COVID-19 Update 04/07/2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo extends ‘New York on Pause’ order after 599 NYS deaths in one day

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended his “New York on Pause” executive order through April 29 as the state suffered 599 COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, fatalities between Sunday and Monday morning.

This means that schools and non-essential businesses will remain shut until the 29th and people will be expected to continue working and learning from home. 

Those who are currently unemployed over the virus will remain so until the end of the city-wide shutdown or longer.

“I know that’s a negative for many, many reasons. I know what it does to the economy, but as I said from day one, I am not going to choose between public health and economic activity,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also upped the fines for failing to social distance in public from $500 to $1,000 if people are caught being too close together by the New York Police Department catches them.

“You don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life,” Cuomo said in reference to people who are still gathering and purposely not social distancing.

This all came from Cuomo’s daily Albany press briefing that has been broadcast nationwide, garnering a lot of attention for the governor and his response to the virus.

In yesterday’s press conference, he explained that the increase in the number of coronavirus deaths in the state is starting to level off, as between Sunday and Monday there were 599 deaths when the day before there were 594.

The fact that the number barely raised from one day to the next shows that things are starting to plateau as the state moves closer to its expected apex in the coming weeks.

What could be the possible cause for the plateauing? According to Cuomo, it’s social distancing, among other measures, that has led to this.

“While none of this is good news, the flattening, the possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases we have seen,” Cuomo said.

Read more about this in this article: The New York Daily News

Brooklyn Hospital in process of becoming COVID-only

Photo from SUNY Downstate website.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush is one of three hospitals in New York City transitioning to taking in only COVID-19 patients.

The hospital has been struggling to keep up with a steady stream of coronavirus patients on top of the general patients that go to the hospital for any other ailment or injury.

In fact, patient occupancy at SUNY Downstate has risen by 50% and the hospital converted the pediatrics wing into treatment rooms for adults and has even set up a fourth intensive care unit.

“I fear we will not have enough of anything to provide for our patients,” Administrator Cheryl Rolston said. “That’s my biggest fear.”

The outlook at the medical center is grim, as requests for urgent medical attention, or Code 99s, have increased notably.

“Code 99 is typically a rare event,” Dr. Robert Gore of SUNY Downstate said. “We’re having 10 code 99s every 12 hours, at least.”

Read more about this in this article: Eyewitness News

Brooklyn-based advocacy group wants to house homeless in hotels during coronavirus

Hotel: credit: Sergio Calleja, Flickr

Churches United For Fair Housing, a Brooklyn advocacy group, put out a release yesterday that urges New York City to house its homeless population, in full, in vacant hotels.

Since the coronavirus pandemic has rendered every hotel in the city empty, CUFFH said, it leaves over 100,000 vacant rooms that can be used to house the homeless in a way that people are not so close together.

“From a public health perspective, it’s vital that New York re-house every single homeless family immediately — as an entitlement,” the release, titled “Reclaim our Homes and House All New Yorkers Now,” said.

Additionally, the report mentioned that there are an estimated 10,000 illegal Airbnbs, 4,000 unsold condos and 700-plus units in the city that could be used for the same means.

However, the city already has plans for using the hotels in the age of coronavirus: temporary hospitals.

The city has already leased 20 hotels to be converted into medical centers, since all the real hospitals are becoming full with both coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients. It is intended to add 10,000 beds for medical purposes.

Other hotels are already doing their part by housing medical workers, such as the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

While the CUFFH means well with its call to action, some experts said that it wouldn’t actually be quite as helpful as the group believes it would be.

“It has a detrimental impact on kids,” Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York Associate Executive Director Raysa Rodriguez said. “Not only is there limited space for walking, for homework, all the things we know kids need to grow up healthy — there are no designated spaces for recreational services, no play facilities.”

Read more about this in these articles: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, CUFFH Report

Queens man missing amid coronavirus pandemic

Jose Vincente Ortiz. Family Photo given to media outlets,

A Woodside man has gone missing amid the spread of the coronavirus, and now his family in California is working with the NYPD to help find him.

Thirty-seven-year old Jose Vicente Ortiz moved to Queens from the Bay Area of California eight years ago, and has still been close with his family living there since the move.

When Ortiz, an avid user of social media, stopped posting FaceBook and answering his family’s and friend’s texts and calls, his family knew something was wrong.

He was last heard from in mid-March when he emailed his aunt and uncle to check on them and see if they were doing okay as the coronavirus was just ramping up at the time. His last FaceBook post was on March 24.

After a recent wellness check at Ortiz’s house, his family was told that no one lived at that address anymore.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if he was living with friends, but for him not to respond to any of us, to any of his friends, or to not post on social media is just unlike him,” Saida Garcia, his cousin, said. “We’re all just really worried.”

A large part of why Ortiz’s family is worried is not just that they can’t contact him, but that this is happening while the coronavirus is reaching its height and he lives in what has been called “the epicenter of the epicenter.”

“This virus … it’s what prompted us to try to get in touch with him more urgently,” Saida said. “We’re all very concerned because he’s in the center of it all. We just want to know if he’s okay.”

Anyone with information about Ortiz’s disappearance is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or, for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

Read more about this in this article: NBC News

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