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Decision to Order ‘Shelter in Place’ (LOCKDown) may come within 48 hours : NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio’s Coronavirus Update

NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio: Decision to Order ‘Shelter in Place’ may come within 48 hours

At the NYC Mayor’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Press Conference he stated that a decision to declare a ‘Shelter in Place’ order may come within the next two days. Citing the trajectory of infections taking place locally and state-wide, Mr. de Blasio went to state how difficult a decision it would be.

Earlier in the day, news reports show NY Governor as stating that he’s no intention of carrying out such an order. Such a declaration would need to be made by the governor himself and not by local government.

A day earlier, on Monday, March 16, six California counties in the Bay Area were ordered to ‘shelter in place’. Nearly 7 million residents live in these counties. In contrast, there are over 8.6 million in the city of New York.

A ‘shelter in place’ order would place great restrictions on the movement of residents. It would be a mandatory rules detailing what New Yorkers would and would not be able to do. We’re a slight bit cloudy as to the extent to which they would be truly enforceable by law. Of course all that, we’re sure…we imagine, would be spelt out for all by authorities. It’s a term unfamiliar to many individuals and some might liken it to a basic ‘Lock Down’.

I’ve looked into what such a thing might look like and came across the government site for San Mateo, California with a page dedicated to the newly ordered ‘shelter in place’. You can read about it here…

Below, are excerpts of Mayor de Blasio’s speech in City Hall followed by the corresponding video furnished by the NYC Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability on COVID-19. City Hall. Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio:

Now, I want to talk about a question that’s on everybody’s mind, and that is the issue of shelter in place. This is a reality that is being talked about because this crisis continues to grow. We are all deeply concerned about the direction and the trajectory even as we get new information daily and hourly and we’re trying to better understand the specific trajectory. It’s quite clear this is a fast-growing crisis. In my view, I think the right guidance to give all New Yorkers is, even though a decision has not yet been made by the City or by the State, I think New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter in place order. It has not happened yet, but it is definitely a possibility at this point. I believe that decisions should be made in the next 48 hours and it’s a very, very difficult decision.

I want to emphasize that it is difficult anywhere in the United States of America. It is particularly difficult in a city with such a large population so densely populated together. But I think the point is come with that decision does have to be made. We will be communicating closely with the State. Obviously, it’s a decision we want to make in common. And I think it’s just right to let people know that there is that possibility. To be clear, if that moment came, there are tremendously substantial challenges that would have to be met. And I don’t take this lightly at all. Folks have to understand that, right now, with so many New Yorkers losing employment, losing paychecks, dealing with all sorts of stresses and strains, I’m hearing constantly from people who are tremendously worried about how they’re going to make ends meet. And that scenario a shelter in place begs a lot of questions. What is going to happen with folks who have no money? How are they going to get food? How are they going to get medicines? How are we going to ensure in a dynamic like that, that supplies are sufficient for our population? What role does the government need to play to ensure that the proper distribution occurs and no one gets left out? There’s a lot of unanswered questions and I dare say those are particularly difficult in a City as large as New York City, but I believe we have to quickly come to grips with those questions and determine different contingency plans while deciding if this is the right strategy to move forward with.

Mayor de Blasio Holds Media Availability on COVID-19 within City Hall’s Council Chambers.


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