NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he is ordering playgrounds in New York City to be closed as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.
There are now 83,712 total confirmed cases in New York with 12,226 currently hospitalized, 3,022 in ICU. Cuomo said 6,342 patients had been treated and discharged.
There have been 1,941 deaths in the state due to Covid-19.
According to the New York City Department of Health, 278 people died in New York City on Wednesday alone. That is the highest number of deaths in a single day the city has seen.
The governor says as numbers continue to rise and with the worst yet to come another set of restrictions are necessary, involving these places where we play.
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Driving home the seriousness of proper social distancing, the governor’s tone was testy talking about those who keep congregating, including outside. So now playgrounds are padlocked, or otherwise declared off limits.
“Young people must get this message and they still have not gotten the message. We still see too many situations, too much density by young people. They can get it. They’re putting their lives at risk. This can kill young people, rare circumstances, but it can. But you get infected, you give it to somebody else,” Cuomo said. “The compliance is still not where it should be… so we’re going to take more dramatic actions. We’re going to close down New York City playgrounds. I’ve talked about this weeks. I’ve warned people if they didn’t stop the density and the games in the playgrounds – you can’t play basketball, you can’t come in contact with each other – that we would close the playgrounds.”
Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 10 playgrounds across New York City would be closed. Cuomo’s announcement extended it to playgrounds across the city.
Cuomo said the open spaces around the playgrounds will remain available.
“So use the open space in a park, walk around get some sun. Great. No density, no basketball games,” Cuomo said.
New York has the most cases in the United States by far, with New Jersey coming in second with 18,696.
“No one is near where we are,” Cuomo said.
As for when he predicts when this will end?
“Nobody knows for sure,” Cuomo said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
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That said, recent data modeling suggests the apex is going to hit “roughly at the end of April.”
“Which means another month of this,” Cuomo said. “The apex, the recent number is, you’re going to need 110,000 Covid beds.”
“We are confident based on all of our projections that for [the week of April 6] we shall have sufficient eye protection,” De Blasio said. “The need at this moment… we still need 3.3 million N95 masks to come in by Sunday.”
De Blasio said New York City needs 400 more ventilators by Sunday, and in the following week need at least 2,500 more.
Cuomo said the model shows New York will need 37,000 ventilators in total.
One of the biggest variables in the modeling is how well social distancing works. With high compliance, the model suggests 75,000 Covid beds and 25,000 ventilators.
De Blasio said New York City will need 65,000 additional hospital beds by the end of April.
The governor’s predictions for the apex of the curve and deaths come from models he describes as moderate – not too hopeful and not too pessimistic.
Cuomo said a different model finds 16,000 New Yorkers could die of the virus, which Cuomo thinks might be on the low side when you consider wide ranging predictions for deaths nationwide numbering anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000.
Cuomo had this to say about what begins to bounce us back from this, to restart the economy and ease uncertainty fear and anxiety.
“My opinion is the best way to do that is to come up with a rapid testing procedure where people can test,” Cuomo said. “So you can take the test know where you are and we can start ending this this terrible situation that we’re in.”
The governor said he envisions a day where teleeducation and telemedicine are enhanced, with more medical research, better stockpiles of medical supplies and higher staffing levels for first responders and healthcare workers.
Our challenge is to make sure that transformation and that change is positive, Cuomo said.
Cuomo said some patients from New York City had been moved to Albany.
“We’ve talked about this is one state. This is one family, New York,” Cuomo said. “We support one another in two ways. Staff from upstate hospitals will be going to downstate hospitals… and downstate hospitals who are at overcapacity can transfer patients to upstate.”
Cuomo spoke about how the outbreak has hit home for him with his brother Chris being diagnosed with Covid-19.
“Anyone can get this disease. Relatively young people, strong people, people who take a lot of vitamin pills, people who go to the gym a lot. Anyone can get this disease,” Cuomo said. “When he told me he had the coronavirus, it scared me. It frightened me. Why? Because we still don’t know. We still don’t know. And even there’s just a one percent, two percent chance, it’s frightening. It’s frightening.”