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Ghost town NYC: Big Apple's streets are deserted as at least one million stay away from public transportation, restaurants lay off staff and businesses order employees to work from home

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency last week, closing down Broadway and banning gatherings of more than 500 people. The shuttered Minskoff Theater pictured above

  • Coronavirus cases surged from 325 to 421 on Friday in New York State, with 154 of those in New York City
  • New York City has turned into a ghost town as Times Square, Broadway, and trains are left practically empty
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, banning gatherings of more than 500 people 
  • Ridership on the subway was down 18.5%, about 1 million riders, compared to March 2019
  • Businesses have ordered employees to work from home and others have temporarily shuttered 
  • Restaurant sales fell 70% last week after officials demanded they cut customer numbers in half, leaving 10 percent of NY eatery workers in limbo 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency last week, closing down Broadway and banning gatherings of more than 500 people. 

'Going to this level is not done lightly, but it has reached the point where it is necessary,' de Blasio said.    

New York City has turned into a ghost town with typically-packed subways cars left completely empty and tourist filled hot spots like Times Square and Central Park completely deserted. Empty Times Square pictured above Thursday night

New York City has turned into a ghost town with typically-packed subways cars left completely empty and tourist filled hot spots like Times Square and Central Park completely deserted. Empty Times Square pictured above Thursday night 

The usually bustling Grand Central Terminal had notably few commuters and tourists on Friday evening

The usually bustling Grand Central Terminal had notably few commuters and tourists on Friday evening

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency last week, closing down Broadway and banning gatherings of more than 500 people. The shuttered Minskoff Theater pictured above

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency last week, closing down Broadway and banning gatherings of more than 500 people. The shuttered Minskoff Theater pictured above

On Thursday Broadway went dark for at least a month following the restrictions on public gatherings, hitting the theater industry hard. All 41 Broadway theaters have at least 500 seats, in fact most accommodate over 1,000

On Thursday Broadway went dark for at least a month following the restrictions on public gatherings, hitting the theater industry hard. All 41 Broadway theaters have at least 500 seats, in fact most accommodate over 1,000

The state reported that the number of coronavirus cases surged from 325 to 421 on Friday, with 154 of those cases in New York City. The empty Hudson Yards train station in Manhattan pictured above

The state reported that the number of coronavirus cases surged from 325 to 421 on Friday, with 154 of those cases in New York City. The empty Hudson Yards train station in Manhattan pictured above

In the US there are over 2,300 cases of coronavirus and at least 50 deaths as of Saturday morning

In the US there are over 2,300 cases of coronavirus and at least 50 deaths as of Saturday morning

This graph shows how the number of cases in the US of the killer virus have leaped from January to March

This graph shows how the number of cases in the US of the killer virus have leaped from January to March 

The subway system has seen a major plunge in riders. On Wednesday ridership fell by nearly 20 percent on subways and 15 percent on buses compared with a similar day last year. 

Typically each day the subway system sees around 5.5million riders each weekday.  

On Thursday ridership was down on the Long Island Rail Road by 31 percent and on the Metro-North Railroad, which travels through the northern suburbs of New York, was down 48 percent. 

Ridership on the subway was down 18.5 percent, about 1 million riders, compared to March 2019, when the subways handled about 5.39 million. 

New Yorkers have also gone into a panic over stocking up on food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizers as they prepare to bunker down as the government calls for 'social distancing'. 

Many businesses have shut down in light of the outbreak and to prevent further spread of COVID-19.  

On Thursday Broadway went dark for at least a month following the restrictions on public gatherings, hitting the theater industry hard.   

All 41 Broadway theaters have at least 500 seats, in fact most accommodate over 1,000. 

The subway system has seen a major plunge in riders. On Wednesday ridership fell by nearly 20 percent on subways and 15 percent on buses compared with a similar day last year. A view of the empty 15th Street Subway Station in Brooklyn pictured above on Friday

The subway system has seen a major plunge in riders. On Wednesday ridership fell by nearly 20 percent on subways and 15 percent on buses compared with a similar day last year. A view of the empty 15th Street Subway Station in Brooklyn pictured above on Friday 

A rider wears a protective mask during a commute through Brooklyn on the Brighton Beach-bound B train on Friday

A rider wears a protective mask during a commute through Brooklyn on the Brighton Beach-bound B train on Friday 

Workers clean a subway station in Brooklyn as New York City confronts the coronavirus outbreak on March 11 

n M.T.A worker cleans down a turnstile as the coronavirus outbreak continued in Manhattan on Friday

M.T.A worker cleans down a turnstile as the coronavirus outbreak continued in Manhattan on Friday

Airports were eerily deserted on Friday due to the limits on travel set by President Trump to combat the spread of the Virus. View of Terminal 7 of the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on March 13

Airports were eerily deserted on Friday due to the limits on travel set by President Trump to combat the spread of the Virus. View of Terminal 7 of the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on March 13

New Yorkers raided local groceries stores to stock up on food and toiletries as many have been ordered to work from home and to practice social-distancing. An empty Trader Joes on 32nd Street in Manhattan pictured Friday

New Yorkers raided local groceries stores to stock up on food and toiletries as many have been ordered to work from home and to practice social-distancing. An empty Trader Joes on 32nd Street in Manhattan pictured Friday

Empty New York City Shoppers browse barren shelves at a supermarket, Friday, in Larchmont, NY

Empty New York City Shoppers browse barren shelves at a supermarket, Friday, in Larchmont, NY

Empty New York City Shoppers browse barren shelves at a supermarket, Friday, March 13 in Larchmont, NY

Empty New York City Shoppers browse barren shelves at a supermarket, Friday, March 13 in Larchmont, NY

Volunteers pack free groceries for distribution to the elderly at Hope Community Services on Friday in New Rochelle, NY

Volunteers pack free groceries for distribution to the elderly at Hope Community Services on Friday in New Rochelle, NY

New York landmarks such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie hall also announced they would be suspending visits and performances. 

While de Blasio has not ordered schools to close, as other states have, public-school attendance plummeted last week over coronavirus concerns. 

The United Federation of Teachers and a dozen City Council members urged de Blasio to close school. 

'We understand the immense disruption this will create for our families,' UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. 

'But right now, more than a million students and staff crisscross the city every day on their way to schools, putting themselves and others at risk of exposure and increasing the likelihood of bringing exposure into their homes and communities.' 

There are 1.1 million students in New York City’s public schools, many of whom depend on the schools for free or reduced-price meals. 

While the streets of New York seem empty, governor Andrew Cuomo warned that the state's hospital system could be overwhelmed by coronavirus cases. 

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