New York City schools and most nonessential businesses are closed, and gatherings of 50 or more are banned

By Aurelie Corinthios
March 16, 2020 02:23 PM

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Ramona Singer is urging New Yorkers to do their part amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

On Sunday, the Real Housewives of New York City star addressed her followers on her Instagram Story, pleading that they stay home and practice social distancing in order to help contain the rapid spread of the virus.

“I am begging everyone to self-isolate,” she said. “This is not a good situation. I mean, in New York City, they said, ‘Fifty percent capacity. Make sure everyone is 10 feet away.’ Well guess what? No one is following it. This is not good.”

“And you know what the worst part is?” she continued. “You could be a carrier and not even have the symptoms.”

“Please, everyone, self-isolate,” she added. “I’m begging you, please.”

Credit: Getty Images

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic last week, urging world leaders and citizens to take action to help stop the spread.

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over the pandemic. There are now at least 3,602 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., and 66 people in the country have died from coronavirus-related illness.

Schools in New York State — including New York City, the largest school district in the country — are closed and will begin online lessons next week. Several other states and cities have also closed schools.

In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, broad restrictions on public life went into place on Monday, with gatherings of more than 50 people banned in all three states and most nonessential businesses closed. Bars and restaurants have been limited to takeout and delivery.

Singer, 63, isn’t the only Bravo star speaking out amid the crisis. Her former RHONY costar Bethenny Frankel has been doing her part to aid those in need through her disaster relief initiative, BStrong.

“I’m no expert on infectious diseases, but I am a mother and a New Yorker,” she told PEOPLE last week. “And instead of living in my own anxieties and fear, I can help less fortunate parents in dealing with theirs.”

Through the BStrong initiative and their partner, Global Empowerment Mission, Frankel, 49, is raising funds to put together what she calls “BStrong corona kits.”

“BStrong corona kits will have the essentials for families to prevent [coronavirus],” Frankel explained. “We will give them masks and gloves, and I’ve gotten hydration kits donated and antibacterial and sanitization wipes as well.”

“Our goal is to create 20,000 kits,” she said, noting that she plans to distribute them for prevention in poverty-stricken areas.

“Bstrong is an initiative for people in crisis and this is a crisis,” she said. “My place of yes is taking a terrible situation and finding my way to help — without blame or politics, we simply get involved and do our part.”