What you should know
- Governor Andrew Cuomo said the New York shutdown, known as the “PAUSE,” will last until May 15, in coordination with the other states in his coalition; he says that social distances work and people must maintain such measures
- New York has looked at how it counts COVID-19 deaths and new numbers indicate that more than 10,000 lives have been lost in the five boroughs alone. Cuomo says the state will switch to a similar mode
- To date, more than 299,000 people have been infected in New York, New Jersey, 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 measures to contain the virus are working, although the path to return to normal remains uncertain at 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 well on our way to thinking about reopening,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said, but we’re not there yet. On Thursday he said the New York closure will be extended, in coordination with other states, until May 15 to keep the infection rate low.
The three-state area now has 16,578 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, according to data released by the states. If you add 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 somehow duplicated, nor is it clear when or whether the states will match New York when reporting likely deaths. Cuomo said his team is working on it.
The governor added another 606 confirmed deaths on Thursday to New York State’s rising death toll, which has now surpassed 12,000. Regionally, the three-state area surpassed 300,000 cases by Thursday, just 45 days after New York reported its first case.
Amid the New York tragedy, Cuomo reported further signs of optimism on Thursday, another day with a sharp decline in total hospitalizations. ICU admissions also dropped significantly for the first time, along with intubations. Death is a late indicator, which means that the figure could rise even as hospitalizations and intubations decrease.
To help prevent further loss, Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, whose death toll in the state reached 3,500 Thursday, have issued executive orders requiring people to cover their mouths and noses in public when not can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet. Cuomo expanded the order Thursday to apply it to public transportation and rental vehicles. The new rules, which apply to anyone aged 2 and over, will go into effect on Friday night. Traders are advised to enforce them.
“I can’t put a mask on 17 million people,” Cuomo said Thursday. “But 17 million people will do it. What they did has worked, and what they do will move this state, and the nation, forward.”
The goal is simple: to protect people, to 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 to the next phase of the crisis, which he describes as a virus. with low level of transmission. These indicators are the number of hospitalizations, the number of ICU hospitalizations and the percentage of people who tested positive.
After some positive moves earlier in the week, all three metrics increased Thursday, the mayor said.
“This is a tough day, it’s not what we’re looking for,” de Blasio said Thursday. “But we have to do it step by step, day after day, stick to it and we’ll get there.”
To help quarantined people who have not been able to do so effectively to date, perhaps homeless, perhaps living in multigenerational families, De Blasio said the city is preparing 11,000 free hotel rooms.
Ultimately, it’s about controlling the spread. This does not mean that all the numbers are going 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 it. Now we know we can control this disease.”
According to the latest state data, which does not yet include deaths likely related to the pandemic, New York has 12,192 deaths and nearly 222,284 cases of COVID-19 (New York’s proportion is over 123,000 cases and 8,893 deaths, according to estimates by the state.).
New Jersey had 75,317 cases and 3,518 as of Thursday. Murphy says his condition hasn’t peaked yet; To help with more critical cases, Cuomo said Thursday he will send 100 fans across the river. Connecticut, meanwhile, had 868 deaths and 14,755 cases in its latest report.
Lessons Learned: Path to a New Normal
While Cuomo says we’re going through the worst, 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 will we return to normal. This is how normal it will change in the future.
President Trump has launched an initiative to reopen the economy, a tactic he says could involve opening up to 20 low-impact states even before their promising national reset date of May 1. On Wednesday, he said the nation had peaked in new COVID-19 cases. Thursday is expected to unveil a set of federal guidelines on how and when states can reopen.
The president acknowledged that hardest hit states like New York may face a more gradual reopening strategy. Cuomo stressed that the reopening arrangements will be fundamental.
He leads a coalition of seven governors who intend to find the smarter and safer way to do it. So far, everyone agrees that it will require continued and rigorous adherence to social distancing and expansive testing. Cuomo described Wednesday a “gradual” rollout by industry, saying each sector would be evaluated based on its essentiality and risk of infection. The ones that are opened first will be those considered the most essential with the lowest risk of infection.
De Blasio said New Yorkers should keep expectations “low for now” throughout the summer as usual in the city, including beaches, sporting events and public gatherings. He also reiterated his claim that public schools would remain closed until at least September. Cuomo said closing schools actually requires businesses to stay closed and that the decision rests with him.
For his part, Governor Phi Murphy extended the school’s closure on Thursday to “at least” May 15.
However, it’s not just about what the government does. Cuomo says employers will need 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 time of transformation for the company, and we will pay a very high price for it,” said Cuomo. “How do we learn the lessons to make this new normal a better New York? We can do things differently and we can do things better.”
Americans are increasingly desperate to get back to work. Unemployment claims have soared to record numbers. Another astronomical number of people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, exacerbating a financial crisis that could end up equaling the Great Depression in magnitude.
Concerns about alcoholism are on the rise. Nearly 40 percent of New Yorkers freely admit to drinking while working at home. That number could be even higher, if more people still had jobs in the first place.
Regionally, the three-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 passed the 2 million mark on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins data.