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Gov. Cuomo Has No Plans to Quarantine New York City

By David Jagielski - Mar 17, 2020 at 3:30PM

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But Mayor Bill de Blasio does have emergency powers he can invoke that are short of a full lockdown.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that New York City won't be put under lockdown as some other cities around the world have been in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. So far, there are approximately 1,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state and 12 people have died from it.

The governor stated that a quarantine of New York City -- or of any city in the state -- "cannot happen legally" without his approval, and that's not a course of action he has any interest in pursuing. 

However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has latitude to take actions of his own. "Under the emergency powers I can do curfews, road restrictions, all sorts of shutdowns," he said during a televised interview.

On Monday, officials in Northern California announced that people in the San Francisco Bay area will only be able to leave their homes in "limited circumstances" under an emergency order that is set to remain in effect until Apr 7. 

Woman wearing surgical mask.

Image source: Getty Images.

More SARS-CoV-2 tests to be available soon

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, demand for tests to see who has it continues to rise, and the shortage of those tests becomes more problematic. Several companies are working rapidly to get more test kits manufactured and distributed. Healthcare equipment giant Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO 1.54%) said Monday that it had produced 1.5 million coronavirus tests that it was ready to ship across the country. 

It's now producing 2 million tests a week, and by April it intends to get that number up to 5 million. On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization that allows U.S. healthcare providers to use Thermo Fisher's test kits. 

Currently, more than 5,700 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., after more than 1,000 new cases were identified on Tuesday. 

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