Shop Owners board up businesses amid possible looters surrounding coronavirus pandemic

Businesses in and around New York City are taking precautions to protect against looters and civil unrest by boarding up storefronts, FOX 5 New York reports.

The action comes amid social distancing measures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the region especially hard.

In mid-March, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that restaurants and bars be closed except for take-out services. Many other stores have been shuttered as well.

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Owners and operators have since boarded up their glass storefronts, from restaurants to luxury retailers like Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Coach and Dior, according to the television station and social media posts.

Some of the businesses are trying to lift people’s spirits by displaying encouraging messages. At one pub, the words “let us go forward together” are painted on the plywood boards encasing the entrance. Another statement nearby reads: “if you’re going through hell keep going.”

The New York Police Department reports that the city’s crime rate has decreased since the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer police officers are also out patrolling. A growing list of NYPD officers are reporting sick or testing positive for the coronavirus, according to the television station.

As of Thursday, nearly 6,500 uniformed officers –18 percent of all uniformed officers in the department – were reported as being sick. More than 1,350 uniformed officers and 169 civilian employees are said to have tested positive for COVID-19.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the state government will do “whatever we have to do” as the number of infected police officers continues to rise.

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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]