According to reports from Politico, New York City residents could face a $500 fine if they break social distancing rules.
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City confirmed this information. He has authorized police officers to give fines to those who are ignoring the orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
New York City has shut down all nonessential businesses, and banned gatherings of any size. With 32,308 confirmed cases in New York City as of Sunday, De Blasio said fines of $250 to $500 would be given to those who are found congregating in public places.
“You’ve been warned and warned and warned again,” He said.
“They’re going to give people every chance to listen, and if anyone doesn’t listen, then they deserve a fine at this point,” de Blasio said. “I don’t want to fine people when so many folks are going through economic distress, but if they haven’t gotten the message by now, and they don’t get the message when an enforcement officer’s staring them in the face … that person then deserves the fine, so we’re going to proceed with that.”
Mount Sinai Hospital and relief organization Samaritan’s Purse are putting tents in the East Meadow, according to de Blasio. It will have 68 beds, and is expected to be open by Tuesday.
“We’re going to be using every place we need to use,” de Blasio said. “This is the kind of thing you will see now as this crisis develops and deepens.”
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As subway service cuts have led to crowded cars on some trains despite a massive drop in ridership, de Blasio also announced that NYPD and MTA workers would do checks of subway cars and force riders off cars that are too crowded.
It was not clear where they would send riders removed from a crowded train car to keep them at a safe distance.
The Staten Island ferry will cut service to one boat an hour, beginning at midnight. The ferry’s ridership has dropped 86 percent.
The city is adding additional ambulances, tours and EMS crews as the number of 911 calls has swamped the emergency line. Late last week, the number of medical calls hit a level never before seen in history.
“The number of 911 calls have been skyrocketing and it’s putting a huge, huge demand on EMS,” de Blasio said. “We’ve never seen our EMS system get this many calls, ever.”
On Saturday, the city sent out 1,400 more ventilators to hospitals across the five boroughs. New York still expects to need 15,000 of the life-saving devices by the time the crisis peaks, and is asking the federal government to send at least 400 more by Wednesday.