New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new major plans for the state in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. The Empire State is one of the hardest hit in the nation, having now over 1,000 confirmed cases. A majority of those cases were confirmed in New York City and New Rochelle. Three people have died.
All movie theaters, gyms, bars and restaurants will close in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut at 8 p.m. Monday night, the governor noted in his announcement Monday morning, adding that all schools in New York will close for at least two weeks starting on Wednesday.
"The faster and better societies close down, the sooner they reopen," Cuomo said.
Cuomo wants to take further action. He urged President Trump to unleash the full power of the federal government sooner rather than later because he expects hospitals to become overwhelmed. In particular, he's requested that the Army Corps of Engineers help build new facilities.
States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers. Then we can designate existing hospital beds for the acutely ill.
It's a similar scene in Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all schools, bars and restaurants closed in the Buckeye State, and signaled, incredibly, that they may not open for the rest of the year. He is taking such drastic measures because it's his belief that over 100,000 Ohioans could have the disease right now without knowing it. For many people symptoms don't show up for days.