NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel advisory for the Tri-State Area after President Donald Trump pulled back from pursuing a quarantine of the region.
The CDC is also asking New Yorkers to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
“We’ve got to be mindful of families that at this crucial moment want to reunite. Whether that means families coming back to New York or leaving New York to go to another place where their based. We’ve got to be be really respectful, in the middle of a crisis, families have a right to be together,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
De Blasio said the travel advisory “isn’t something I’m going to fixate on.”
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“I want to know where we’re going to get the ventilators and the PPEs and the doctors and the nurses to save lives here in New York that would be lost,” de Blasio said. “Are we gonna be able to save every life we can, or do we risk that possibility, and I’m saying in a week or two, do we risk that possibility of losing lives that could have been saved.”
During a Sunday afternoon press conference, de Blasio said a lot of things are in motion.
There are currently 32,308 cases in New York City, and there have been 678 deaths. He said the 911 system is getting flooded with calls. Saturday saw more than 6,000.
Other takeaways from his media briefing include:
* A 68-bed field hospital is coming to Central Park.
* 650 inmates have been released from jail since Saturday night.
* The Staten Island Ferry is moving to hourly service at midnight.
* If you see overcrowded subways, please report to 311.
* Close to 900 NYPD employees have tested positive, and 5,000 are out sick.
Earlier, de Blasio said New York City has enough medical supplies to get through Sunday, April 5, with the exception of ventilators.
“We’re gonna need at least several hundred more ventilators very quickly, but we have otherwise the supplies to get to next Sunday,” de Blasio said. “We are going to need a reinforcement by Sunday April 5, in all categories, especially ventilators, but in other areas as well. And personnel is becoming more and more the issue and I want to say the military has been very responsive on this. They have a lot of doctors and nurses, I’ve made a direct request to the president and to the military to find us immediately more military medical personnel and get them here by next Sunday but also to start figuring out how to get civilian medical personnel from around the country here.”
De Blasio said New York City sees “a sharp escalation ahead” in coronavirus cases.
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De Blasio emphasized the importance of getting trained medical personnel in place to help to provide relief to doctors and nurses here.
“They can’t keep up at this pace for weeks and weeks and weeks ahead, and expect to save lives the way we need them to,” he said.
De Blasio was asked whether his earlier to New Yorkers on March 13 to continue going about their lives ultimately contributed to the spread of the virus.
“We should not be focusing in my view on anything, looking back on any level of government right now this is just about how we save lives going forward. We all were working, everybody was working with the information we had, and trying of course to avoid panic. And at that point for all of us trying to keep, not only protect lives, but keep the economy and the livelihoods together keep ensuring that people had money to pay for food and medicine,” de Blasio said. “I mean this was a very different world just a short time ago. But the bottom line is we none of us have time to look backwards I’m trying to figure out how we get through to Sunday next Sunday, and then what we do the week after that. And that’s the only thing we should be talking about in this country.”
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“I think the big historical point here that will be looked back on is, if this country had had the testing when we needed it, this could have been a very different reality. But there’s no time to go back over that. There’s only time to focus on getting through the next week and the week after that,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio said New York City was on a war footing and the country had to turn to history to find an appropriate analogue to the current crisis.
“The only comparison is to 100 years ago. The Spanish influenza pandemic. The only comparison in terms of our economy in our lives is to the Great Depression, none of us have ever experienced this. We’ve got to focus on today tomorrow, next week, if we’re gonna get through this,” de Blasio added.