Gov. Andrew Cuomo today extended the "PAUSE" - the shutdown that requires all non-essential workers to remain at home, which started on March 22 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic - through April 29, at least.
"I know what it does to the economy, but as I said from day one, I am not going to choose between public health and economic activity," Cuomo said during his daily briefing to reporters at the state Capitol's Red Room.
This announcement came as the COVID-199 death toll rose by 599 people between yesterday and this morning, bringing the total number to 4,758. New York now has at least 130,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and remains the epicenter of the nation's virus outbreak.
Though these numbers are indeed alarming and a personal tragedy for everyone impacted by them, there is some hope, as the number of deaths has been “effectively flat for two days,” Cuomo said. The number of hospitalizations, intensive care admittances and intubations has declined for another day as well.
Cuomo said that these numbers indicate social distancing is working, but he also chastised New Yorkers for failing to be disciplined in staying away from one another - particularly now that the weather is becoming nicer.
To that end, the governor said, the fine for violators of the state’s social distancing is increasing from $500 to $1,000, because “you don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life.”