Cuomo Extends Coronavirus Shutdown Order to May 15: Live Updates

Cuomo Extends Coronavirus Shutdown Order to May 15: Live Updates

wear them when they cannot maintain social distance.

He said that face coverings must be worn by everyone on mass transit or in for-hire vehicles, including the operators. They must also be worn by all children age 2 or older. The order goes into effect tomorrow.

And Mr. Cuomo said that New York would send 100 ventilators to New Jersey, where deaths have been climbing in recent days.

De Blasio unveils a budget with billions in ‘very tough’ cuts.

The pared-down budget proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday for the fiscal year beginning July 1 reflects a city whose revenue has been devastated by the coronavirus.

To balance the budget, the city would need to make “over $2 billion in very tough budget cuts,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news briefing.

The $89.3 billion budget is $6 billion less than what the mayor initially proposed in January.

It is also $3.4 billion less than the budget for the current fiscal year, which ends in June.

The proposal anticipates a major drop in the city’s tax revenue: $7.4 billion over the current fiscal year and the next.

The dozens of proposed cuts, some large, some small, affect some beloved programs and include not opening the city’s outdoor pools this summer:

  • Cut training, overtime, materials and professional development in the school system: $167 million.

  • Suspend the Summer Youth Employment Program: $124 million.

  • Hiring freeze and vacancy reductions at multiple city agencies: $106 million.

  • Suspend curbside compost collection: $21 million.

  • Close all outdoor pools: $12 million. The mayor was also asked about beaches and said, “Right now, we do not have a plan to open the beaches.”

  • Delay an upgrade to the parking meter system that allows motorists to pay by license plate: $7 million.

  • Cuts in tree pruning and tree stump removal: $4 million.

  • Suspend 1,000 summer camp slots: $600,000.

Before the outbreak, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat in his second term, had overseen a period of booming growth that had allowed him to spend more than past mayors.

As he outlined his proposal, Mr. de Blasio said the city was focused on the heath and safety of its residents, and providing food and shelter to those who needed it.

“If we can’t provide the basics for our people, then you can kiss your recovery goodbye,” he said.

As he has in recent days, Mr. de Blasio called on the federal government to provide more financial aid.

“The toughest part will be ahead and that will all be about what happens in Washington,” Mr. de Blasio said.

The mayor specifically entreated President Trump, a native New Yorker, to urge Congress to provide more stimulus funds to state and local governments.

“Will the president speak up?” Mr. de Blasio asked. “If President Trump raises his voice, the Republican Senate will follow, period.”

Governor Cuomo echoed the mayor’s call at his daily briefing. “We cannot do it,” he said of filling the hole in state and local budgets.

Drivers are racing through empty city streets.


Credit…Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

Drivers have roared through deserted New York City streets as if they were taking a lap at Le Mans.

They have openly drag raced on major commuting arteries and have racked up thousands of speeding tickets across the city. In some cases, they have left behind wrecked cars and lives.

As traffic has disappeared during the coronavirus pandemic, some drivers have responded by revving their engines and taking off. The open streets have also brought out motorcycle gangs and daredevils on dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles doing wheelies and stunts in traffic lanes, residents said.

“Now that the streets are empty, the Fast & Furious wannabes really think they’re living in a video game,” tweeted City Councilman Justin Brannan, a Democrat who represents southwest Brooklyn.

The city’s key coronavirus numbers all worsened.

For the first time since Mr. de Blasio announced the daily health statistics that officials would track to decide when to start reopening New York City, all three numbers headed in the wrong direction, the mayor said on Thursday.

“This was a tough day,” Mr. de Blasio said. “This is not what we’re looking for.”

The numbers:

  • People admitted to hospitals who are suspected of having the virus: 386, up from 370.

  • Intensive-care patients in public hospitals who are suspected of having the virus: 887, up from 868.

  • Percentage of people testing positive: 55 percent, up from 53 percent.

The mayor also announced new steps the city would be taking to fight the spread of the outbreak, including providing 11,000 free hotel rooms for people who needed to quarantine.

The city had initially planned to use hotel rooms as field hospitals, but Mr. de Blasio said they had not been needed. Instead, the city will offer them to health care workers, people from hard-hit neighborhoods in overcrowded homes and the homeless.

Mr. de Blasio also said that the city had continued releasing inmates from jails to slow the virus’s spread. Fewer than 4,000 people were in the city’s jail system, he said — the least since 1946.

On Wednesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, expressed concern about so-called compassionate release programs, saying that some prisoners being released were a threat to public safety. The mayor said Thursday that they posed no threat.

“There is a clear monitoring program that has been set up for anyone released,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Online school creates a crisis within a crisis for 200,000 special education students.

When Trishia Bermudez heard that New York City’s public schools were closing indefinitely, she scoured her apartment to find objects that her son, Matthew, could use during virtual physical therapy classes.

Now Matthew, who attends a public school program for students with special needs, uses empty pill bottles and bags of beans during mobility exercises.

The other day, Ms. Bermudez, a single mother who lives in the Rockaways in Queens, spent hours helping him grasp a pencil.

“I didn’t learn how to do that. I’m an accountant,” she said. “We were barely getting there,” she said of Matthew’s progress in school, “and now it’s like, oop, we’re backward.”

The sudden switch to remote learning for the 1.1 million public school students in New York City has presented the nation’s largest school system with its greatest challenge in decades.

There is also a crisis within the crisis for the roughly 200,000 public school students with disabilities.

The already-strained special education system is struggling to deliver crucial services like speech, occupational and physical therapy that are difficult and sometimes impossible to translate online.

Interviews with two dozen educators and parents showed wide agreement that, even if remote learning were executed perfectly, students with special needs would fall behind academically and socially.

Are you a health care worker in the New York area? Tell us what you’re seeing.

As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers. Even if you haven’t seen anything yet, we want to connect now so we can stay in touch in the future.

A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.

Reporting was contributed by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Michael Gold, Elizabeth A. Harris, Winnie Hu, Andy Newman and Eliza Shapiro.

  • Updated April 11, 2020

    • When will this end?

      This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than 30,000 coronavirus-related GoFundMe fund-raisers have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail to meet their goal, though.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • How do I get tested?

      If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

    • How does coronavirus spread?

      It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

    • Is there a vaccine yet?

      No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.

    • What makes this outbreak so different?

      Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

    • What if somebody in my family gets sick?

      If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

    • Should I stock up on groceries?

      Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

    • Can I go to the park?

      Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.

    • Should I pull my money from the markets?

      That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.

    • What should I do with my 401(k)?

      Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions — don’t! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you’re at least saving as much as you can to get that “free money.”

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