Coronavirus ‘Attack Rate’ in N.Y. Concerns White House – The New York Times

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The White House’s coronavirus response coordinator offered a grim assessment of the virus’s assault on the New York metropolitan area Monday evening: She said that nearly 1 in 1,000 people in the region have contracted the virus, an “attack rate” five times that of other areas.

The coordinator, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, said at a White House briefing that the rate of infection showed that the virus has been spreading for weeks.

Dr. Birx added that 28 percent of tests for coronavirus in the region were coming up positive, while the rate is less than 8 percent in the rest of the country.

“To all of my friends and colleagues in New York, this is the group that needs to absolutely social distance and self-isolate at this time,” Dr. Birx said. “Clearly, the virus had been circulating there for a number of weeks to have this level of penetrance into the general community.”

To address the imminent influx of patients infected with coronavirus in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he was issuing an emergency order requiring hospitals to increase capacity by at least 50 percent.

New York now accounts for 6 percent of global cases, and Mr. Cuomo’s order followed a string of increasingly urgent measures to suppress the spread of disease. Still, on Monday, the governor also began to speak about taking steps to pivot to a more functional economy.

“I take total responsibility for shutting off the economy in terms of essential workers,” he said. “But we also have to start to plan the pivot back to economic functionality. You can’t stop the economy forever.”

Other highlights from briefings today by the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York:

  • New York State had a one-day increase of nearly 5,000 cases on Monday, putting the total at 21,689 as of Monday night, with at least 157 deaths. Some 13 percent of people who have tested positive were hospitalized as of Monday, with a quarter of those hospitalized in intensive care.

  • The state has tested more than 78,000 people — a quarter of all tests nationwide, the governor said — and can now test 16,000 people a day, up from 1,000 last week.

  • More than 30,000 retired health care professionals have responded to the state’s call to volunteer their services.

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‘I See It as a Wave,’ Cuomo Says of Coronavirus

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo compared the infected in New York to a rising wave of cases and “when the wave breaks, does it crash over the health care system?”

The increase in the number of cases continues, and that is what we’re watching every day. They see it as an upward trajectory. I see it as a wave that will break at one point. And the question is, what is the point of the break. And if, when the wave breaks does it crash over the health care system. That’s what we’ve been talking about. We’ve taken every action that government can take: closed gyms, theaters, other high density businesses, non-essential employees, social distancing, Matilda’s Law. Remember, this is about protecting vulnerable people, older people, senior citizens, compromised immune, underlying illness. Those are the people who are vulnerable here. That’s the focus of all of this. You can get it. The numbers show you can get it, if you’re a young person. And you can transmit it. And you’re, it’s reckless and it’s violative of your civic spirit and duty as a citizen.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo compared the infected in New York to a rising wave of cases and “when the wave breaks, does it crash over the health care system?”CreditCredit…Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
  • Mr. Cuomo said he was still awaiting New York City’s plan to further reduce density, especially among young people, by imposing more restrictions on public spaces and potentially opening some streets to pedestrians.

  • The governor said the state had made headway in securing hundreds of thousands of medical supplies that will be distributed to different parts of the state. New York City will receive more than 169,000 N-95 masks, 430,000 surgical masks, 176,000 gloves, 72,000 gowns and 98,000 face shields.

One of the deaths reported on Monday was that of a principal of a public high school in Brooklyn, Dezann Romain of Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville, according to City Councilman Mark Treyger.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday evening that the federal government was sending the city 400 desperately needed ventilators.

“That’s going to make a huge difference,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Our need for ventilators is in the thousands, but we’re going to fight every day to stay ahead of this curve. We’re going to literally be in a race against time.”

The city had only 2,000 ventilators available as of last week, according to the Greater New York Hospital Association, so 400 represents a 20 percent increase.

The mayor said the ventilators, crucial pieces of equipment in helping the sickest patients breathe, would “help us get through this week and into next.”

After days of criticizing the Trump administration for not doing enough to help the city, Mr. de Blasio said he had a “very substantial conversation” with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday night about getting additional supplies, medical personnel and financial support.

The mayor said that the administration’s new point person for the city, Peter Navarro, an assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing, had been “very focused today” and was “following up consistently.”

“We appreciate every step forward — every additional shipment literally could mean the difference between life and death for some New Yorkers,” the mayor said, “but we’re nowhere near, of course, where we need to be.”

The mayor has said city hospitals would need 15,000 ventilators to get through the end of May.

New York is far more crowded than any other major city in the United States. It has 28,000 residents per square mile, while San Francisco, the next most jammed city, has 17,000, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

All of those people, in such a small space, appear to have helped the virus spread rapidly through packed subway trains, busy playgrounds and hivelike apartment buildings, forming ever-widening circles of infection.

“Density is really an enemy in a situation like this,” said Dr. Steven Goodman, an epidemiologist at Stanford University. “With large population centers, where people are interacting with more people all the time, that’s where it’s going to spread the fastest.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said on Monday that he will sign an executive order requiring anyone flying to the state from New York or New Jersey to quarantine for 14 days.

Many cases in places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have been tied to New York, and a recent uptick in travel from the region suggested New Yorkers were flying to Florida to flee shelter-in-place orders.

“Hopefully that will be a deterrent for people if you’re just trying to escape here,” Mr. DeSantis said. The quarantine will not apply to people arriving by car.

The coronavirus will blow a $5 billion to $6 billion hole in the city’s budget over the next 15 months as restaurants, hotels and the retail sector conduct massive layoffs and tax revenue to the city dries up, the city comptroller found.

The Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said the analysis is based on a relatively optimistic estimate that recovery efforts will begin to take hold around June. “The longer this goes on, the wider this deficit will be,” he said.

Mayor de Blasio ordered city agencies on Monday evening to cut $1.3 billion from their spending because of the worsening budget picture. No cuts will come from items linked to the city’s coronavirus response. “Outside of that area, every agency will be asked to help,” he said.

James Parrott, director of economic and fiscal policies at the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, estimated that the city lost 750,000 jobs in the cultural, restaurant, retail, airline and other sectors, with lost wages of $1.5 billion to $2 billion per month.

The city does have a surplus in the fiscal year 2020 budget of about $2.7 billion, according to the comptroller’s office. The city also has about $4.7 billion in the retiree health fund that could serve as a rainy-day fund if necessary, the Independent Budget Office said.

Mr. Stringer said direct federal aid to the city will be crucial because it is a difficult time for the city to raise taxes or cut services.

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced film producer who was convicted in February of rape, has contracted the coronavirus in prison, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Weinstein recently tested positive and was being held in isolation at the Wende Correction Facility near Buffalo, according to the two people, who spoke anonymously to discuss a private medical matter.

Mr. Weinstein falls squarely within the category of people for whom the disease could be dangerous. He is 68 and has had a series of recent health problems: He was hospitalized twice for high blood pressure, heart palpitations and chest pain — once after his conviction and once this month after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. During his first stay there, he had a procedure to alleviate a blockage near his heart.

An inmate at the Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself has tested positive for the virus, according to a Bureau of Prisons document obtained by The New York Times.

The inmate is being placed in isolation at the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in a unit infamous for its filth where inmates frequently have to navigate human waste that spills from broken pipes.

In early March, a loaded gun was found in the jail after a weeklong lockdown and search involving workers from prisons across the country. The inmate who tested positive may have had contact with Bureau of Prisons staff, according to a prison employee who spoke under the condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution.

The New York Times spoke with more than a dozen workers in the Bureau of Prisons last week who said the Metropolitan Correctional Center and other prisons were ill-prepared for a coronavirus outbreak. Three Bureau of Prisons workers said that protective gear, including hand sanitizer and soap, is limited at the jail.

The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the case.

New Jersey’s county jails are expected to begin releasing as many as 1,000 inmates on Tuesday morning in response to the risks posed by the coronavirus.

The state’s chief justice, Stuart Rabner, signed an order late Sunday authorizing the release of offenders serving certain types of lower-level sentences. The order applies to inmates jailed for probation violations and those with convictions in municipal courts, such as disorderly conduct.

In New York City, the jails have already released 75 detainees, Mayor de Blasio said Monday. Law enforcement, corrections and city officials are reviewing hundreds of other inmates for potential release this week, he said, weighing factors that include their age, health and likelihood of recidivism.

The mayor did not offer any details about how exactly the detainees were being released back into the community.

New Jersey officials announced 935 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 2,844, including 27 deaths. The number of new cases represented a 49 percent increase in a single day — the state’s biggest daily spike since the outbreak began to pick up speed.

In Connecticut, 415 people have tested positive, and 10 have died, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

As of Monday, 17 people living in 12 different homeless shelters in New York City had tested positive for the virus and four of them are hospitalized, according to the city’s Department of Social Services.

New York’s main shelter system is a complex patchwork of 450 traditional shelters, commercial hotels and private apartments. So far, the virus has spread most among single adults living in group settings.

The city has about 100 shelters for single adults, most with dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, shared bathrooms and shared eating areas.

The city’s homeless population is estimated to be about 79,000, with about five percent living on the street. So far, there have been no positive cases among people living on the street, according to city officials.

To reduce crowding in New York City’s parks, the speaker of the City Council, Corey Johnson, proposed shutting down playgrounds and closing some city streets to cars to provide more space for outdoor recreation.

Mr. Johnson outlined his plan on Monday in a letter to Mr. Cuomo, who on Sunday had criticized New Yorkers who flocked to the parks despite social distancing guidelines and implored city officials to take action.

Under Mr. Johnson’s proposal, parks would remain open, but playgrounds, athletic fields and tennis and basketball courts would close. Parks employees would be responsible for enforcing regulations, and more park enforcement patrol officers would be deployed.

To offset the loss of playgrounds, Mr. Johnson proposed closing some city streets to vehicle traffic, opening them up for city residents seeking fresh air or exercise.

The goal was to provide New Yorkers with spaces that would allow them to maintain the six feet of distance required to avoid spreading the virus.

Reporting was contributed by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Annie Correal, Michael Crowley, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Michael Gold, Joseph Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Nicole Hong, Danielle Ivory, Jeffery C. Mays, Patrick McGeehan, Jesse McKinley, Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Jan Ransom, Brian M. Rosenthal, Michael Rothfeld, Edgar Sandoval, Ashley Southall, Nikita Stewart and Tracey Tully.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiTGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm55dGltZXMuY29tLzIwMjAvMDMvMjMvbnlyZWdpb24vY29yb25hdmlydXMtbmV3LXlvcmstdXBkYXRlLmh0bWzSAVBodHRwczovL3d3dy5ueXRpbWVzLmNvbS8yMDIwLzAzLzIzL255cmVnaW9uL2Nvcm9uYXZpcnVzLW5ldy15b3JrLXVwZGF0ZS5hbXAuaHRtbA?oc=5

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