Coronavirus Update: De Blasio seeks to clarify NYC shelter-in-place views, praises San Francisco's order

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Thursday, March 19, 2020
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Jim Dolan has more on the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday sought to clarify comments he made about the possibility of a "shelter-in-place" order in New York, insisting he was not envisioning a Draconian shutdown of bridges and borders in a desperate bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

His comments on Tuesday, in which he said New Yorkers should prepare for a shelter-in-place order to be handed down within 48 hours, put the mayor in opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who repeatedly knocked down talk of a quarantine and said that only the state has the power to issue one, and that none was forthcoming.

In his new comments on Wednesday, de Blasio expressed praise for what he called the "San Francisco model," in which residents of several counties in the Bay Area have been ordered to stay at their homes, but are not forbidden to leave them. It is not a full lockdown.

As WABC sister station in San Francisco, KGO, explains, "The public health order announced limits residents' travel, mandates social distancing and substantially limits public and private gatherings. All non-essential travel is prohibited, based on the order." Indeed. residents can leave their homes for a number of reasons, as this story explains.

"I want to be explicit that I'm talking about the San Francisco model, because it actually exists right now in this country, and from what I'm seeing, it is working, " de Blasio told NY1 in a phone interview.

He acknowledged his comments caused confusion. "I want to take responsibility that there might have been more than one interpretation out there," he told the station.

"I do not see any context for closing borders, closing bridges," he told WCBS Newsradio 880 on Wednesday.

De Blasio said he had a good talk with Cuomo, and that they would talk more over the next 24 hours

Still, de Blasio said he was still watching the "San Francisco model."


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"We need what they are creating," he said.