Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order, as well as what the upstate reopening means (NYC is expected to move into Phase 1 on June 8th); 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 urges protesters to get tested
- De Blasio Says NYC's Phase 2 Reopening Could Start In Early July
- Jobless Claims In New York Drop By 56 Percent As State Gradually Reopens
- Without A Pandemic Transportation Plan, NYC Is Poised To Reopen With A Lot More Traffic
Anyone who has been to one of the protests against police brutality in recent days should get tested for coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his press conference on Thursday. He also urged protesters to inform family members and others they come into contact with about their possible exposure.
“I’m not a Nervous Nelly, I just read the numbers,” Cuomo said. “You have 30,000 people who have been protesting statewide. Many of them wear masks, thank God, but there’s no social distancing. You look at encounters with the police and they’re right in their face.”
Cuomo said getting tested while asymptomatic is particularly important because there can be a lag between when someone contracts coronavirus and when they start experiencing symptoms, if they have symptoms at all (the CDC says the incubation period is 2-14 days).
“In the meantime, we’re making all these decisions about reopening,” he added.
Testing has already become more widely available in New York City, with a testing site locator available online. The city health department made it clear in a directive to health care providers this week that all New Yorkers should be able to get tested for free, as many times as needed, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or at increased risk.
De Blasio Says NYC's Phase 2 Reopening Could Start In Early July
Amidst aggressive policing by the NYPD during peaceful protests, New York City is getting ready to enter Phase 1 of its reopening on Monday, June 8th.
Phase 1 will allow non-essential industries like construction, landscaping, agriculture, fishing, and hunting to resume—under extensive social distancing and health guidelines—as well as non-essential retail stores to offer curbside pick-up. Phase 2 will allow hair salons and barbershops to resume—under extensive social distancing and health guidelines—as well as real estate services; vehicle sales and leasing; in-store retail; and outdoor dining from restaurants.
"If we all work together, Phase 1 can move to Phase 2. At this moment, Phase 2 could start as early as the beginning of July," de Blasio said on Thursday. (Other New York state regions have moved into Phase 2 two weeks after entering Phase 1, which would have suggested NYC could go into Phase 2 on June 22nd.)
He also announced a special hotline to help small businesses to restart for Phase 1 (888-SBS-4NYC/888-727-4692) and said businesses can find guides on the city's website nyc.gov/coronavirus. Two million masks will also be distributed to small businesses, and workers can also find out about how they can stay safe and healthy are the city's website or by calling 311.
The city is putting into place more testing and tracing for Phase 1, the mayor added, noting that there were only 48 coronavirus-related hospital admissions on Wednesday. Further, there are 354 ICU patients at the city's public hospitals (NYC needs to have 375 or fewer ICU patients at public hospitals in order to reopen) and the city's COVID-19 positivity rate was 3%.
"That's very good news," de Blasio said. "Whatever else we're fighting, whatever we have to overcome, this is what is going to allow us to move forward. It's because of all of you...everybody who stayed indoors, everyone who is social distancing, everyone who is wearing a face covering. You are changing things so we can reopen this city. Thank you."
Jobless Claims In New York Drop By 56 Percent As State Gradually Reopens
Another 83,000 New Yorkers filed for unemployment benefits last week, a drop of 106,000 from the prior week, or 56 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The steep drop in claims suggests that the crisis in job loss may have peaked for New York, which saw most the coronavirus cases in the country.
Consistent with national trends, the number of New Yorkers who are currently on the unemployment rolls also fell—by 43,000 to 1.8 million, suggesting that people are rejoining the workforce. Since the crisis started, 2.5 million New Yorkers have applied for unemployment benefits.
Across the country, 1.9 million new claims were added, for a rolling total of 42 million.
At a more local level, the New York City Comptroller's Office reported that the citywide unemployment rate in April was 14.6 percent compared to 3.7 percent last year.
The reassuring economic news comes nearly three weeks into the state's reopening. Portions of New York have moved to phase two of the recovery plan, which allow retail stores, hair salons, barbershops and outdoor dining restaurants to reopen their doors.
New York City is set to begin the first phase of reopening on Monday, with construction, manufacturing, wholesalers and curbside retail stores permitted to operate with safety precautions in place. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that under the first phase, as many as 400,000 employees could return to their workplaces in the city.