What you should know
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the New York shutdown, known as “PAUSE”, would last until May 15, in coordination with the other states in his coalition; he says social distancing is working and people need to maintain such measures
- New York has reviewed how it counts COVID-19 deaths, and new numbers indicate that more than 10,000 lives were lost in the five boroughs alone. Cuomo says the state will move to a similar mode
- To date, more than 299,000 people have been infected in NY, NJ, and CT and nearly 20,000 have died.
NEW YORK – New York State will remain on “PAUSE” due to the coronavirus pandemic as New York authorities indicate that measures to contain the virus are working, although the path to return to normality remains uncertain in this stage of the crisis.
Social distancing and other mitigation efforts are working, governors say. The flattening of the curve is proof of this. We are on our way to thinking about reopening, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, but we are not there yet. On Thursday, he said the New York shutdown will be extended, in coordination with other states, until May 15 to keep the infection rate contained.
The tri-state area now has 16,578 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, according to data released by the states. If you add in the 3,914 “probable” deaths reported by New York City on Thursday, that number jumps to nearly 20,500. It is still not entirely clear whether the data for New York State and New York City are duplicates in any way, nor is it clear when or if the states will match New York when reporting probable deaths. Cuomo has said his team is working on it.
The governor added another 606 confirmed deaths Thursday to New York state’s growing death toll, which has now surpassed 12,000. Regionally, the tri-state area surpassed 300,000 cases by Thursday, just 45 days after NYC reported its first case.
Amid the tragedy in New York, Cuomo signaled further signs of optimism Thursday, another day with a net decline in total hospitalizations. Intensive care admissions also decreased significantly for the first time, along with intubations. Death is a lagging indicator, meaning that the figure could rise even as hospitalizations and intubations decline.
To help prevent a further loss, Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, whose death toll in the state topped 3,500 on Thursday, issued executive orders requiring people to cover their mouth and nose in public when cannot maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Cuomo expanded the order Thursday to apply to public transportation and rental vehicles. The new rules, which apply to anyone ages 2 and up, go into effect Friday night. Traders are urged to enforce them.
“I can’t put a mask on 17 million people,” Cuomo said Thursday. “But 17 million people will. What they have done has worked, and what they will do will move this state, and the nation, forward.”
The goal is simple: protect people, save lives.
In the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio has focused on three key daily indicators where he wants to see a downward trend in unison for at least 10 days to signal a move into the next phase of the crisis, which he describes as a virus. with low transmission level. Those indicators are the number of hospitalizations, the amount of admissions to the ICU and the percentage of people who tested positive.
After some positive moves earlier in the week, all three metrics rose on Thursday, the mayor said.
“This is a difficult day, it is not what we are looking for,” de Blasio said Thursday. “But we have to do this step by step, day by day, stick with it and we will get there.”
To help quarantined people who have not been able to do so effectively to date, perhaps homeless, perhaps living in multi-generational households, De Blasio said the city was preparing 11,000 free hotel rooms.
Ultimately, it’s about controlling the spread. That doesn’t mean that all the numbers are trending in the right direction at the same time; it does not mean that there will be no setbacks. This is incremental progress, and Cuomo says New York has made it. Because of what New Yorkers are doing.
“This means we can control the beast,” Cuomo said Thursday. “We didn’t know for sure if we could do that. Now we know that we can control this disease.”
According to the latest data from the state, which does not yet include deaths likely linked to the pandemic, New York has 12,192 deaths and nearly 222,284 COVID-19 cases (NYC’s proportion is more than 123,000 cases and 8,893 deaths, according to state estimates. ).
New Jersey had 75,317 cases and 3,518 as of Thursday. Murphy says his condition hasn’t reached a peak yet; To help with the most critical cases, Cuomo said Thursday he would send 100 fans to the other side of the river. Connecticut, meanwhile, had 868 deaths and 14,755 cases at its last report.
Lessons learned: path to a new normal
While Cuomo says we are over the worst of it, he notes that the crisis itself probably won’t end until we have a vaccine, which could last anywhere from a year to 18 months, if not longer. Worldwide, there are 70 vaccines in development. Barring an effective vaccine or treatment against the virus, Harvard researchers warn that social distancing measures may need to be maintained in 2022.
The question is not so much when we get back to normal. This is how normal it will change in the future.
President Trump has launched an initiative to reopen the economy, a tactic that he says could involve opening up to 20 low-impact states even before their hopeful national reset date of May 1. On Wednesday, he declared that the nation had reached its peak of new COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, it is expected to unveil a set of federal guidelines on how and when states can reopen.
The president acknowledged that worst-hit states like New York may face a more gradual reopening strategy. Cuomo has stressed that the mode of reopening will be crucial.
He leads a coalition of seven governors who plan to figure out the smartest and safest way to do it. So far, everyone agrees that it will require continued strict adherence to social distancing and expansive testing. Cuomo described a “phased-in” implementation by the industry on Wednesday, saying that each industry would be evaluated based on its essentiality and its risk of infection. Those that are opened first will be those that are considered the most essential with the least risk of infection.
De Blasio said New Yorkers should keep expectations “low for now” through the summer as usual in the city, including beaches, sporting events and public gatherings. He also reaffirmed his claim that public schools would remain closed until at least September. Cuomo has said that closing schools effectively requires businesses to remain closed, and that the decision is up to him.
For his part, Governor Phi Murphy on Thursday extended the closure of schools until “at least” May 15.
However, it is not just about what the government does. Cuomo says employers will have to “reinvent the workplace,” consider how many people can work remotely, and how they can encourage social distancing in the office. Customer interaction and employee transportation are other factors to consider.
“This will be a transformative time for society, and we pay a heavy price for it,” Cuomo said. “How do we learn the lessons to make this new normal a better New York? We can do things differently and we can do better.”
Americans are increasingly desperate to get back to work. Jobless claims have soared to record numbers. Another astronomical number of people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, deepening a financial crisis that could end up matching the Great Depression in magnitude.
Concerns about alcoholism are on the rise. Almost 40 percent of New Yorkers freely admit to drinking while working at home. That number could be even higher, if more still had jobs in the first place.
Regionally, the tri-state area now accounts for nearly half of all virus cases in the United States and about 55 percent of its deaths. NBC News estimates that the United States has seen nearly 670,000 cases and more than 33,000 deaths.
Globally, cases surpassed the 2 million mark on Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.