COVID-19 Update 05/11/2020

Cuomo announces ‘New York on Pause’ will end May 15, three regions ready to reopen

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily press briefing today that his “New York on Pause” order will not be extended when it expires on May 15, effectively ending that citywide shut down due to the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, pandemic.

While this will not return the state to pre-coronavirus times, it will ease the restriction people have to follow, such as by allowing low-risk businesses and recreational activities to resume.

The businesses and activities include landscaping and gardening, drive-in movies and outdoor activities or sports that allow for social distancing, such as tennis.

Additionally, certain regions of the state will begin their reopening processes soon after they met all seven of the governor’s criteria for opening up the economy.

Cuomo sectioned the state into 10 regions, and for each to open they must meet seven criteria that relate to controlling infection rates and offering testing and contact tracing, among other things. 

If a region that has begun reopening is no longer meeting all of the requirements, its Regional Control Room, responsible for overseeing the process, will put reopening on hold for the time being.

Reopening will be done over four phases and during each phase a different sector of the economy will be allowed to resume operations. The first sector is construction in manufacturing, followed by retail, finance and professional services, then food and hospitality and finally education and entertainment.

Cuomo announced today that three regions — the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes — are ready for reopening. Central New York and North County are close to meeting all seven requirements as well.

“A new chapter starts today,” he said. “This is the next big step of this historic journey.”

Read more about this in this article: NBC New York

De Blasio says non-essential businesses could reopen as soon as June in NYC

At his daily press briefing today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city is getting closer to reopening, as the number of new confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the coronavirus are trending downwards.

If the numbers continue to decrease, de Blasio said that the city could loosen social distancing measures and non-essential businesses could even open up as early as June.

“I think it is fair to say June is when we’re going to potentially be able to make some real changes if we can continue our progress,” de Blasio said.

While he is worried that opening too soon could lead to a “boomerang” effect where the virus resurges and numbers begin to increase, the mayor is still saying that the city can move forward with the process.

According to his briefing, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals went from 69 on Friday to 55 on Saturday, the number of Intensive Care Unit, or ICU, admissions dropped from 540 on Friday to 537 on Saturday and 13% of people tested on Saturday were positive, as opposed to Friday’s 17%.

“We are going to always go by the data,” he said. “It’s been pretty good and pretty consistent, but it is quite not where we want it to be but definitely trending in the right direction. But we need to see it sustained in a deeper way and right now that takes us into June.”

Read more about this in this article: Newsday

Brooklyn pier the site of a long-term disaster morgue for coronavirus victims

The long term disaster morgue of refrigerated trucks on Pier 39 in Brooklyn. Photo by Ariama Long.

Brooklyn’s 39th Street pier is now the site of a long-term disaster morgue, with a fleet of refrigerated trucks holding decedents stationed on the pier, which is near Greenwood Cemetery.

Funeral directors and homes have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic and have not had the time or space to house all the bodies they would be working with.

“We’re trying to support the funeral director community so they don’t have to rush and claim bodies; and then they’re struggling with the backlog to get them buried or the remains cremated,” NYC Medical Examiner’s Office Chief of Staff Dina Maniotis said. “There is no need for them to worry or for families to worry that the remains will go to a city cemetery unless they specially ask for that option.”

The 39th Street disaster morgue will be extending its hours to benefit the funeral homes so that they have additional time to claim their bodies. The 14-day limit to claim bodies that the city imposed has also been lifted.

“The additional morgue operating hours will also help funeral directors by providing them with evening hours for transfers since they spend the vast majority of the daytime hours conducting funerals, making arrangements and answering calls from families seeking their services,” New York State Funeral Directors Association Executive Director Michael Lanotte said.

The City Medical Examiner’s Office began burying unclaimed coronavirus decedents on the infamous Hart Island potter’s field, though the city has ceased doing so recently. Between March 23 and April 24, 522 people were buried on Hart Island, four times the normal number of people.

Read more about this in this article: Gothamist

Brooklyn woman six months pregnant survives COVID-19 — as does her baby

Credit: Tdorante10, WIkimedia Commons

A Brooklyn woman was six months pregnant with her third child when she contracted the coronavirus and landed on a ventilator at a Queens hospital.

Flash forward 32 days of being on the ventilator and Tasnim Shaheen is alive, recovering and expected to return home today, and her first daughter, Reeda, is alive and well, set to remain at the hospital for a few days longer.

Shaheen, who will have to undergo some physical therapy to make up for being under a medically induced coma for a month, is grateful to the hospital and thankful to be alive.

“It’s a miracle,” she said. “I tell people whose loved ones are in the hospital, don’t give up hope.”

Her doctor at Jamaica Hospital, Dr. Kavitha Ram, echoed the sentiment.

“It was against the odds,” Ram said. “I didn’t think this would happen.”

Doctors were unsure if either Shaheen or her baby would survive the virus, and they decided to remove the baby in hopes that then her body would be able to focus its energy on saving itself.

“She rapidly deteriorated. She rapidly developed septic shock, infection, went to multi-organ failure, including kidneys,” Ram said. “We were thinking maybe if we delivered her, mom could use the energy and resources use to fight her own infection . . . The baby came out kicking and screaming.”

Read more about this in this article: Pix11 News

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