Forced closures of businesses may be necessary to stanch the spread of the coronavirus, some lawmakers said Sunday, as four more New Yorkers died and cases surged to 729 statewide.
With many Big Apple bars and eateries still hopping over the weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio raised the specter of mandatory closings.
“Right now, this crisis is getting a lot worse very quickly,” he said. “Literally every option is on the table right now.”
De Blasio vowed that the NYPD, FDNY, Department of Buildings and city sheriff’s office would crack down on venues flouting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order for those with occupancy limits below 500 people to halve their capacities.
Penalties will include fines beginning at $400 for a first violation and, potentially, arrest, said de Blasio.
Hizzoner’s tough talk came as four new deaths were announced in the Big Apple, bringing the city total to five and the state toll to at least six.
De Blasio said the new fatalities were two men and two women, ranging in age from 53 to 79.
With New York City alone now the site of at least 329 confirmed cases, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for shutdowns of all nonessential services across the five boroughs.
“Only essential services should remain open,” tweeted Stringer. “No bars, restaurants, or movie theaters.”
Johnson made a similar call in a statement.