Cuomo: keep 75% of workers home, mortgage relief available

Cuomo: keep 75% of workers home, mortgage relief available
Gov. Andrews Cuomo gives a press briefing in Albany on the state's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Source: WWNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that all businesses must keep 75 percent of their workers at home. On Wednesday, the mandate was 50 percent.

Exemptions will be made for essential service industries, including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.

Cuomo also asked businesses to voluntarily keep all their employees in place.

The change came as the statewide total of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,152.

Cuomo also announced Thursday morning that the state is imposing mortgage relief for 90 days. Mortgage payments will be waived based on financial hardship and if payments are waived, it cannot be reported to credit bureaus.

He announced there would be a grace period for people who want to modify their loans, there will be no late payment or online payment fees, and foreclosures will be postpone or suspended. In addition to mortgage relief, the governor said, fees are waived for overdrafts, ATMs and credit cards.

Earlier Thursday, Cuomo said on CNN he is not going to impose martial law as he seeks to quell what he says is panic over the possibility of a New York City residents being told to shelter in place.

He said that he is “as afraid of the fear and the panic” as he is of the coronavirus.

Cuomo said he is fighting rumors that he is going to imprison people in their homes or that there will be “a roadblock around New York City.”

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