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Home Coronavirus A NYC COVID-19 Day of Confusion Over Whether / When Non-Essential Businesses Would Close

A NYC COVID-19 Day of Confusion Over Whether / When Non-Essential Businesses Would Close

A Day of Confusion Over Whether Or When Non-Essential Businesses Would Be Closed Due to Latest COVID-19 Clusters

Throughout the day the Mayor has spoken of carrying out that which he originally intended for Wednesday, October 7: the closure of nonessential businesses within the 9 COVID-19 hot spot zip codes. He would teeter between saying that the city would indeed go through with such closures and acknowledging the need for the Governor’s okay.

NY Governor Cuomo would hold a press conference this morning followed by the Mayor’s briefing immediately thereafter.

Mr. Cuomo stated that such businesses needed to close but held back out of the need for clarity on borders. Boundaries within which to better determine which businesses needed to cease since zip codes were too inexact considering the scope and extent of the virus’ spread.

One should keep in mind how the Governor, for weeks now, has repeatedly voiced how the city does not have the power to close or open businesses. Any such moves would require permission from the state. These matters have been a concern since discussions of school closures at the beginning of the NYC COVID-19 crisis and reaching months into the future when the reopening of restaurants were being considered.

During the Mayor’s presser, prior to questions from the press, he spoke clearly about going through with the closures.

One question posed to him would get the same declaration as a response. As long as the state had no modifications to his plan the city would go forward.

Yet it was only when another member of the press questioned him on this that he stepped back and spoke of the state’s needed involvement while still referencing the absolute urgency of the situation.

Adding confusion to what was already a confusing situation the Mayor had a talk with Errol Louis of NY1’s Inside City Hall – during which he responded to a question about these closures.

Louis:

“To the extent that a public health crisis is also a public communications crisis, you know, we in the media are trying our best to hold up our end of all of this, that sounds like confusion to me, honestly, Mr. Mayor. Like we don’t know what the State is going to say. So, you’ve laid out a compelling case that we should do a certain thing by Wednesday, but we can’t really report that that’s what’s going to happen because we don’t know if that’s what’s going to happen.”

Mayor de Blasio:

“In those nine particularly challenged ZIP codes, the City of New York has made clear, I’ve made clear, we want the non-essential businesses closed on Wednesday morning,” said the Mayor. “We have ongoing conversations with the State. The State has still not given approval. We’re urging the State to act quickly. If the State wants to modify this plan, that is their right, obviously. But until further notice, the plan that I have presented is to move on Wednesday morning because we have to move aggressively. Obviously, we’re expecting an answer from the State tonight or tomorrow during the day so that we can get in position and do the enforcement we need to if those restrictions are in place.”

Mr. Louis’ response was the epitome of what I imagine other journalists were feeling today.

Louis: 

To the extent that a public health crisis is also a public communications crisis, you know, we in the media are trying our best to hold up our end of all of this, that sounds like confusion to me, honestly, Mr. Mayor. Like we don’t know what the State is going to say. So, you’ve laid out a compelling case that we should do a certain thing by Wednesday, but we can’t really report that that’s what’s going to happen because we don’t know if that’s what’s going to happen.”

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