This story was reported by Alfonso A. Castillo, Matthew Chayes, Candice Ferrette, David Olson and David Reich-Hale. It was written by Olson.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said he would likely decide next week to keep schools closed for the rest of the school year because he expressed concern about the resilience of the virus.
The state continued to see progress with a decline in the net number of coronavirus hospitalizations, but Cuomo said that nearly 1,300 people are still newly hospitalized with COVID-19 every day, and that many New Yorkers continue to contract the virus.
“The number of new people entering the hospital, the number of new infections is down slightly,” he said. “But it’s essentially a flat line, and it’s troubling. About 1,200, 1,300 new infections a day. “
More people left the hospital than expected and the daily death toll continued to drop, to 422 Thursday, from 438 Wednesday and 507 on April 18.
Forty-seven of these additional deaths occurred in Nassau County and 34 in Suffolk, bringing the confirmed number of Long Islanders who died from COVID-19 to 2,511.
“This is on an unimaginable level,” said Cuomo. “It’s going down a bit but it’s always devastating news. “
Long Island Rail Road on Friday announced the first death of one of its employees due to COVID-19: the station’s appearance manager James Houlihan.
The governor warned of the persistent threat posed by the virus and the reopening of the economy too soon.
He posted a graph showing a sharp increase in new infections in the summer if the reopening occurs too soon.
“It is increasing to a higher point than we had increased the first time,” he said.
“It is a remarkably effective virus for spreading and developing. So I know everyone is impatient: let’s just reopen. This is what happens if we reopen. So we have to be smart. “
Cuomo said New Yorkers will determine the trajectory of the virus’s spread.
“It just depends on what we do,” he said. “Are we a social distancing? Are we testing? How fast are we reopening? How to reopen? You answer these questions and determine the rate of decline. “
Cuomo said the decision to leave the schools closed until the end of the academic year will be made in “about a week, so we let people know.”
When asked if he is considering a rent freeze, approaching the May 1 deadline for payments to many tenants, and if he could extend the mortgages so that the landlords would not be Affected by a huge payment after the current moratorium expired, Cuomo said, “We are examining this right now. “
On March 19, Cuomo declared a 90-day relief period canceling mortgage payments due to financial hardship, for people not working or working only part-time due to COVID-19 measures.
Attorney General Letitia James said Friday she had written to 35 major New York mortgage agents to request a three-month forbearance – which prevents foreclosure – if a mortgage payment is missed, to allow homeowners to renew the mortgage. abstention for a maximum of one year in the event of financial difficulties. is linked to COVID-19, and waive late fees.
The governor’s secretary, Melissa DeRosa, said any rent action would exclude New York, which has its own rent commission that will decide whether or not to accede to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for a rent freeze.
The governor has declared that the polls for the June 23 primary election will remain open, but that he will issue an executive order requiring the state electoral council to send a mail-in ballot request to all residents of the state. State. Cuomo previously issued a decree authorizing all New Yorkers to vote by mail.
Don’t bail out New York
Cuomo criticized Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Again on Thursday that, instead of receiving federal aid to alleviate the financial harm caused by COVID-19, states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.
“Forget his morality, his ethics, his nonsense and his wickedness,” said the governor. “A state cannot legally declare bankruptcy. “
He said a new law would be needed to authorize it.
“This is your suggestion, Senator McConnell,” he said. “Pass the law. I defy you. And then go see the president and say sign this bill allowing states to declare bankruptcy. … Pass this bill if you were not just involved in politics. We will see how long it will take him to do it. “
Cuomo said New York would not go bankrupt even if it could, and allowing states to go bankrupt “would send a signal to markets that this nation is in trouble” and would tell the world that the US economy is “in turmoil ” . “
He also strongly criticized McConnell’s opposition to what the leader of the majority called a “blue state bailout,” noting that New York contributes much more to the US treasury than it gets, and that Kentucky gets more.
“You are not bailing out New York,” he said. “New York bailed you out every year. “
Cuomo said that, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, government revenues are expected to fall by $ 13.3 billion, or 14%, and that between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2024, they would drop by $ 61 billion.
“Public finances were very, very solid, then this economic tsunami struck,” he said.
The number of New Yorkers testing positive for the coronavirus increased by 8,130 to 271,590. Positive results from Long Island increased by 1,680 to a total of 63,371 confirmed cases since testing began in the state.
In Nassau County, an additional 641 cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 32,765, and in Suffolk, the number increased by 1,039 to 30,606.
In Nassau, 24% of coronavirus tests that returned on Thursday were positive, up from more than 50% at the start of the epidemic, said Laura Curran, director of Nassau.
“It has been a historic low since the start of this crisis,” she said.
Hospitalizations in the county have dropped by 700 – to 1,778 – since the peak 10 days ago, and the number of intensive care patients also continues to drop.
“Our hospitals have handled the wave so well,” said Curran. “Of course, we haven’t finished yet. “
Commenting on the death of the suburban railway employee, LIRR President Phillip Eng said that Houlihan had worked for LIRR for almost 20 years and was recently stationed in the LIRR Mid-Suffolk Yard at Ronkonkoma. He was previously deputy chef. “We mourn this heartbreaking loss,” said Eng.
“We will never forget James’ contributions and his unwavering commitment to the public service,” he said.
Houlihan is one of more than 80 Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees who died of the virus, the vast majority of whom worked for the New York City Transit subway and bus system.
Cuomo read a letter he received from a 70-year-old Kansas farmer whose wife, also 70, has a lung, problems with the other lung and diabetes – all of which could make her more vulnerable to serious COVID-19 disease or death. The farmer has locked up an N95 respiratory mask, one of the five remaining in agriculture, to be given to a New York nurse or doctor.
“Do you mean a snapshot of humanity?” You have five masks. What to do? Do you keep all five? Are you hiding the five masks? Do you keep them for yourself or for others? No, you send a mask, a mask to New York to help a nurse or a doctor. It’s beautiful? I mean, how altruistic is this? How generous is this?
NYC indicators move in the right direction
In New York, the three goal post indicators used to determine whether to relax the closing rules are down, de Blasio said Friday.
It was one of the first times since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March that the three indicators fell on the same day. Mayor spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein initially said, wrongly, that this was the first time that the three indicators had declined in unison.
“I’m happy to say that we just have good news,” said de Blasio on Friday morning. “Our indicators are now all moving in the right direction, which is down. “
New hospital admissions for the coronavirus had dropped to 176 since Wednesday, the latest date for which information is available. It’s a drop of 227 the day before.
The number of intensive care patients in the city’s 11 public hospitals fell to 786 from 796. The percentage of those who tested positive for the virus throughout the city fell from 30% to 32% and from 52 % to 57% at the public health laboratory, said de Blasio.
Sustained decreases in these indicators for 10 to 14 days would result in relaxed restrictions, de Blasio said.
Once these indicators drop for an extended period and the first set of stores and businesses are allowed to reopen, de Blasio said, there should continue to be social distancing rules at these sites. The city will also encourage all employers to allow work at a distance if possible, said de Blasio.
Meanwhile, Northwell Health said on Friday it had the largest day-long decline in COVID-19 patients.
Northwell said it had 2,186 COVID-19 patients in the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, including 11 on Long Island.
The number of patients is also down about 33% from the size of April 10.
However, 36% of the remaining patients are in intensive care. A Northwell spokesperson said that percentage could continue to rise as healthier COVID-19 patients are discharged.
Check back for updates on this developing story.