New York City is considering a shelter-in-place order to prevent spread of virus

Posted at 3:18 PM, Mar 17, 2020

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York City residents should be prepared for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order within days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday as leaders weigh options to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

De Blasio said no decision had been made yet, but he wants city and state officials to make a decision within 48 hours, given the fast spread of the virus, which causes the illness COVID-19.

"New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter in place order,” de Blasio said at a news briefing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier Tuesday he had no interest in imposing local quarantines, but he stopped short of ruling it out. Cuomo said that more restrictions on business would come first and that a quarantine would have to be at least statewide.

Cuomo said Tuesday that citywide quarantines would only encourage people to stay with friends or relatives outside the zone, making transmission problems worse.

Officials in six San Francisco Bay-area counties issued a “shelter-in-place” order that went into effect Tuesday, requiring nearly 7 million residents to stay inside and venture out only for food, medicine or exercise for three weeks.