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New York says stores can stay open

With bars and nightclubs closed and the rhythms of daily life upended by the coronavirus, liquor stores have been deemed “essential” retail in the state of New York.

Starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sweeping ramp-up of restrictions, called the “New York State on Pause” plan, requires residents to stay at home to the maximum extent possible, banning nonessential travel and requiring all businesses to shutter if they do not fit specific criteria.

“This is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said at a briefing at the state capitol. New York now has the highest number of confirmed cases in the nation.

As of Friday, New York state has more than 7,200 confirmed cases.

The state’s list of essential retail includes “grocery stores including all food and beverage stores” along with pharmacies, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, gas stations, restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery), hardware and building material stores. Mass transit will stay operational; food delivery and takeout services will stay open.

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