Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon that he has extended the "PAUSE" order requiring
that people stay at home and keeping all nonessential businesses closed for another two weeks - through April 15.
"It's not even questionable" that the state needs another two weeks - at least - of intense social distancing measures in an effort to slow the transmission of the coronavirus as the number of new cases continues to accelerate.
That means New Yorkers will be celebrating the Easter and Passover holidays without being able to go to houses of worship or gather in groups to do so.
"It’s hard," Cuomo acknowledged. "On the flip side, I say look at what happened in New Rochelle, those gatherings that brought people together were religious gatherings…which was beautiful but it made many, many people ill. And density is the enemy here in this particular time. Worship the way you can, but the gatherings just aren’t a good idea."
New York now has 59,513 cases of the virus, with 8,503 people hospitalized, 2,037 of whom are in the ICU, while 3,572 people have been discharged - 846 yesterday alone.
The number of deaths has risen from 728 to 965, and the governor said he expects there will be "thousands" more deaths in New York before this is all over.
"I don’t see you can look at those numbers and see anything less than thousands of people will pass away," Cuomo said. "I hope it’s wrong."
Cuomo also delivered something of a pep talk to New Yorkers who are no doubt feeling under siege, given the rising number of cases and the actions taken by other state leaders to keep New Yorkers away from their own borders.
"This is New York and we are going to make it through this," Cuomo said. "We have made it through far greater things. We are going to be OK. We specialize in stamina and strength in instability. That’s just what we are doing now. We are strong. We have endurance and we have stability. We know what we are doing. We have a plan. We’re executing the plan. Any obstacle we come across we will manage that obstacle as we have."
"...New York is going to have what it needs, and no one is going to attack New York unfairly and no one is going to deprive New York of what it needs," the governor continued. "That’s why I’m here. That’s why we have a state full or talented professional people…we are doing exactly what we need to do. There is no state in the nation that is better prepared or better mobilized than what we’re doing. I feel that deeply and having studied what other states have done."