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De Blasio considering 'shelter in place' order for New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioCitigroup executive to run for NYC mayor: report Treasury withheld nearly M from FDNY 9/11 health program New York theaters display banners urging governor to reopen cinemas MORE (D) on Tuesday morning said that he is strongly considering issuing a "shelter in place" order for all city residents as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow.

"We're absolutely considering that," de Blasio told CNN's Alisyn Camerota.

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A "shelter in place" order would mandate that all city residents stay in their homes but would fall short of the complete lockdown that is in place in Italy, where people need permission to leave their homes.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, de Blasio urged New York City residents to be prepared. 

“Even though a decision has not been made by the city or by the state, I think that all New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order,” de Blasio said

He added that the “very, very difficult” decision would be made within the next 48 hours.

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On Monday, six San Francisco-area counties issued a “shelter in place” order. The order is in place until April 7 and encompasses more than 6.7 million people. Residents are still allowed to leave to their homes to shop for essentials, obtain health care assistance and provide for family and friends. They can exercise outside as long as they remain six feet away from people who don’t live with them.

Many states have shuttered bars, restaurants and other places of leisure such as movie theaters as local and federal officials struggle to contain the virus. The Trump administration Monday recommended that people not gather in groups larger than 10. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that there be no gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

There are more than 4,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with at least 85 deaths.

--This report was updated at 3:04 p.m.