This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Thursday, June 11th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.
New York City is in Phase 1 of reopening now. Here's a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly 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:
- Cuomo Says Pools And Playgrounds Can Reopen Today
- Number Of Unemployed Workers In NY Shrank By 52,000 Last Week
- NYC Announces Plan To Aid 100 Restaurants While Owners Still Await Details On Outdoor Seating Expansion
- Carranza Offers List of Possibilities, But No Specifics, On NYC Public Schools Reopening In September
- New Indoor Dining Guideline Calls For Barriers Between Tables That Can't Be 6-Feet Apart
- New Report Says Over A Third Of Food Pantries And Kitchens Closed During Height Of Pandemic
Cuomo Says Pools And Playgrounds Can Reopen Today
2:00 p.m. Pools and playgrounds across New York state can reopen at the discretion of local authorities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
During his morning press briefing, Cuomo urged local officials to "use their judgment."
"They should be studying the test data, they should be looking at those positives and see where the positives are coming from," he said. "If the positives are in a cluster, a neighborhood that has that pool, don't open the pool."
He added: "Well, everybody wants to swim, I understand. Everybody doesn't want to see a spike in COVID again."
The governor did not provide any details on how pools and playgrounds could reopen safely. As of Thursday afternoon, the state's website on reopening guidance was not yet updated. New Jersey recently announced that public and private pools could reopen on June 22nd, but said capacity must be limited to 50 percent and that swimmers must socially distance from another.
New York City entered the first phase of reopening on Monday. Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted this week that swimming at city beaches and pools could resume sometime this summer, although he said a plan for beaches would come first. Lifeguards have been training since May.
On Thursday, asked about beaches and pools, de Blasio said that the city was not ready yet but that officials could move quickly on a plan once it becomes safe. He added that masks and social distancing would be enforced.
Cuomo on Thursday also announced that five regions of the state have been cleared to move into Phase 3 on Friday: central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, the North Country and southern tier. Under Phase 3, restaurants could expand their services to include indoor dining again, and personal care services such as nail salons and tattoo parlors would be allowed to reopen.
However, citing states like California and Florida that have recently seen a rise in cases, Cuomo warned that the same resurgence could easily occur in New York.
"We have the density. We have the crowding," he said. "You start to see an increase it's going to take off and that's how we got here in the first place. I don't know how many other ways to say it."
Number Of Unemployed Workers In NY Shrank By 52,000 Last Week
The number of New York State residents who are currently receiving unemployment benefits fell by 52,000 last week, marking the third consecutive week where the jobless pool in the state has shrunk, according to Thursday's report from the U.S. Department of Labor
There are now 1.7 million people in New York currently collecting unemployment benefits, down from the high of 1.9 million on May 9th. The trend is consistent with the state's gradual reopening. Portions of the state began to reopen on May 15th, and as of this week, all parts of New York have reopened to some extent, with New York City entering the first phase on Monday.
Nationally, the total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits also fell slightly, to 20.9 million in the week ended May 30th, from a revised tally of 21.3 million the previous week.
New jobless claims continue to pour in. Last week, the country added 1.5 million unemployed workers, while New York added 94,000.
While the numbers were still staggering and well above normal levels, there were lower than the peak. On the week of April 11th, New York saw 395,000 initial jobless claims.
Last week, the federal government reported that the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 13.3 percent, but later corrected the number to 16.4 percent after finding a classification error. President Donald Trump later touted the numbers as evidence that the country was on the road to recovery from the pandemic, calling it the “greatest comeback in American history.”
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell pushed back against the president's optimism and suggested it could take years for the country to return to its pre-pandemic job levels.
“Nearly 20 million jobs have been lost on net since February,” Powell said during a news conference, noting that the figure was likely an undercount of the full extent of unemployment.
Referring to the police killing of George Floyd, he also spoke against racism and underscored the way in which job losses have disproportionately affected minorities and women.
“Unemployment has gone up more for Hispanics, more for African-Americans, and women have borne an extraordinary and notable share of the burden beyond their percentage in the workforce,” Powell said. “That’s really, really, really unfortunate.”