New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, and professional sports (without fans). A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is ourregularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
1 p.m.: Positive COVID-19 cases remained below 1% across New York state, according to figures released by Governor Andrew Cuomo. But there were four COVID-related deaths in the city.
"Despite increasing infection rates across the country and in our region, we continue to see our numbers hold at low levels, all thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers to change their behavior and our data-driven, phased reopening," Cuomo said in a statement. "While our numbers remain low and steady, this is not the time to get complacent -- we must focus on protecting our hard-won progress now. Remember, wear your mask, socially distance and above all, stay New York Tough."
Figures released by Cuomo's office show there were 74,857 test results, in which 703, or 0.93%, were positive. Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens each had one reported death.
But hospitalizations dropped to 573, compared to 579 the day before. The number of patients in ICU's also went down, from 139 on Thursday to 133 on Friday.
The figures come a day after Cuomo announced schools can reopen across regions in the state that are in Phase 4, such as New York City.
Dr. Fauci Really Wants People To "Stay Away From Bars"
11:20 a.m.: With the number of coronavirus cases hitting nearly 5 million in the United States (4,945,795, according to Johns Hopkins University), public health officials are trying to remind Americans how to protect themselves and others. In a conversation with Brown University's School of Public Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday he'd remind people of the "fundamental" public health principles "until I'm exhausted."
According to CNN, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ticked them off: "Universal wearing of a mask, physical distancing, avoid crowds, outdoor better than indoor, washing your hands and hand hygiene—and if you're in a situation where it applies to you, stay away from bars."
"Those things work," he added.
When asked what was happening with the virus in the U.S., Fauci explained what differentiates us from other countries is "how large and diverse our country is geographically, demographically, as well as the level of virus in a particular region, state, city, county." Also, even though the U.S. did lock down for some months, "we never really got down to a baseline," he said. And then, when states reopened, some people decided to go back to a pre-pandemic approach of living, versus one following guidelines like mask-wearing.
"We do not have to completely lock down if we do things right... and if we do those things right, I believe we can open up the economy, get the employment back, people out of the doldrums, if we do it prudently and carefully and do what the guidelines say," he said.
Earlier in the week, Fauci's colleague on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx, said, "What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread."
Pointing that it's as prevalent in rural areas as it is urban ones, "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus," she said. "If you're in multi-generational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities."
The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, has adopted the "three W's" to drive home the message.
In a speech in Baltimore, he said, "No. 1, wash your hands. No. 2, watch your distancing, meaning stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid crowded places. And, No. 3, wear a face mask."