Skeleton crews only: Cuomo further restricts workplace occupancy

Now only 25% of employees can report to work in New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday further restricted the number of employees of most businesses who can report to work outside their homes.

Cuomo said only 25 percent of a non-essential company’s workforce can report to work. The governor had signed an executive order Wednesday that instituted a 50 percent limit, excluding “essential” businesses such as healthcare providers, grocery stores, construction companies and financial institutions.

When asked about his aversion to instituting a shelter-in-place policy, as Mayor Bill de Blasio has floated, the governor said the term is misleading and “scary.” He said the term evokes active-shooter situations or nuclear holocaust. He called the term a misnomer because people are still allowed to leave their homes.

“If I’m going out to help with pets … I’m not in a room in a post-nuclear holocaust waiting for an all-clear sign,” he said.

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“Words matter at this point,” he added. “Shelter in place is a scary term for people, especially when they don’t know what it means, especially when you are not doing what it means.”

On Wednesday, Cuomo indicated that he would further restrict non-essential businesses before turning to more stringent regulations. The state has 4,152 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Write to Kathryn Brenzel at