- New York is in a state of emergency as coronavirus cases surge.
- As of Tuesday, there were at least 1,500 confirmed cases statewide – more than any other state – with 814 in New York City. There have been 12 deaths in the state so far, seven of which were in the city.
- On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that a “shelter in place” order could be put into effect within the next 48 hours, likely confining residents to their homes.
- Next week, the Department of Education will open 100 emergency child care centres across the city, following the complete closure of New York City’s public schools.
- Gatherings of 50 or more people in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have been banned. This week, bars, restaurants, movie theatres, nightclubs, and concert venues will close.
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At least 1,500 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in New York state, with 812 cases confirmed in New York City. So far, twelve people have died.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City residents should prepare for a “shelter in place” order, which could mirror that of San Francisco’s and confine New Yorkers to their homes.
Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut would ban gatherings of 50 people or more, in an effort to contain the virus. New York City public schools – the largest school system in the nation – have shut down, and the Department of Education announced that it will open 100 emergency care child centres throughout the city next week.
On Tuesday, de Blasio said New York City would begin testing up to 5,000 people a day for the virus.
Last week, Cuomo said the state’s health department will perform 6,000 tests per day, in part by contracting with private labs. He also announced the opening of the state’s first drive-thru testing clinic in New Rochelle, the area hit second-hardest by the crisis.
The announcements follow Cuomo’s March 7 declaration of a state of emergency to speed up the government’s ability to purchase supplies and hire healthcare workers to aid in the monitoring of thousands of self-quarantined patients.
Here’s how New York is responding to the coronavirus outbreak.
There are at least 1,500 cases in New York state, with 814 confirmed in New York City.
The majority of cases throughout the state have been confirmed in New York City. So far, 814 people in New York City have tested positive for the virus and seven people in the city have died.
The second-highest cluster of cases is in Westchester County, with 220 cases reported as of Monday.
New York has become the second US state to report more than 100 coronavirus infections, after Washington.
There have been cases confirmed in every New York City borough, and at least 109 confirmed cases in Nassau County and at least 63 in Suffolk County.
A cluster of at least 90 cases have stemmed from New York’s second reported coronavirus patient, a 50-year-old man in New Rochelle, a small city located in Westchester County.
Last week, the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Rick Cotton, tested positive for the virus. On Saturday, Cuomo announced that two State Assembly members from Brooklyn had tested positive for the virus as well.
The number of cases is likely much higher than those confirmed because the US is lagging in testing patients.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicts the outbreak could peak in 45 days.
Governor Cuomo said that the coronavirus outbreak was projected to peak in 45 days, around May 1.
If that’s the case, the state would need 55,000 to 110,000 hospital beds and 18,600 to 37,000 intensive care beds. Those numbers would overwhelm New York’s current healthcare system.
Right now, New York has only 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 intensive-care unit beds, which are now at 80 per cent capacity.
To help prepare for this, Cuomo requested that the Army Corps of Engineers be deployed to New York to create more hospital beds.
In an appearance on “Good Morning America,” Cuomo called for the Army Corps of Engineers to be deployed to New York in order to create more hospital beds and prepare for an influx of patients.
Cuomo is asking the Army Corps to help transform buildings such as college dormitories into makeshift medical centres.
To create more space, Cuomo said the state would utilise the National Guard and work with building unions and developers to further locate places that could be transformed into makeshift hospitals.
In this plan, they will target former nursing homes and college dorms, and have already identified room for 5,000 new hospital beds in New York City, 2,000 in Westchester County and 1,000 each in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
But he maintained that the state government does not have the capacity to do this on their own.
“Expanding the capacity of the health care system for a state is virtually impossible,” he said. “We need the federal government to play its role.”
On March 17, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New Yorkers should prepare for a “shelter in place order” and that the city will ramp up testing.
On Tuesday, de Blasio announced that residents of New York City should prepare for a “shelter in place” order, which may take place over the next 48 hours.
It’s not clear what the order would look like, but the current “shelter in place” order in the Bay Area of California has mandated that people stay confined to their homes except for essential activities.
Additionally, de Blasio stated that New York City will begin testing 5,000 people a day for the virus. Currently, the city has been testing only a few hundred daily.
Cuomo has previously stated that any move to quarantine would happen statewide, but that no such actions were being planned.
On March 16, Cuomo announced that New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut would ban gatherings of 50 people or more.
As the cases in New York state continue to grow, Cuomo announced that New York and its neighbouring states would ban gatherings of 50 or more people.
This decision came after an announcement that public schools would close statewide. On Monday, casinos, gyms and movie theatres will close their doors throughout the state at 8 p.m.
Starting this week, bars and restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery statewide. In the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that nightclubs, small theatres, and movie theatres would close starting on Tuesday.
Grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and some other essential businesses will remain open.
Additionally, many cultural institutions throughout the city, including public libraries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Carnegie Hall, have already closed.
New York City public schools have closed.
Starting on March 16, New York City’s public schools have closed. This is the largest public school system in the nation, which serves 1.1 million students throughout the city.
Classes will resume online starting March 23, and students who do not have their own computers at home will be lent laptops.
On March 23, some campuses will reopen as “enrichment centres,” or places set up to provide additional instruction and services for children in need, including those who are homeless or have special needs.
This came as a difficult and unprecedented decision for Mayor de Blasio, as hundreds and thousands of students across New York City rely on public school for meals and care daily.
“This is not something in a million years I could have imagined having to do,” he said on Sunday.
De Blasio hopes to have schools reopen on April 20, but has indicated that there is a strong chance campuses will be closed for the remainder of the year.
Next week, 100 emergency child care centres will open across New York City.
In response to public school closures, the Department of Health announced that New York City will be opening up 100 emergency child care centres across the city next Monday.
These centres will provide remote education and meals for children age 3 to 18, with only twelve students in a room at a time. There will be at least one teacher present to maintain social distancing.
These sites are largely meant for children of emergency services workers, health care workers and transit workers who attend both public and private schools, and whose parents are unable to work from home.
Each location will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offer three meals to each student. There will be an additional 100 sites for all other children under the age of 18 to pick up free food, announced later this week.
New York has postponed criminal court cases and jail visits.
State courts have indefinitely postponed hundreds of criminal cases in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
On Sunday, New York’s chief administrative judge sent a memorandum declaring that all nonessential court functions will be postponed until further notice.
During this time, people who have been charged with felonies but are out on bail will have their cases adjourned until further notice. Those who are currently in jail awaiting trial will have their cases put off or done remotely.
There have been two designated arraignment sites in New York City – The Red Hook Community Court and the Midtown Community Court – where people at risk for coronavirus infection can appear remotely by video.
Starting on Wednesday, visits to city jails will be suspended. The city announced that it will increase access to phones and postage so that inmates may remain connected with friends and family.
New York state’s presidential primary may be moved from April to June.
New York state’s presidential primary is scheduled to take place on April 28, but it may be moved to June 23 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Louisiana and Georgia have both postponed their primaries, and many other states are considering moving dates or issuing mail-in ballots instead.
The state has created a ‘containment zone’ to limit large gatherings in New Rochelle, a small city north of New York City.
Last week, Cuomo announced a containment strategy to prevent the spread of the virus in New Rochelle, an area of New York that has seen 220 cases.
The containment area – intended to contain facilities that may be susceptible to spreading the disease – is comprised of a one-mile radius centered around a synagogue, which is believed to have connected many people with the virus. All schools, religious spaces, and other large gathering locations within this radius will be closed for two weeks. Grocery stores and delis will remain open.
The state will also deploy the National Guard to clean out schools and bring food to quarantined community members, Cuomo said.
Cuomo announced that the state will produce 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to be given away for free to schools, prisons, and government agencies.
Last week, Gov. Cuomo announced that New York will begin producing 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to be administered for free, in response to reports that there is a supply shortage across the state.
The hand sanitizer is being made by prisoners at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County and costs six dollars a gallon to manufacture. It will be given away to schools, prisons, government agencies, and the MTA.
The decision to utilise prison workers for this task has received backlash amongst criminal justice groups, who view these efforts as exploitative.
New York City will issue loans to small businesses in an attempt to protect the economy.
In an attempt to protect New York City’s economy, de Blasio said small businesses with fewer than 100 employees were eligible for no-interest loans of up to $US75,000 if they could prove sales had decreased by 25% amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Additionally, businesses with fewer than five employees could receive grants of up to $US6,000.
The New York City Department of Health is urging New Yorkers to stay home and act as if they have been exposed to the virus.
** New #COVID19 guidance for New York City **
Everyone in NYC should act as if they have been exposed to coronavirus. That means monitoring your health closely and staying home from work if you are sick. New Yorkers who are not sick should also stay home as much as possible.
— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) March 16, 2020
Residents in New York City have been asked to leave their homes only for essential tasks, and the Department of Health is encouraging New Yorkers to act as if they have been exposed to the virus.
Cuomo has asked that all nonessential state employees in New York City, Long Island, and Rockland and Westchester Counties work from home.
Federal courthouses in New York are limiting who can enter their buildings.
Two of New York’s biggest and busiest federal court districts have issued orders preventing people who may have been exposed to the virus from entering courthouses.
On March 10, the chief judge for the Eastern District of New York issued an order that prevents people who may have been exposed to the virus from entering any courthouses in Brooklyn or Long Island.
The chief judge for the Southern District of New York issued a similar order, barring those affected from entering courthouses in Manhattan and Westchester County.
Those who have been specifically barred from entering the courthouses include: anyone who has travelled to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran in the last two weeks; anyone who has been asked to self-quarantine; and people who have tested positive for the coronavirus or been in contact with those who have.
New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed.
New York City has postponed its St. Patricks Day Parade for the first time in over 250 years.
The event is one of the biggest recurring gatherings in the city, drawing over 100,000 people to parade down Fifth Avenue, with hundreds of thousands gathering in the streets to watch.
“Why would you risk bringing thousands of people together knowing this is a virus that is easily communicable?” Cuomo said during a news conference.
“St. Patrick’s Day is one of the great convenings of a large number of people.”
St. Patrick’s Day parades have also been cancelled throughout Ireland, as well as in Boston, a city that hosts a sizable parade each year to celebrate its Irish-American community.
Surrounding states, including New Jersey and Connecticut, have ramped up efforts.
Last week, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey declared a state of emergency and public health emergency.
As of Monday, most of the public schools in New Jersey have been shut, and Murphy confirmed that a statewide shutdown was inevitable. As of Tuesday afternoon, the state had 267 confirmed cases.
The mayor of Teaneck New Jersey, a city of 41,000, has asked all of its residents to self-quarantine and to leave their homes only for food or medicine. Jersey City announced the closure of all nonessential businesses including bars, nightclubs and movie theatres.
The city of Hoboken, which is located across the Hudson River from New York City, announced a night curfew for all residents. Starting March 16, residents of Hoboken will be required to stay in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
In Connecticut, all public schools will shut down on March 17 and remain closed through at least the end of the month.
New York City already has a “contingency plan” developed in case the virus leads to mass casualties.
463 people have been infected in New York City so far, and if the virus gets out of hand, the city is prepared to take on mass casualties.
The New York City contingency plan was developed for ‘biological outbreaks’ in 2008 in response to concerns that the Bird Flu would cause a devastating influenza pandemic.
The Bird Flu had a 2% mortality rate – approximately the same rate as the novel coronavirus – and authorities mapped out a plan to prepare with 50,000 deaths at the time.
To deal with an influx of dead bodies, the city would place refrigerated units outside of hospitals to increase their mortality capacity. Each unit would have the capacity to hold between 9 and 44 bodies until they could be cremated or buried.
Additionally, inmates from Rikers Island would be transported to Hart Island to dig mass graves for the dead to be buried. Cremation efforts would also be ramped up.
New York City prepares for potentially devastating economic losses.
As New York City shuts down and heavily restricts popular tourist attractions and service industry jobs, experts warn that there could be sweeping job loss and business failure.
According to the New York Times, James Parrott, a director of economic and fiscal policies at the Centre for New York City Affairs at The New School, said the city is likely to lose as many as 500,000 jobs that cater to tourism, with lost wages amounting to $US1 billion a month.
The city has over 25,000 restaurants and 120,000 hotels and is likely to see a devastating economic blow to these industries.
Over the next three months, restaurant sales could decline by 80 per cent and hotels could be operating at only 20 per cent capacity.
On Monday, de Blasio said the city will need federal aid to protect these workers.
“We’re getting grants and loans and things for small businesses, but that’s a small piece.”
“We need a massive federal relief program,” he said.
In the beginning, Cuomo attacked the CDC for responding too late to the outbreak.
On March 8, Cuomo said the CDC and the federal government had failed to respond to the outbreak in a timely manner.
This criticism came after Cuomo said multiple private labs in New York could be used for coronavirus testing if the federal government gave approval.
“The CDC has not authorised the use of this lab, which is just outrageous and ludicrous,” he said of Northwell Health Labs at the Centre for Advanced Medicine in North New Hyde Park, Long Island, New York.
“CDC, wake up. Let the states test. Let private labs test. Let’s increase as quickly as possible our testing capacity so we can identify the positive people. Not to be using this laboratory, not to be using the other private labs around the state makes no sense whatsoever,” he added.
To ramp up efforts, Cuomo said the state’s health department will perform 6,000 tests per day, in part by contracting with private labs. He also announced the opening of the state’s first drive-thru testing clinic in New Rochelle, the area hit second hardest by the crisis.
In total, the coronavirus has infected nearly 196,000 people and killed 7,800 worldwide.
So far, nearly 196,000 people have been infected, and at least 7,800 people have been killed by the virus worldwide, with most of the cases in China. The US has reported over 5,800 cases and 98 deaths.
As of Monday, cases have been reported in every US state except for West Virginia. The virus has also spread to Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Last weekend, Cuomo tweeted, “We’re testing aggressively & we are seeing the number of confirmed cases go up as expected.”
Over the next several weeks, officials are prepared to see hundreds of new cases in New York, primarily because of community spread, according to The New York Times.
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