Medicine News

New York announces plan to reopen as early as mid-May as hospitalizations drop to month low

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that hospitalizations due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, have dipped to the lowest number recorded since late March. He also laid out detailed plans for reopening the state, with so-called “lower risk” businesses getting back to work as early as May.

New York remains to be the epicenter of the disease in the United States. Health authorities reported 3,446 new coronavirus cases and 521 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total caseload to 301,450 with 23,144 deaths. Despite these figures, Cuomo said that the outbreak is showing signs of letting up. The three-day rolling average for new hospital admissions for COVID-19 fell to 953 on Monday, the state’s lowest since March 24. At the peak of the outbreak, hospitals in New York received 3,000 new COVID-19 admissions a day, based on the same rolling average. The governor added that total numbers for intubations and hospitalizations also fell.

“It’s still a significant number of people,” Cuomo told reporters. “But overall you see the numbers coming down, so that’s good news.”

In New York City, the death toll is also showing signs of decline. The city recorded 335 new deaths on Monday, fewer by at least 100 than three days ago. Operations at the medical bivouac at the Javits Center were also winding down. As of Tuesday, only 69 patients remained in the federal medical facility, and all were in the process of being transferred to local hospitals.

The Pentagon expects operations at the bivouac to conclude on Friday. Local authorities have also hinted that the Javits Center can be converted into a medical facility in the future if needed. Meanwhile, the USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital ship sent to support local hospitals, is set to depart Thursday.

Listen below as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, explains how the coronavirus is much more deadly than the seasonal flu:

Reopenings will be gradual

On Tuesday, Cuomo unveiled his plan for restarting the state’s economy, saying that lower risk businesses upstate could reopen after May 15, when lockdown measures expire. Manufacturing and construction jobs could also reopen early, provided that precautions are in place. (Related: Texas proves coronavirus lockdowns WORKED as Gov. Greg Abbott allows businesses, shops to begin reopening.)

“Those are two industries that employ a lot of people,” he added. “We believe you can put the right precautions in place and learn the lessons from where we had been.”

In New York City, over 5,200 construction projects have resumed, an indicator that the city is starting to recover from the onslaught of the pandemic. In construction sites across the city, workers are wearing respiratory masks and disinfecting their tools, and contractors have installed hand washing stations.

The city’s Department of Building has deployed inspectors to various construction sites to ensure that workers practice social distancing measures. The department has doled out 115 violations for open sites since they were allowed to resume.

“There is absolutely no excuse for conditions that put workers, and therefore our entire city, at risk of spreading [COVID-19],” explained Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. “Lives are at stake.”

Next to open will be the “more essential” services, which pose lower risks of infection to workers and customers. Other industries, particularly those that present a higher risk of infection, will follow soon after. Cuomo said that the government will monitor data closely before proceeding to the next phase and that businesses will be evaluated in terms of how essential their service is and the infection risk it carries.

“Remember we have gone through hell and back over the past 60 or so days,” Cuomo said. “What New Yorkers have done has been to save lives. But we have to stay vigilant. This is not over.” has more on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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