Ghost town NYC: Big Apple’s streets are deserted due to coronavirus outbreak

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 eerily deserted. 

On Friday President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and ordered that $50billion in federal resources be allocated to combat the contagious outbreak that has impacted 49 states. 

The Big Apple, usually buzzing with traffic and tourists, has transformed into an shockingly silent city as many workers have been ordered to work from home and some business have temporarily shut down.  

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

n 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

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

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, 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

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

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. 

A person pictured in head to toe protective gear at a mobile coronavirus testing center in New Rochelle pictured Friday

A person pictured in head to toe protective gear at a mobile coronavirus testing center in New Rochelle pictured Friday

A person pictured in head to toe protective gear at a mobile coronavirus testing center in New Rochelle pictured Friday 

A worker sweeps an empty courtyard outside the Lotte New York Palace hotel as the coronavirus outbreak continued to affect the tourism industry in Manhattan on Friday

A worker sweeps an empty courtyard outside the Lotte New York Palace hotel as the coronavirus outbreak continued to affect the tourism industry in Manhattan on Friday

A worker sweeps an empty courtyard outside the Lotte New York Palace hotel as the coronavirus outbreak continued to affect the tourism industry in Manhattan on Friday

The Central Park Zoo was practically empty on Friday. A few visitors pictured outside the sea lion enclosure

The Central Park Zoo was practically empty on Friday. A few visitors pictured outside the sea lion enclosure

The Central Park Zoo was practically empty on Friday. A few visitors pictured outside the sea lion enclosure 

The usually bustling New York public library was practically deserted on Friday in New York

The usually bustling New York public library was practically deserted on Friday in New York

The usually bustling New York public library was practically deserted on Friday in New York 

There were no people outside the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of the city

There were no people outside the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of the city

There were no people outside the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of the city

New York landmarks such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie hall also announced they would be suspending visits and performances in addition to Broadway shutting down. An empty Broadway theater above

New York landmarks such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie hall also announced they would be suspending visits and performances in addition to Broadway shutting down. An empty Broadway theater above

New York landmarks such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie hall also announced they would be suspending visits and performances in addition to Broadway shutting down. An empty Broadway theater above

The closed down Imperial Theater in Midtown which was showing the Temptations show Ain't Too Proud pictured Friday

The closed down Imperial Theater in Midtown which was showing the Temptations show Ain't Too Proud pictured Friday

The closed down Imperial Theater in Midtown which was showing the Temptations show Ain’t Too Proud pictured Friday

Times Square had notably less traffic and tourists on Friday after a state of emergency was declared

Times Square had notably less traffic and tourists on Friday after a state of emergency was declared

Times Square had notably less traffic and tourists on Friday after a state of emergency was declared

Souvenir stalls poked fun at the coronavirus crisis by covering mannequin faces with medical masks

Souvenir stalls poked fun at the coronavirus crisis by covering mannequin faces with medical masks

Souvenir stalls poked fun at the coronavirus crisis by covering mannequin faces with medical masks

The shuttered Museum of Modoern Art pictured above on Friday

The shuttered Museum of Modoern Art pictured above on Friday

The shuttered Museum of Modoern Art pictured above on Friday 

Restaurants in New York are taking a major hit with many business closing down due to low business

Restaurants in New York are taking a major hit with many business closing down due to low business

Restaurants in New York are taking a major hit with many business closing down due to low business

While New York officials are urging the elderly and people with compromised immune systems to avoid large crowds, de Blasio told New Yorkers that if they feel healthy they should 'not avoid restaurants'. An empty restaurant in Manhattan pictured above

While New York officials are urging the elderly and people with compromised immune systems to avoid large crowds, de Blasio told New Yorkers that if they feel healthy they should 'not avoid restaurants'. An empty restaurant in Manhattan pictured above

While New York officials are urging the elderly and people with compromised immune systems to avoid large crowds, de Blasio told New Yorkers that if they feel healthy they should ‘not avoid restaurants’. An empty restaurant in Manhattan pictured above

While New York officials are urging the elderly and people with compromised immune systems to avoid large crowds, de Blasio told New Yorkers that if they feel healthy they should ‘not avoid restaurants’. 

Broadway is CLOSED: Governor Cuomo says lights will go out on NY shows 

Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS. Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.’

This ban includes Broadway theaters in Manhattan, New York City, which all seat upwards of 500 people and where the ban will start at 5pm Thursday and continue until April 12 – dwarfing the theater district’s two-day closure after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the city.   

Broadway theaters in Manhattan, New York City all seat upwards of 500 people

Broadway theaters in Manhattan, New York City all seat upwards of 500 people

Broadway theaters in Manhattan, New York City all seat upwards of 500 people

‘For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY,’ Cuomo tweeted.

‘We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.’

Cuomo also said the state is taking measures to create a ‘reserve workforce of health care professionals in the event of a staffing shortage’.

On Wednesday it emerged that an usher who worked two theaters on the Great White Way had tested positive for coronavirus. 

The usher had worked performances of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ at the Booth Theatre and ‘SIX’ at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, meaning thousands of theater-goers may have been exposed to the deadly virus.  

‘If you’re not sick, you should be going about your life,’ he said. 

Restaurants and bars have been ordered to cut their occupancy by 50 percent. 

Restaurants are shutting their doors after sales fell up to 70 percent in the last week and the state issued rules demanding they cut customer numbers by half, leaving the roughly 10 percent of the New York working population reliant on the industry in limbo.  

Brooklyn’s Chinatown of Sunset Park shut down with no clear reopening timelines. 

New York’s largest Chinese restaurant Jing Fong, which has been in business for 48 years and is known for its classic dim sum carts, closed temporarily. 

‘Business there is down 30% to 40% but that is acceptable for now until further notice. But Chinatown has closed,’ Claudia Leo, the restaurant’s marketing director, said to the New York Post. ‘It is all happening very fast. We were trying to take it all in. It is the best decision for everyone’s sake.’

Jeremy Merrin, who operates the city’s chain of Havana Central Cuban eateries, said his restaurants will also close this weekend. 

‘I’ve lost over $100,000 in catering and events through August, business that I won’t make up again,’ Merrin said to the Post. ‘The biggest question right now is whether I stay open or close to preserve my cash.’

Now restaurant trade groups are urging the government to provide relief including rent subsidies, no-interest loans, 90-extensions on monthly sales tax payments and eliminating penalties for paying propety taxes late. 

According to Resy, a national reservation platform for high-end restaurants, business on Wednesday night plunged 20 percent across the United States from a year ago.

New York City specifically saw business dip by 30 percent with a cancellation rate 45 percent higher than normal. 

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