Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order; 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.
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6 p.m.: Governor Cuomo announced that the USNS Comfort, the Navy's hospital ship, will now take coronavirus patients. During an appearance on MSNBC, Cuomo pointed out that New York has a very serious situation and needs the federal assistance.
The USNS Comfort arrived last week, to help relieve pressure NYC's hospitals are facing during the pandemic. It is a 1,000-bed facility, with federal medical staff.
President Donald Trump confirmed the news during his White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, adding that New Jersey will be able to send its coronavirus patients to the ship as well:
New Jersey is second, after New York, in the number of COVID-19 cases. Today, NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced there were 41,090 with 1,003 deaths so far; the state is also ordering 20 refrigerated trucks—"body containment points"—for temporary morgue space.
1:00 p.m. In a hopeful sign that the spread of coronavirus may be slowing and hitting a plateau, New York saw the level of new deaths remain relatively flat for two days in a row.
As of Monday morning, at least 4,758 people across the state have died from the disease, up 599 from the previous day. That one-day death toll was similar to that of Sunday, when the state reported 594 coronavirus-related deaths. It marked the first time in weeks that the death toll's rising trajectory dipped slightly.
On top of that, the number of new hospitalizations as well as intubations also decreased for two days in a row. The state reported 130,689 confirmed coronavirus cases total.
Still, Governor Andrew Cuomo was cautious about drawing conclusions from the latest data.
"It is hopeful, but also inconclusive," he said on Monday during his press conference.
Warning against overconfidence, he cited Hong Kong and South Korea as two places which initially concluded that cases had reached their peak, only to see a resurgence.
"This is an enemy we have underestimated from day one and we’ve paid the price dearly," he said.
He noted that even if the disease has hit a plateau, it will be at a level that is not sustainable for the state's hospitals, whose workers have been sickened and overworked by the crisis. In New York City, Mayor de Blasio has called for a draft of healthcare workers to offer relief and reinforcement for doctors and nurses.
In an effort to relieve stress from the city's hospitals, Cuomo said he would ask President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon if the Comfort, a 1,000-bed hospital ship docked in New York harbor, could be converted to one for coronavirus patients. The ship was originally intended for non-coronavirus patients, but as of Friday, the Navy had admitted only 20 patients. Along with the Javits Center, that would give New York City a total of 3,500 additional beds for coronavirus patients. Both facilities will be staffed by military medical personnel.
The state is still in pursuit of thousands of ventilators, but in a possibly beneficial turn of events, California and Washington have released ventilators into the federal stockpile. New York is currently distributing 802 ventilators across the state's hospitals, Cuomo said.
Monday's news was another sign that the state's shutdowns and social distancing orders may be working. But the hint of good news was counterbalanced by anecdotal reports in places like New York City's Domino Park and Union Square that people were flouting social distancing orders over the weekend.
As expected, the governor extended his stay-at-home order, also known as PAUSE, through April 29th. He also raised the maximum fines for breaking the rule to $1,000 from $500 and urged localities to get tougher on enforcement.
"It’s not about your life," he said. "You don’t have the right to risk someone else’s life. You don't have a right to take a healthcare staff and people who are literally putting their lives on the line and be cavalier or reckless about it."
NY Braces For Tough Week, Trump Pushes Unproven Treatment For COVID-19
New York is headed into what is projected to be one of the worst weeks of the coronavirus crisis. As of Sunday afternoon, there were 64,955 confirmed cases of COVID-19 citywide. At least 2,472 people in the five boroughs have died from the disease, according to the city's count of confirmed cases, an increase of 218 from Saturday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that the city has only enough medical supplies to get through Tuesday and Wednesday. The city currently has 135 unused ventilators. It will need between 1,000 and 1,500 more to last until next Sunday, April 12th, de Blasio said.
Facing pleadings for more assistance from governors across the country, President Donald Trump on Sunday insisted that the White House was "orchestrating a massive federal response," even though New York has made it clear that it is short thousands of ventilators that are needed to keep coronavirus patients on life support during the apex of the crisis.
Trump has shifted the blame to states, saying they "should have bought a stockpile."
During a press conference on Sunday, the president touted for the second day in a row the use of an unproven anti-malarial drug against the coronavirus, saying, "What do you have to lose?”
In fact, some doctors have said the drug known as hydroxychloroquine does in fact carry risk, such ascausing a heart arrhythmia that can lead to cardiac arrest.
The decision to push the drug exposed a fault line in the White House task force. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the leading members of the task force, has argued, along with other experts, that there is not sufficient data to support the efficacy of the drug.
When Fauci was asked by a reporter on Sunday to give his opinion on the subject, Trump interjected. "I answered this 15 times. You don't have to answer," the president said.
Trump said that the federal government had acquired 29 million doses of the drug.
Inmate At Rikers Dies Of Coronavirus
An inmate in Rikers Island died Sunday from coronavirus, marking the first death of a detainee at the jail to die from the virus.
"A detainee who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away yesterday at Bellevue Hospital. Our deepest condolences go out to the detainee's family in their time of grief," said a spokesperson for the Department of Correction.
The New York Times reported that the man was 53 years old and had arrived at Rikers on February 28th. He was hospitalized on March 26th.
To date, four NYC Department of Correction staff members have died from coronavirus. At least 321 staff members and 273 incarcerated patients have contracted COVID-19.
The Department of Correction on Friday announced that it will provide masks to all staff and inmates in the city’s jails, following the mayor’s recommendation that everyone in the general public wear a mask or face covering. Prior to that, only inmates in areas exposed to the virus were provided masks.
The city has released at least 200 individuals from jails in response to the coronavirus outbreaks, which have created hazardous conditions for many vulnerable inmates.