Notes from Governor Cuomo's COVID-19 Briefing
There were 18,015 total deaths in NYS as of yesterday.
Hospitalizations and new cases are down.
306 total deaths yesterday:
o 287 (hospitals); and
o 19 (nursing homes).
Summer Camps Reopening?
Department of Health’s Concern: COVID-19 infects the lining of blood vessels and lungs.
o Some kids are having strange, adverse effects to this.
Camps would like to open at the end of May.
o Some may be able to open in a limited basis.
Cuomo says that the federal government is not providing enough funding for schools, rental assistance, etc.
August 2020 High School Regents are Cancelled.
Gov stressed two points about reopening:
o Closely monitor the rate of transmission, keep it below 1.1.
o Maintain 30% or more available hospital capacity.
The state has collaborated with the federal government to increase testing to 30,000 tests per day. The goal is 40,000.
Testing & Tracing
When you get a positive case of COVID-19, you must trace by identifying who they have been in contact with in the last 14 days.
o Yesterday, there were 4,681 positive cases.
o Over 300K (to date)
The state needs help as there are too many people to contact at once.
Collaboration with city and county health departments to find tracers
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended today's hearing via video conference.
“We must use contact tracing as we relax social distancing protocols.”
He announced partnerships with Johns Hopkins University, Vital Strategies, and Resolve to Save Lives, staffing organizations, and SUNY/CUNY.
These organizations will help with tracing training, recruitment, guidance, and app development.
Guidelines will be publicly available to provide a model for others and spread best practices.
There must be 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 cases.
Statewide, we will need about 6,000 tracers.
There will be tri-state collaboration for contact tracing.
People are usually in contact with a lot of people in two weeks.
People have to be isolated, but they have roommates, family, etc.
o The state must then find hotels/isolation centers.
The problem is the scale of people who need to be traced and isolated.
Health Care Facilities
There is a case involving improper treatment of corpses at a Brooklyn funeral home.
o State is still investigating this case. No other details were provided.
People are concerned that hospitals that resume elective surgeries will be swarmed.
Cuomo reiterated that hospitals must maintain a "buffer," which means they must have 30% available capacity at all times.
NYC Public Transit
NYC Subway conditions have rapidly deteriorated as a result of COVID-19.
Overall MTA ridership is down 92%.
MTA employees and NYPD officers are sick, so there are less people available to maintain the subway.
There are less people to provide outreach for homeless people.
The MTA has been cleaning the trains and buses every 72 hours.
Unfortunately, the virus can remain on surfaces for days.
Cuomo stated that trains and buses should be disinfected every 24 hours.
The state, city, and local governments will partner up to disinfect trains/buses.
The scale of work is unprecedented, but it must be done.
The MTA will also disinfect the Metro North and LIRR without service disruptions.
o The slowest hours are from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
o The MTA will provide free transportation during these hours.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the briefing via video conference.
Cuomo & the Mayor had a moment where they agreed to work TOGETHER
– Cuomo smirked.
de Blasio applauded Bloomberg for stepping up to trace COVID-19.
He thanked first responders, healthcare workers, and other essential workers for their service during the crisis.
Homeless outreach has been stymied in the past but support for outreach workers is crucial right now.
The Plight of the Unemployed
The state and DOL are doing everything they can to move unemployment checks faster.
Gov stressed that nobody can be evicted for non-payment of rent.
Montana is providing rental assistance.
o NY cannot do that because we are broke.