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NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo considering closing NYC streets, parks, and more to enforce social distancing orders
Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo considering closing NYC streets, parks, and more to enforce social distancing orders

Bold move

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is considering closing New York City's streets, parks, playgrounds, and more in an effort to enforce social distancing, according to a Wednesday CNBC report.

What are the details?

State and local officials are considering the closures in an effort to tamp down the spread of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, over 30,800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state of New York, and at least 285 people have died because of the virus.

In a Wednesday news conference, Cuomo said, "The plan is going to pilot closing streets in New York City because we have much less traffic in New York City. We have many fewer vehicles in New York City. Open streets. People want to walk. They want to go out and get some air. You want a less dense area, so pilot closing streets to cars, opening streets to pedestrians."

Cuomo pointed out that health officials are estimating at least another 140,000 people will be hospitalized because of COVID-19 over the next two to three weeks.

On Tuesday, Dr. Deborah Birx — the White House's coronavirus response coordinator — said the Trump administration is doing all it can to help bolster the recovery effort in New York.

"We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area," Birx said during a press briefing.

What else?

On Sunday, Cuomo said that the COVID-19 outbreak could last many months and urged New Yorkers to prepare for widespread, long-term closings.

"This is not a short-term situation," he said during the briefing. "This is not a long weekend. This is not a week. ... It is going to be four months, six months, nine months."

Cuomo warned that the coming months would be difficult, but that New Yorkers would, of course, endure.

"It's going to be hard," he admitted. "I'm not minimizing it, but it's going to be OK. The grocery stores will continue to function, they're going to have food, the transportation system will function, the pharmacies are going to be open. All essential services will be maintained."

He also urged New Yorkers to avoid panicking.

"There's not going to be chaos — there's not going to be anarchy," Cuomo promised. "Life is going to go on."

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