De Blasio Says ‘no More Shutdowns’ As Nyc Faces Virus Spike
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said hes committed to keeping the city open as it grapples with yet another spike in coronavirus cases
Fauci talks surge of omicron cases across the US ahead of holidays
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s committed to keeping the city open as it grapples with a huge spike in coronavirus cases.
The Democrat said Tuesday that New York can’t see schools and businesses close again like they did when COVID-19 first hit the city in 2020.
De Blasio has faced questions over the past week about whether he would reinstate closures as the omicron variant surges in the city.
Adamantly I feel this: No more shutdowns. Weve been through them,” de Blasio said at a virtual news conference Tuesday. “They were devastating. We cant go through it again.
De Blasio, in the waning days of his term as mayor, will decide by Christmas whether the annual New Years Eve celebration in Times Square will continue as planned. The event was small and socially distanced last year but de Blasio had hoped to hold it this year at full strength. That was before reports of COVID-19 cases ramped up again.
While the fate of the outdoor New Year’s Eve event remained up in the air, De Blasio’s successor Eric Adams postponed his inauguration ceremony, scheduled for Jan. 1 indoors at Brooklyns Kings Theatre.
The city had previously offered similar incentives for people to get their first vaccine doses.
Ces Shortened By One Day Amid Covid Case Records Across The Us
Even before that, however, We are seeing an increase in the number of our cases that are Omicron, said the governor. We went from 50 to 250 literally overnight. But we think those numbers are underreported because it takes time to sequence.According to the New York Times, cases caused by all variants are up 56% in the past two weeks.
State data indicates that Omicron is making significant inroads against the dominant Delta variant and spreading rapidly. For the week ending November 27, Omicron accounted for 0.2% of all cases sequenced in the region. The following week, it had pushed its way to a 2% share. At the end of last week, Omicron was responsible for 13.2% of variant cases identified. Thats a 65-fold increase in just three weeks.
The average number of cases per 100,000 residents a good barometer of spread has increased over 48 hours this week from 56 on Tuesday to 67 on Thursday. For comparison, Californias number of cases per 100,000 is 13.1.
Already, major Broadway productions are canceling performances. The Rockettes have shut down their Christmas Spectacular through Christmas. Saturdays Iona-Seton Hall game at Madison Square Garden has been . Princeton, Cornell and New York University have all switched to remote instruction.
Asked by Tur if the state would begin ordering businesses to shut down Hochul said, Everything always depends on how severe it ends up being, buthis is not about shutting down, this is about taking precautions.
What We Know About A Second New York City Shutdown
Governor Cuomo updates New Yorkers on the State’s COVID-19 response and makes an announcement Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
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When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in New York this spring, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tussled over the implementation of lockdown orders in the five boroughs. When de Blasio first proposed a shelter-in-place order, Cuomo dismissed it, ultimately instituting a similar order five days later. Experts such as Tom Frieden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have blamed that delay in part for the staggering caseload and deaths New York saw in the spring. Earlier action would likely have prevented the worst of this epidemic peak, Frieden told City & State in April.
Now, as the resurgence of COVID-19 continues statewide, the city and state appear to be at that confusing crossroads again. While de Blasio and Cuomo have both warned of an impending shutdown akin to the New York on PAUSE order imposed in the spring, theres a lack of clarity about when that will happen. Earlier this week, de Blasio suggested that a New York City shutdown could come after the Christmas holiday. My nomination would be right after Christmas, he said at a Tuesday press conference. In a reminder that the governor actually holds all the power in this situation, de Blasio added that he would be open to an earlier shutdown, if the state chose to do so.
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Singapore Passes 50000 Cases Reporting 469 Infections Monday
From journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
Singapore reported 469 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the city-state to 50,838, according to its health ministry.
The vast majority of new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign workers’ dormitories, the ministry said. It added that at least two of the new infections were found in the community, including one Singaporean and one work pass holder.
In addition, Singapore reported a further 15 imported cases, all of which were placed under Stay-Home Notices upon arrival.
Unemployment And Loss Of Revenue
By April 2020, The New York Times reported that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers were unemployed, with at least $7.4 billion lost tax revenue projected over the year, and many residents uncertain as to how their rents would be paid. Broadway theaters, restaurants, hotels, and the transit system were among the most affected, while construction and real-estate development activities halted. Low-income and informal workers such as canners and street vendors faced severe loss of income, even as they were ineligible for government support. Law firms, financial services companies, and other white-collar businesses expected declining profits or losses. Between 475,000 and 1.2 million jobs, mostly low-wage positions in the retail, transportation, and restaurant sectors, were expected to be cut by the end of April.
By August 2020, the city had an official unemployment rate of 16.3%, nearly twice the national rate. A significant percentage of populations in all five boroughs were estimated to be receiving unemployment insurance benefits, with rates ranging from 22% of the workforce in Manhattan to 41% in the Bronx. Officially, the Bronx had an unemployment rate of 17.5% in October, the highest of any county in the state at the time. The city’s most badly affected neighborhood was West Farms, Bronx, where 26% of the workforce was unemployed in October 2020, several times higher than in wealthy neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side and Upper East Side of Manhattan.
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Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown
Nobody wants to mandate business closures, but so many people are getting sick that businesses are closing anyway.
I do not see a scenario for any kind of shutdown, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio , as parts of New York were in fact shutting down all around him. Broadway canceled show after show. Restaurants closed their kitchens. De Blasios successor, Eric Adams, who will take office January 1, nixed his inauguration gala. There has been no March 2020style universal shutdown, but New York is not back anymore, baby.
For Brent Young, who runs a butcher shop and two restaurants in Brooklyn, it began last week when, one by one, staff members tested positive. Its more or less decimated our workforce, he says. One of his restaurants had been booked solid with parties for a weekthe holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for restaurantsbut people started canceling those parties too. At this point its not worth trying to stay open, Young says, because the anxietys so high no ones wanting to eat. For most vaccinated people, Omicron will be mild. But even a mild cold, sufficiently widespread, can disrupt a city.
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Forget about the vaccines vs. the variant New York Citys survival depends on the outcome of Gov. Kathy Hochul vs. hysteria.With daily positivity rates soaring even in the Big Apple, Hochul untested in high-stakes economic and social governance will soon come under enormous pressure to lock us down once again.Shes easily cowed to catastrophic effect: Her absurd mask mandate for offices that are largely empty only prolonged their empty state by giving employees more reason to stay home.So far, Hochul has wisely emphasized accelerated vaccination and testing efforts. But shes more than left the door open to locking down. I am not an alarmist. Im not considering shutting down schools or the economy at this time, Hochul said Oct. 2.At this time.
Governor, we hear you and tremble.
Make no mistake: A second total lockdown like the one then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed on the state from March to June 2020, and only mildly eased in the months that followed, would guarantee the utter destruction of New York City that Cuomos jackboot only narrowly avoided.Simply put, the citys real estate, media, retail and hospitality industries wont survive even a brief second lockdown. Every landlord and business owner I know tells me the same things: The citys irrepressible, beating heart will be stilled institutionally and among millions of us who were ready to brave an uncertain, sometimes interrupted future that no one was ready to give up on.
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Ny Covid Hospitalizations Deaths Hit 7
Her former employer, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, has echoed Hochul’s concern over the COVID numbers in recent weeks, though core viral rates in the city, where the full vaccination rate among adults is up to 82%, are still largely stable.
De Blasio continues to push vaccination as the central strategy in the fight against COVID, though says he reserves the right to fight omicron by any means necessary, including reinstituting an indoor mask mandate for all people regardless of vaccination status if the data supports it. So far, that data isn’t there, he says.
Right now, one data point New York officials are keeping a close eye on is hospital bed capacity. Six NYC-area hospitals are below the threshold of 10% bed capacity Wednesday, meaning that they are more than 90% filled. Two of these hospitals are Queens, three are located on Long Island and another is in Westchester County.
The 90% threshold exists to allow the state Health Department to shut down elective surgeries to free up bed capacity if needed. Hospital officials say the recent capacity rate may not be related to COVID at all though and could be seasonal.
“All hospitals have ups and downs in their census and I have to move staff as well as patients. It is an everyday activity,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, the citys Health + Hospitals chief.
Fellow New Yorkers: Its Time To Move On To Unmask Ourselves And Our Kids
It wasnt passing by someone on the street. It wasnt shopping or exercising or going to school. It was generally close contact inside homes that continued to spread COVID. Bringing back masks in the low-risk situations will do exactly nothing to stop COVID from spreading in situations such as gatherings with family and friends.
So why do we keep returning to ineffective mitigation measures like masking in public spaces? Its as if we have a mental block around the reality that masking like this is largely pointless.
Sometimes, after my 5-year-old suffers a spill, he requests a Band-Aid, even if nothing is bleeding. It makes him feel better, so I stick a little Batman Band-Aid wherever he wants. But I dont also stick the Batman Band-Aids all over his siblings, just in case. I dont force everyone around him into Band-Aids to ease his mental anguish: the equivalent of fearful people forcing the rest of us into masks again.
But shouldnt we do it, just in case? people ask me. No, we should not. The unnecessary measures and rules are one reason why there is so much mistrust of the vaccines now.
We were told to do pointless things for our own good. We knew these things were irrational, but rules were rules: New York City shut down playgrounds and green spaces but opened up city streets alongside those shuttered playgrounds and green spaces. It was ridiculous, and everyone knew it. We cant go down the stupid road again.
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These Experts Say The Nation Needs To Shut Down Again
From CNN’s Christina Maxouris
More than 150 prominent medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses and other experts have signed a letter urging leaders to shut the country down and start over to contain the rampant spread of the virus.
“The best thing for the nation is not to reopen as quickly as possible, it’s to save as many lives as possible,” they wrote in the letter, which was sent last week to the Trump administration, leading members of Congress and state governors.
Meanwhile, with overwhelmed hospitals and lengthy delays in testing, some local leaders including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said a second stay-at-home order might be possible.
The state of the pandemic in the US: More than 1,000 people died every day for four straight days last week due to Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
New York’s Offices Broadway Shows Restaurants Close Down As Covid
New York City appears to be no match for the convergence of the delta and omicron variants, despite some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions and highest vaccination rates in the US.
Just as the city was getting more crowded and office vacancies were starting to shrink, an about-face has people again on edge. New cases of the virus are at the highest since January. Businesses are asking workers to stay home, schoolrooms are shutting and testing sites have long lines snaking around city blocks. And Broadway shows and restaurants are closing down as staff shortages and pockets of Covid outbreaks sprout up around the city at the busiest time of the year for tourism.
Weve never seen this before in NYC, Jay Varma, public health adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, said Thursday on Twitter. Test positivity doubling in three days.
Indeed, 7.8% of the citys cases were positive on Dec. 12, up from 3.9% on Dec. 9, according to city data. Many of those cases are mild and hospitalizations and deaths are nowhere near the level seen in the early days of the pandemic. But city data show hospitalizations are also rising at a fast clip and have more than doubled since the US Thanksgiving holiday.
This is a health care crisis and people are going to die, Hochul said Thursday when asked about resistance to her mandate. That is not hyperbole, these are the facts right now.
Back to WFH
At That Point Again
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New York State Guidance
At the state level, most coronavirus restrictions were lifted on June 15. The government no longer requires businesses to maintain social distancing or masking and cleaning protocols businesses are free to continue implementing these measures on an individual basis if they choose. In addition, businesses no longer need to gather patrons contact-tracing information.
Restrictions remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues . Proof of vaccination can be used to eliminate social distancing and mask requirements. Unvaccinated or unknown vaccination status individuals who are over the age of four must continue to present proof of a recent negative diagnostic Covid-19 test result and wear masks within the venue. But social distancing can be reduced or eliminated between tested attendees, allowing venues to reach 100 percent capacity in all sections.
Health and safety protocols, like masking and social distancing, remain in place in certain settings, including public transit and schools.Proof of full vaccination status can be provided by attendees through paper form, digital application or the New York State Excelsior Pass.
For more information, visit ny.gov.
Social Data By Daniel Lippman
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MAKING MOVES Simonida Subotic has left the New York State Executive Chamber, where she was deputy secretary for economic development. She is taking some time off and exploring options at the intersection of crypto and government.
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‘don’t Fight Yesterday’s War’: Nyc Mayor Bill De Blasio Joins With Ny Gov Kathy Hochul In Rejecting Another Lockdown For The Big Apple And Says His Times Square Nye’s Party Is Still Going Ahead
- Bill De Blasio, like Kathy Hochul, was insisting on Friday that vaccination and precaution is the best way to combat the city’s COVID-19 surge
- ‘No, no, no,’ de Blasio told WNYC’ on Friday when asked about possible shutdowns of public schools and other activities
- ‘Don’t fight yesterday’s war,’ he added. ‘This is not March of 2020. We’re one of the most highly vaccinated places in the United States of America’
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Friday that she has no plans to use her authority to shut New York City down
- Hochul said that she did not want to go back to ‘painful’ lockdowns that damaged the economy and harmed children’s learning
- She said she wanted to keep restaurants and bars and public venues open, urging people to take precautions but live their lives
- The seven-day average positivity rate for New York City was 4.69 percent, but the positivity rate has doubled in the three days from December 9-12
- On Friday, the Rockettes announced they were canceling the rest of their Christmas Spectacular season at Radio City Music Hall due to COVID
- The announcement comes after Broadway productions such as Hamilton, Mrs Doubtfire and Tina – The Tina Turner Musical have canceled shows