NYC officials knock down train and subway closure rumors

The message falsely claimed the Metro-North Railroad would be shutting down, subway service would be limited and only emergency vehicles would be allowed on the streets.

News 12 Staff

Mar 12, 2020, 11:47 PM

Updated 1,529 days ago

Share:

NYC officials knock down train and subway closure rumors
(AP) - New York City officials moved swiftly Thursday to address a false text message spreading on social media claiming that the police department was planning to put containment actions in place this weekend to address the spread of the coronavirus, including a shutdown of Metro-North rail lines and limited subway service.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the claims “wrong” and “off base” during an afternoon news conference discussing the decision to declare a state of emergency in the city. He speculated the information leaked from scenario planning and said it was not from plans being put in place.

De Blasio said a total shutdown would be unrealistic for a variety of reasons, including that it would make it impossible for people like health care workers to get around.

Later he tweeted, “NO, there is NO TRUTH to rumors about Manhattan being quarantined. Whoever is spreading this misinformation, PLEASE STOP NOW!"
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also shot down the message in an interview on 1010-WINS radio: “This is all crazy rumors now. Anxiety is high, I understand it.... But no, subways are not closing down, roads are not closing, New York City is not closing down.” 
The message, which quickly went viral, claimed to have information from a friend of a friend who works on the emergency management team at the New York City Police Department. According to the message, the department was planning containment actions. “It will look like the metro north shutting down, limited subway service, and only emergency vehicles on the road.” It went on to recommend stocking up on food, water and cash because groceries and ATM machines would have limited ability to be refilled.

The New York Police Department responded to the message tweeting from NYPD News: “THERE IS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA: ONE TWEET IN PARTICULAR IS FALSE. CONTRARY TO WHAT IT SAYS THERE ARE NOT PLANS BY THE NYPD TO SHUT DOWN ROADS OR SUBWAYS.”


Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan confirmed to The Associated Press that there were no plans to suspend railroad service.

De Blasio declared a state of emergency Thursday in the city, saying he anticipated that the city could see as many as 1,000 cases next week. He said that the emergency order allows for the city to take certain actions, but that none of them had been activated, including closing down public transportation.

The state of New York has reported more than 320 cases of the virus, 95 of them in New York City. The World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic on Wednesday in the hopes of encouraging countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

Most people infected by the new virus have only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, though symptoms can be severe, including pneumonia, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. Recovery for mild cases takes about two weeks, while more severe illness may take three to six weeks, according to the World Health Organization.
 PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world
undefined
 


More from News 12
2:06
Williamsburg building owner issued violation following partial roof collapse

Williamsburg building owner issued violation following partial roof collapse

1:43
Warmer Tuesday in New York City; high temperatures could reach 81

Warmer Tuesday in New York City; high temperatures could reach 81

0:23
NYPD: 2 men wanted for robbing 74-year-old man at gunpoint in Sheepshead Bay

NYPD: 2 men wanted for robbing 74-year-old man at gunpoint in Sheepshead Bay

0:16
NYPD: Man fatally shot in the head in East New York; suspect at large

NYPD: Man fatally shot in the head in East New York; suspect at large

1:54
Born to run: Brooklyn man diagnosed with rare disease is back doing what he loves

Born to run: Brooklyn man diagnosed with rare disease is back doing what he loves

1:39
NYPD: 2 armed robberies involving mopeds in Brooklyn believed to be connected

NYPD: 2 armed robberies involving mopeds in Brooklyn believed to be connected

1:58
Brooklyn residents say there is an urgent need for more birth options in NYC

Brooklyn residents say there is an urgent need for more birth options in NYC

1:47
NYPD: 30-year-old man fatally shot, another injured in Brownsville

NYPD: 30-year-old man fatally shot, another injured in Brownsville

1:43
‘Ride of Silence’ takes cyclists on ghost bike tour, honors victims of traffic accidents

‘Ride of Silence’ takes cyclists on ghost bike tour, honors victims of traffic accidents

1:00
FDNY firefighter injured during Bronx house fire released from hospital

FDNY firefighter injured during Bronx house fire released from hospital

1:38
Cyclists pedal through Brooklyn during Haitian Flag Day Ride & Fête

Cyclists pedal through Brooklyn during Haitian Flag Day Ride & Fête

1:45
 Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

1:22
26,000+ runners take part in RBC Brooklyn Half

26,000+ runners take part in RBC Brooklyn Half

1:42
Bronx Week: Festivities wrap up with parade and food festival

Bronx Week: Festivities wrap up with parade and food festival

0:51
FDNY responds to 2 overnight fires in the Bronx; 2 injured

FDNY responds to 2 overnight fires in the Bronx; 2 injured

0:22
NYPD: Suspect arrested for assaulting Steve Buscemi in Manhattan

NYPD: Suspect arrested for assaulting Steve Buscemi in Manhattan

1:50
Al Quiñones Playground: Park renamed in honor of Longwood community activist

Al Quiñones Playground: Park renamed in honor of Longwood community activist

0:29
Grandparents Around the World hosts 14th annual Grandparents Ball

Grandparents Around the World hosts 14th annual Grandparents Ball

1:46
Somber ceremony in Bissel Garden reflects on the impacts, lives lost during COVID-19 pandemic

Somber ceremony in Bissel Garden reflects on the impacts, lives lost during COVID-19 pandemic

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox