work from home,” Cuomo said in his daily briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move comes a day after the governor ordered businesses to have no more than 50 percent of their staff in the office.


The businesses that are exempt from the restrictions include banks and related financial institutions, grocery and food production firms, health-care providers, media, pharmacies, shipping companies, utilities, warehousing businesses, and other industries vital to the supply chain.

“Voluntarily I’m asking all businesses to have people work from home. As a mandate, 75 percent of your employee base must work from home,” Cuomo said.

The new restrictions come after the state had already ordered numerous businesses to close completely in the last week including casinos, fitness centers, movie theaters, bars, restaurant dining rooms, malls, bowling alleys, and amusement parks.

The number of people in New York state testing positive for the coronavirus increased by 1,769, or 74 percent, in the last day to 4,152 total cases, Cuomo reported. New York has more COVID-19 cases than any state in the nation.

“Why are you seeing the numbers go up? Because you are taking more tests, Cuomo said, noting that more than 7,500 people were tested since Wednesday. “People see those numbers go up, they get nervous they panic, and say ‘look at how many more people have the virus.’ That’s not how many more people have the virus. You’re taking more tests so you’re finding more positives.”

New York City and the counties surrounding it had both the most new positives and total cases. COVID-19 positives in New York City rose by 1,129, or 84 percent, to reach 2,469 total cases.

The governor indicated he may place further restrictions on businesses and in-person gatherings in the days ahead.

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