NYC councilman Mark Levine on coronavirus closure decisions

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A man wears a face mask as he walks inside Grand Central Station on March 8, 2020 in New York City.

Kena Betancur | Getty Images

New York City Councilman Mark Levine told CNBC on Wednesday that city and health officials have to consider the ripple effects of any mandatory closures due to the coronavirus. 

“Because everyone of these actions has a real cost, it has to be taken by weighing the pros and cons and a real sober assessment of risk,” Levine said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” 

Levine, who chairs the council’s health committee, said a hypothetical school closure demonstrates the complexities at hand. 

“All of these decisions have major costs. If we close the schools, hundreds of thousands of kids will have nowhere to get lunch and breakfast,” Levine said. “Parents will be home providing child care, unable to go to work.” 

Levine’s comments Wednesday come one day after New York City Bill de Blasio said new cases of the coronavirus in the city were “coming in so intensely.” 

As of Tuesday afternoon, de Blasio said almost 2,000 New York City residents were in voluntary isolation while 30 people were in mandatory quarantine. 

There are more than 120,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the globe, including more than 1,000 in the U.S. New York state has more than 170 confirmed cases, the second most in the U.S. behind Washington state.

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