Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio Reuters

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency Thursday in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City more than doubled from 42 to 95 over the last 24 hours.

De Blasio also signed an executive order cutting in half the number of people permitted in bars and restaurants.

The mayor said that he "won’t be surprised" if businesses are forced to close because of the order.

“I can assure you, none of us wanted to take this action,” he said, "but it is the point where it’s necessary."

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