Story at a glance

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the NYPD will be out spreading the message against gathering in large groups.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned nonessential gatherings in the state and closed all nonessential businesses.
  • New York state has the largest amount of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

New York City police have started to enforce social distancing rules as state and health officials emphasize the importance of practicing social distancing to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Police in New York City have kicked off a new series of patrols focused on social distancing. In the span of three hours Sunday, patrols issued at least 50 warnings to restaurants, bars, supermarkets and salons, as well as to people gathered in groups in public spaces, according to The New York Times

“We have to keep people separated,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday.

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“So our men and women of the NYPD will be out there spreading the message, telling people to break it up, move along, no lines tight together in a grocery store, no grocery stores full up,” de Blasio said. 

NYPD officials said officers had visited almost 6,000 bars, restaurants and clubs to ensure owners are complying with directives to serve only takeout food. They also visited 1,600 supermarkets and pharmacies, according to the Wall Street Journal

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) banned nonessential gatherings in New York and closed all nonessential businesses Sunday. Some of the exempted industries include health care operations, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats and banks. 

State and city officials last week called on residents to stay home as much as possible and to keep six feet of distance from others to curb the spread of the coronavirus.


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During his daily briefing Sunday, Cuomo said he saw people gathered in large groups during a tour of public places in the city Saturday. 

“It’s insensitive, it’s arrogant, it’s self-destructive, it’s disrespectful to other people, and it has to stop, and it has to stop now,” Cuomo said. “This is not a joke, and I am not kidding.”

New York has the largest number of coronavirus cases, with more than 21,000 statewide. New York City alone has more than 13,000 confirmed cases with at least 125 deaths, more cases than South Korea, a country of more than 51 million people, and the United Kingdom.


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Published on Mar 24, 2020