Attorney: Calling for a shelter in place could escalate coronavirus worries
The term "shelter in place" has been tossed around as a method to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but many are still unclear on what it means and whether or not it will actually be deployed on Long Island.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that he would not sign an executive order for New York residents to shelter in place when he's already limited crowds to a maximum of 50, closed restaurants and bars and ordered non-essential businesses to have 75% of its staff work from home.
"You look at what other places call 'shelter in place' ... it's what we're doing now," says Cuomo.
In several California counties, a shelter-in-place order means people are allowed to be outside for essential tasks like seeing a doctor, getting necessary services or supplies, engaging in outdoor activity, caring for a family member in another house, or working essential jobs.
Municipal law attorney Paul Sabatino says it's the right call to avoid the term "shelter in place."
"You have to be careful how you word these things because people are apprehensive to begin with," says Sabatino. "Some of the hoarding that's happening now will probably escalate."
Sabatino says it is legally possible for local leaders, like county executives, to implement their own additional curfews or restrictions.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says he has no plans to issue a shelter in place.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says, "Everyone has to heed the call to stay inside, to stay isolated, only go out if you have to. Whether it's shelter in place or not shelter in place, we all have to readjust our schedules, readjust our routines and not go out unless absolutely necessary."
For COVID-19 text alerts in Nassau: Text COVID19NC to 888777
In Suffolk text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283
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