ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – March 2020 was the month coronavirus arrived in New York. During that time the state saw its first deaths from the disease and began to shut down in an attempt to halt the spread. Here is the timeline from March 11 through March 23.
The World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
Glendale Nursing Home in Schenectady County suspends visitation.
The NBA cancels the 2020 basketball season.
Governor Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Indoor venues, including bars and restaurants, also had their capacity slashed by 50%. The order was expected to last a minimum of 30 days.
“From zero to 500, we’re reducing the occupancy by 50 percent So 50 percent of your seated capacity is the new capacity for a facility. The order includes restaurants and bars.”Governor Andrew Cuomo
Locally, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Siena college Canceled their spring sports schedule, while on the national level, the NCAA canceled all basketball tournaments. The NHL also decided to suspend its season.
Classes at Schenectady’s Union College were suspended following a staff member’s positive diagnosis.
The impact on entertainment wasn’t limited to sports, in New York City, Broadway shows and other attractions were closed down.
A national emergency is declared by President Donald Trump who also bans travel from Europe for 30-days.
Schools districts in the Capital Region temporarily shut down as the virus continues to spread.
Governor Cuomo reports the state’s first two coronavirus-related deaths including an 82-year-old New York City woman, who had an underlying medical condition.
Albany and Rensselaer Counties joined the list of municipalities declaring states of emergency because of the pandemic.
A Siena College staff member tests positive for the virus.
New York City, Massachusetts and Vermont all close their public schools. Troy School District also decides to close.
Amtrak decides to limit its service north of New York City. Amtrak’s Adirondack line will only went to Albany, and the Maple Leaf only ran to Niagara Falls.
The Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum decides to close indefinitely.
Columbia, Saratoga and Warren counties declare states of emergency.
The lockdown extends as New York announces bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theatres will close. Albany Diocese cancels all masses.
Governor Cuomo announces a “paid sick leave” bill which “guarantees job protection and pay for New Yorkers quarantined” amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The bill requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave based around the size of their business and also includes job protections.
Rensselaer and Warren Counties confirm their first cases.
Social Security offices announce they will close, services shift to phone and online.
The Governor announces 50% of non-essential office workers must work from home.
Immigration and citizenship services are suspended.
Funeral directors begin to conduct “virtual services” online due to gathering limits.
The number of non-essential office workers forced to work remotely is increased to 75%.
Over 150 medical workers are furloughed at Berkshire Medical Center following a possible outbreak.
Stewarts Shops is deemed an essential business and allowed to stay open.
The number of non-essential office workers who must work from home is increased again to 100%. New York PAUSE, which stands for Policies that Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone, is introduced and will take effect on March 22.
Matilda’s Law, named for Governor Cuomo’s mother, is also introduced. The Governor says the new restrictions, which are part of NY PAUSE, are being implemented to protect those over 70.
All non-critical elective surgery is canceled to help free up needed hospital beds. Indoor malls and bowling alleys shut down
Personal care businesses are shut down by executive order.
Governor Cuomo urges people to “be compassionate” and “stay home.”
“This is a public health issue, and you cannot endanger other people’s health.
You shouldn’t be endangering your own. But you certainly don’t have the right to endanger someone else’s.”Governor Andrew Cuomo
“NY on Pause” and Matilda’s Law go into effect. The rules include social distancing measure, further limits on gatherings and mask mandates.
The Governor announces the number of positive cases in New York is over 15,000.
The Capital Region’s first coronavirus-related death is confirmed. Niskayuna resident Walter Robb, a 92-year-old former General Electric executive, passes away from the disease.
The DMV extends the validity of some documents as drivers struggle to get appointments.