Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that through executive order, he has mandated that businesses can only allow 50-percent of their workforce to work at their physical work place. The remaining 50-percent will be allowed to work from home.

The order, which goes into effect immediately, excludes essential services including food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, etc..  An actual list of exemptions will come later to clarify the definition of "essential services", Cuomo said.

The announcement came as cases of coronavirus continue to increase throughout the state. As of publishing time, New York has at least 10,049 cases of coronavirus, the most in the United States. The number of cases grew by 432 people overnight, according to Cuomo.

Why Not Shelter in Place?

Governor Cuomo chose the "workforce reduction" method as opposed to a shelter in place model that was suggested by New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio on Tuesday. Cuomo said a shelter in place would not be a good idea because "it would shut down healthcare, food, the transportation system and you close down all businesses. That doesn't make sense to me," he added. Cuomo said instead of a shelter in place, he would consider reducing the workforce at the workplace even further below 50 percent, if needed.

During the press event, a reporter asked Cuomo if the media is consider an essential service. Cuomo said, "We'll have to ponder that."

"Are they an essential service," he asked. "I personally consider it an essential service, but I don't know if that's the global definition.

The 50 percent work reduction only involves New York and is not part of the Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania agreement that closed bars and restricted restaurants to operate with pickup and delivery only.