Coronavirus updates: Cuomo warns state beaches may reach capacity at 10 a.m. This weekend

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This is our daily update for the latest COVID-19 news for Thursday, May 21, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up to date statistics are here.

Read our guide understand New York on PAUSE, the NY home stay order, as good as what reopening the north means; a glance prepare for the spread of the coronavirus is here, and if you have persistent questions about the virus, here is our Coronavirus FAQs regularly updated. Here are some local and national hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Direct Line: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.


Here’s what you need to know:

Cuomo warns that state beaches can reach capacity at 10 a.m. This weekend

1:30 p.m. New York residents hoping to hit state beaches over the weekend should be prepared for the likelihood that they will be turned down in the parking lot, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned on Thursday.

Unlike New York’s public shores, nearby public beaches such as Robert Moses and Jones Beach will be open for swimming in time for the holidays. But with space limited to 50%, expectations of New Yorkers to go to the beach should remain low.

“These beaches could reach their maximum capacity at 10 or 11 am,” Cuomo warned during his daily press briefing on Thursday. “This is something to consider. You do not want to make this trip and go right away and discover that the beaches are already closed. “

If you manage to get to the sand, strict distance rules will apply. The picnic and concession areas will be closed, group activities are prohibited and masks are required “when social distancing is not possible”.

Similar restrictions are in place on New York beaches, with the additional condition that there is no swimming.

“There is such a demand in the New York area to go to a beach, to get some respite,” said Cuomo, who has delegated decisions to open beaches to local governments.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s beaches are unlikely to be fully open in the “short term”.

The governor also appeared to suggest on Thursday that summer day camps could be closed across the state, thanks to the emergence of a coronavirus-related illness that affects children. There have now been 157 cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome recorded across the state – and health officials believe the actual number could be much higher.

“Until we know how widespread this problem is, I will not send my children to day camp,” said Cuomo. “And if I did not send my children to day camp, I cannot ask someone else to send their children to day camp.”

Many summer camps in New York have already decided to cancel for the season, while others are planning to go virtual. The state has yet to make a final decision on whether to allow the camps to open.

Concerns about the syndrome could also have an impact on plans to reopen the school in the fall. Cuomo said on Thursday that it was “too early to determine” when the children could return to school safely, but that the state would have more information next month.

Weekly jobless claims in New York amount to 227,000

A long line of people wearing masks


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A line for a meal distribution site in Corona, Queens

William Volcov / Shutterstock

12:00 p.m. Nearly 227,000 New York residents claimed unemployment benefits last week, up 27,000 from the previous week, according to the United States Department of Labor on Thursday.

Overall, 2.3 million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment benefits in the nine-week period since the start of the crisis.

New York is one of the few states in which jobless claims rose last week. 38 states across the country have seen these numbers decline.

Nationally, unemployment demands are now stabilizing. An additional 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of unemployment claims in the past nine weeks to over 38 million.

New York has stepped up its processing of claims under the jobless pandemic assistance program, which is open to the self-employed, concert workers and the self-employed who are not normally eligible to file claims. unemployment. The state reported 178,000 requests last week, up 125,000 from the previous week.

The State Department of Labor said on Wednesday that more than 560,000 applicants for the federally funded unemployment benefit program for freelancers and concert workers had been paid in New York State.

NYC to increase service on Staten Island ferry

Staten Island Ferry



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NYC DOT / Flickr


11:00. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would increase rush hour service on the Staten Island ferry in response to increased demand.

From Thursday afternoon, the ferry will run every 30 minutes during rush hour. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, ferries have been reduced to hourly service, with the number of users falling by 90%.

Before the pandemic, approximately 70,000 people took the Staten Island ferry on weekdays. De Blasio said at his press conference that there are now 600 ferry passengers per day, against a minimum of 400, and a change which he seemed to welcome as good news.
“This is not a massive change, but enough to make sure there is more service and more frequency,” he said.

He added that a $ 21 million grant for the federal government ferry would help pay for the additional cleanup.

The decision to increase the ferry service recognizes a reality that is unfolding across the city: there are more cars on the road as well as people on the streets despite the current stay at home order. The mayor said that on the basis of test indicators, the city could start reopening in early June.

MTA reported an increase in ridership on Wednesday. It is estimated that 1.3 million people now travel by metro and bus during an average working day, up from a low of around 800,000 in April.

The number is still far from the normal ridership of 8 million a day.

NYC Ferry, Blasio’s pet transit project, also suffered from low attendance. On Monday, its ferry service was an additional 20%, after an initial reduction of 30% in March. Weekday and weekend service will end at 9:00 p.m.

NYC Ferry has also reconfigured three routes: the Lower East Side, South Brooklyn and Soundview.

Study finds earlier home stay order could have saved 36,000 lives

The Manhattan skyline can be seen in the background from a cemetery in Queens



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William Volcov / Shutterstock


New Columbia University study by public health researchers finds that if the same social distancing orders had been implemented across the country seven days earlier, the United States could have prevented 36,000 deaths.

The New York Times, who spoke to one of the authors, said researchers also estimated that fewer than 4,300 would have died in the New York metropolitan area in early May if the same controls used by federal and local authorities had been adopted for a week. earlier on March 8.

Instead, 21,800 deaths were recorded in the metropolitan area on May 3. In the United States, 65,307 people had already died.

Schools in New York City closed on March 15, following the state home order on March 22. On March 16, the US travel ban against China was extended to all of Europe.

“It is a big, big difference. This little moment in time, catching it in this growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths, “Columbia epidemiologist and research team leader Jeffrey Shaman told the Times.

Columbia study supports a statement made last month by Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former commissioner of the city’s Department of Health, who said that if the state and the city had imposed a stop a week or two earlier, the estimated death toll from the epidemic could have been reduced from 50 to 80 percent.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have both been criticized for failing to act quickly enough in response to the coronavirus crisis. The California home stay order was announced on March 17, a few days after local state leaders began closing restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theaters, and five days earlier only when New York came into force.

Cuomo has attempted to redirect blame to the federal government, public health watchdogs like the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health, and even the New York Times, which has covered the epidemics since their inception. in China.

“Everyone missed it,” he said last month. “The governors do not make pandemics. It’s not in my job description. “

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