Brooklyn Boro

Cuomo makes deeper cuts to onsite workforce, announces mortgage waiver

March 19, 2020 Alex Williamson
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed coronavirus legislation in the Red Room at the State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday. Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that for the immediate future, companies across the state will only be allowed to have 25 percent of their employees onsite in the state’s latest push to reduce density and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Just yesterday, the governor announced that only 50 percent of workers would be allowed to come into workplaces outside of the home, with exceptions for certain exempt businesses, including markets, pharmacies and hospitals.

The 50-percent rule was scheduled to begin Friday, and now will be replaced with the 25-percent rule.

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Cuomo cited the number of confirmed coronavirus cases “going up overnight” as his reason for mandating further cuts, and said that, as the number of cases grows, more restrictions could be coming.

As of Thursday morning, there are 2,469 confirmed cases of the virus in New York City. At least 505 of those confirmed cases are in Brooklyn, although the data broken down by borough is not as current as the overall figure.

Across the state, there are 4,152 confirmed cases of the virus.

Cuomo also announced that mortgage payments will be waived for 90 days based on financial hardship, and that not making a mortgage payment during that time period will have no effect on credit scores. It’s not yet clear how this waiver will affect millions of renters in New York City, if at all.

In addition to waiving mortgages, the state will also temporarily bar bank overdraft and ATM fees, the governor said.


Asked about a possible “shelter-in-place” order, which Mayor Bill de Blasio warned could be coming to New York City earlier this week, Cuomo quibbled with the term, saying it was better suited to a nuclear disaster or active shooter situation.

“I believe communication is important and words are important. Say what you mean and don’t say what might alarm people,” Cuomo said.


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