Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus believes restaurants and businesses may close this week. He also officially closed schools and told people over 60 to cancel meetings and activities.

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On Sunday, Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus extended the State of Emergency for Orange County for 30 days from March 15, as a result of the continued spread of coronavirus.

“By extending the State of Emergency, we are taking important protective actions to help to secure the health and safety of the general public,” Neuhaus said. “I urge the public to follow all guidance from the Orange County Health Department, to remain calm and to stay tuned for important information.”

Orders initiated by Neuhaus include the following directives:

  • All school classroom and extracurricular activities (public and private) in Orange County are ordered closed through March 27th.
  • All nursing homes and long-term care centers are closed to visitors, except for those families dealing with end of life.
  • All meetings and activities for people over 60 years of age will be restricted, canceled or postponed.
  • Emergency purchasing power for key responding County departments.

On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged private businesses to close. Neuhaus addressed this during a Facebook Live on Sunday.

"That is something we need to keep in mind," Neuhaus said. "That could come into an order sometime this week to closes businesses and restaurants. That decision has not been made, but he's asking people to voluntarily do that now, that could be a precursor to it."

Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman advised that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continues to be to practice basic, common-sense personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, refraining from touching your face and avoiding unnecessary contact with others. Should you feel ill, it is imperative to contact your healthcare provider first.

Do not go directly to the doctor’s office, an emergency room or other healthcare facilities. These simple steps will help prevent the spread of the virus and protect you and your loved ones, as well as the critical healthcare workers, officials say.