The three areas holding New York City back from reopening are the lack of free hospital beds and contact tracers which have to be hired by the local government
The persistent new coronavirus cases in New York City are coming from low income neighborhoods and faith-based communities, Gov. Cuomo said on Wednesday, including some areas of the Bronx where nearly half of residents tested positive.
There were another 112 deaths on Tuesday and 295 new hospitalizations from COVID-19. The citywide death toll is now 16,000 and there have been more than 191,000 cases.
Across the entire state of New York – which is largely reopening aside from NYC, Long Island and mid-Hudson, there have been more than 22,000 deaths and more than 350,000 cases.
Cuomo said on Wednesday that a recent study of testing carried out at church sites, which are closed, revealed higher than average infection rates than anywhere else, with many residents testing positive for antibodies.
He also said the continuing cases are coming from low income zip codes.
New York City has now got a low enough daily death rate and daily hospitalization rate to reopen but it continues to be held back by the lack of hospital beds, ICU beds and contact tracers that have to be hired.
Seven of the state’s ten regions are now reopening because they have met Cuomo’s requirements.
The city needs another 600 or so hospital beds to free up before it hits the target of having 30 percent of the system free. It is four percent off having enough ICU beds.
Officials would not confirm exactly how many contact tracers had been hired when contacted by DailyMail.com on Wednesday. The city needs 2,250 to reopen.
155 DEAD FROM COVID IN A SINGLE BRONX HOUSING PROJECT
More than 150 people have been killed by the coronavirus in a single Bronx housing development, new statistics show, as it’s revealed the borough has suffered nearly twice as many deaths and infections than any other part of New York City.
So far in the Bronx, nearly 4,300 of its 1.4 million residents have died from COVID-19 since the deadly virus began ravaging the county in March – compared to around 2,800 of Manhattan’s 1.6 million inhabitants.
And within the borough itself, no place has suffered more devastation than the housing development known as Co-op City.
Data released by city health officials Monday revealed that the virus has killed at least 155 people living in the zip code that covers the complex – or roughly 1 in every 282 residents.
Cut off from much of the borough by Interstate 95, Co-op City is the largest single residential development in the US, housing 43,000 residents in 35 towers and seven townhouse clusters. It’s also home for one of the largest elderly communities in the nation, with a population that is 92 percent non-white.
Within the New York City Housing Association, more than 900 residents died of COVID-19 between March and May 11. An additional 298 are said to have likely died from the virus, but a cause of death hasn’t been confirmed by a coroner.
In total, there have been about 7,818 cases of coronavirus among the approximately 400,000 NYCHA residents.
Cuomo theorized the high number of infections – and subsequent hospitalizations and deaths – in those communities is a consequence of less people wearing personal protective equipment, such as face coverings, in addition to the tight living quarters that public housing complexes provide.
‘How do you socially distance in an elevator in a public housing complex… in a small playground that is attached to public housing?’ he said. ‘So we understand the challenge.’
A spokeswoman said: ‘We are on track to meet the tracing goal. We have over 1,000 tracers currently on board to meet our initial June 1 goal in addition to existing staff.’ The previous reopening goal was May 15 – not June 1.
Cuomo told local leaders to drill down with testing on the lower income communities to try to stop the spread.
‘It is going to be true in every community across this state and across this nation. You tell me the zip codes that have a predominantly minority community that is lower income. I will tell you the communities where you’ll have increased spread.
‘Focus on low income communities. Do the testing and do the outreach.
‘That’s where the cases are coming from, the new hospitalizations are coming from, that’s where you’re going to see the highest number of deaths. That is our challenge,’ he said.
Morrisania in the Bronx is the worst impacted neighborhood in the entire city. Forty-three percent of residents there who were tested tested positive.
Brownsville in Brooklyn was the second highest impacted with a 41 percent infection rate. Pelham Gardens is next with a 38 percent infection rate, which is the same as in Soundview, in the Bronx.
Crown Heights in Brooklyn has an infection rate of 34 percent and Canarsie in Brooklyn has an infection rate of 33 percent.
Despite the high numbers of infections, Cuomo is allowing religious ceremonies of 10 of fewer congregants to resume.
But New York City remains closed and is not likely to reopen until June, according to Mayor de Blasio who on Tuesday said the city needed ‘at least a few more weeks’ of shut-down and that the lockdown would continue ‘into the first half of June’.
He has taken a pessimistic outlook on the situation from the beginning and called for a lockdown before Cuomo initiated one.
De Blasio also called for dramatic measures like a nationwide draft for healthcare workers. On Wednesday, he suggested the New York Marathon may not be able to go ahead and it is not due to take place until November.
Some Republican pundits have accused de Blasio of holding the city ‘hostage’ in an effort to get federal bailout money from Trump.
De Blasio said he would not be able to restart the city’s economy without additional stimulus money from the federal government.
‘How are we going to even afford to restart our city if right now we are literally out of money. I’ve lost $7.4 billion already, and my economy can’t come back until I get that stimulus.
Restaurants and bars in New York City began reopening over the weekend on a curbside basis as their PPE money ran out
Retail stores across the city remain closed. Curbside retail is being allowed in the rest of the state
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Tuesday as it remained closed. The cities’ museums and entertainment venues will be the last to reopen
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been accused of holding the city ‘hostage’ since deaths and hospitalizations are low enough to reopen
‘We’re all connected. This is the largest city in the country. We help lead the national economy for everyone,’ he said.
Fox contributor Tammy Bruce said in response: ‘It was essentially a threat.
‘[De Blasio] said that the nation’s economy was not going to rebound – in a message to President Trump – unless New York’s economy rebounds.
‘And until he gets that federal money that’s just not going to happen.
‘He’s not going to open….now this is his answer to essentially hold New York City hostage,’ she said.
Businesses in New York City have been hesitant to publicly urge reopening, despite whatever financial hardships they face.
The Real Estate Board of New York declined to comment when approached earlier this month.
Andrew Rigie, the Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, told DailyMail.com: ‘I think restaurant owners are capable of implementing the proper safety measures to reopen but it is up to our public health and government officials to determine when the appropriate time is to begin reopening.’
Bartenders and restaurant workers who lost jobs as a result of the closures have seen relief in boosted unemployment payments. Some are now earning more than they were before.
‘I think restaurant owners are capable of implementing the proper safety measures to reopen but it is up to our public health and government officials to determine when the appropriate time is to begin reopening.’
Andrew Rigie, the Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance
The flat $600 weekly federal supplement, which was included in the CARES Act and is due to expire in July, is applied across the nation to those who lost their jobs due to pandemic shutdowns.
Because average wages vary greatly from state to state, the flat federal supplement means that total unemployment benefits now exceed average wages in at least 35 states.
As the PPE end date nears, many restaurants and bars are choosing to reopen on a curbside basis simply to drive revenue again, even if they can’t allow people inside.
Companies whose operations ran in offices have now adjusted to working from home.
Many, like banks including Citi, have informed employees they likely will not be allowed back into their enormous offices regardless of if the city reopens, until July.
Unlike upstate and central New York, where a huge driver of the economy are dense factories and plants, NYC’s economy is driven mostly by financial services.
The NYSE closed its historic floor in March and the system has operated electronically since then.
Testing at a church in Brooklyn, New York, on May 15. Cuomo said the results of a study of church testing sites showed far higher rates among faith based communities