Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in New York State, US, extend orders requiring residents to stay home, closure of nonessential businesses until at least May 15.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • New York City, New York
  • Albany, New York
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Rochester, New York
  • Binghamton, New York
  • Elmira, New York
  • Islip, New York
  • The Hamptons-Montauk, New York
  • Watertown, New York
  • Plattsburgh, New York
  • Ithaca, New York
  • Newburgh, New York
  • Glens Falls, New York
  • White Plains, New York
  • Fishkill, New York
  • Hauppauge, New York
  • Melville, New York
  • Riverside, New York
  • Saratoga Springs, New York

This alert began 16 Apr 2020 22:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 08:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): New York State (map)
  • Time Frame: Until at least May 15
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo extended orders requiring residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks, and nonessential businesses to close until at least May 15 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, or travel to work at an essential business or service. Residents may also engage in recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing guidelines. Among the businesses that may remain open are grocery stores, pharmacies, health care providers, banks, fuel stations, transportation providers, construction companies, and manufacturers. Restaurants may only provide delivery and carry-out services. Residents are urged to limit their use of public transport as much as possible. Officials have also asked all residents aged 70 years or older to remain indoors and screen the temperature of any visitor.

Additionally, beginning April 17, authorities will require all persons, including essential workers, to wear protective masks when in public and whenever they cannot maintain proper distance between themselves and others. US authorities have advised residents of New York and nearby states to refrain from traveling to other parts of the country due to the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by New York authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all non-essential travel in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

New York State - COVID-19 Updates: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov

New York State - Stay at Home Orders: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov

New York State - Essential Businesses Guidelines: https://esd.ny.gov