New York will limit workers at businesses to no more than 25% who can report to the office, down from 50% on Wednesday, and will provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners

ALBANY — New York will prohibit most businesses from having more than 25% of their workers report to the office, down from 50% on Wednesday, and will provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcements Thursday, saying they are the latest steps to control the spread of the virus and limit the economic impact of the shutdown of many businesses.


"We’re reducing it again, except the essential services," Cuomo said at a daily briefing about limiting workers in the office.


"That means 75% of the workforce must stay home and work from home, and voluntarily I’m asking all businesses to have people work from home."


The new restriction will take effect at 8 p.m. Friday. It does not apply to essential services, including grocery stores, pharmacies and essential health care services.


The moves came as the number of positive cases again jumped overnight to a total of 4,152, up 1,769 from Wednesday.


The numbers increased as more New Yorkers get tested. Cuomo said 22,284 people have been tested in this month, with 7,584 new tests in the past day.


The mortgage relief package, Cuomo announced, will give the state the authority to require banks to waive mortgage payments for 90 days based on financial hardship.


It will also include no negative reporting to credit bureaus if the payments are late, as well as banning late fees during the time period.


The state will also require state-chartered banks to postpone or suspend any foreclosures, as well as waive any fees for overdrafts on banking accounts or credit cards.


"We’re not exempting people from the mortgage payments," Cuomo said.


"We’re just adjusting the mortgage to include those payments on the back end."