(CNSNews.com) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he has no interest or plans to quarantine any city in the state, and no city can quarantine itself without state approval.
Cuomo was speaking to the rumors that New York City will be quarantined.
“Well, maybe you're going to quarantine New York City. We hear New York City is going to quarantine itself. That is not true. That cannot happen. It cannot happen legally. No city in this state can quarantine itself without state approval, and I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city,” he said at a press conference.
Cuomo also announced that schools throughout the state will be closed for two weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Some people are upset about schools being closed. I tell local officials, and I want to say to the people of the state of New York, if you are upset by what we have done, be upset at me. County executive did not do this. The village mayor did not do this. The city mayor did not make these decisions. I made these decisions. These were all state rules. It's not your local elected official.
“I made them because I believe they are in the best interest of the state. I know they caused a disruption. I know people are upset. I know businesses will be hurt by this. I don't feel good about that. I feel very bad about that, because I know that we will have to then deal with that issue as soon as this immediate public health issue is over. My judgment is do whatever is necessary to contain this virus and then we will manage the consequences afterwards.
Cuomo said the “buck stops” with him, and he assumes full responsibility. It wasn’t the local mayor’s decision to close places like restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters.
“Again, these are all statewide rules, because we don't want people shopping among different jurisdictions. You close the bars in New York City, but you keep them open in Nassau, all you’d see is a flood of cars going to the bars in Nassau, so the uniformity is important,” the governor said.
“It’s also important that no local government puts any rules in place without first checking with the department of health so that Department of Health can make sure they are consistent with all other rules that we are about to put in place,” he said.
Cuomo emphasized that no one “contained” New Rochelle, N.Y. He said the containment referred to COVID-19, and their containment efforts were to close schools and not allow large gatherings.
Mitigation is continuing, and it is ramping up. There are many rumors out there. Part of the fear, the anxiety. People spread rumors. Well, maybe you're going to quarantine New York City. We hear New York City is going to quarantine itself. That is not true. That cannot happen. It cannot happen legally. No city in this state can quarantine itself without state approval, and I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city. Well you contained new Rochelle.
We did a containment zone in new Rochelle, which was actually misunderstood. Nobody was contained in new Rochelle. There was no cordone around New Rochelle. You could come and go in New Rochelle as you wanted. The containment referred to the virus. All we did in New Rochelle was close the schools and close places of large gatherings. So, nobody was contained within new Rochelle. And nobody’s going to be contained in any city in the state. So that’s a deep breath moment.