CORONAVIRUS IN NYC: Death toll nears 15K; De Blasio says city working with Macy's on 4th of July celebration

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 22, 2020 - 9:37 am

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City on Wednesday reported that an additional 3,561 people tested positive for COVID-19 as its death toll neared 15,000.

    The city also reported a total of 9,944 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 5,052 probable COVID-19 deaths, for a combined total of 14,996 deaths.

    Of the 138,435 positive COVID-19 cases, 31,130 have been reported in the Bronx; 36,699 in Brooklyn; 17,495 in Manhattan; 42,637 in Queens; and 10,405 on Staten Island. Sixty-nine cases are listed as “unknown.”

    Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesdays he would like to deploy New York State Police to assist NYPD on subways after robberies have spiked.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new plan to beat back the coronavirus in New York so the city can eventually reopen and life can begin to return to normal.

    LISTEN LIVE: 1010 WINS' 24/7 coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

    The goal of the plan, called "Test and Trace," is to "defeat" the disease by controlling it using widespread testing and tracing of people who have been infected.

    "Right now we're in the widespread transmission phase. This is not a place we're going to stay obviously. We cannot accept this reality," de Blasio said. "The next phase is called low-level transmission."

    The mayor said to get to and sustain the low-level transmission phase the city will need to do a "huge" amount of testing, which it is planning for now.

    He said the city needs to ramp up the number of tests it has and then increase the number of sites where people can be tested, as well as the number of people who can give those tests. He'd like to see "hundreds of thousands" of tests happening each day at sites across the city.

    When it comes to "tracing" the virus, de Blasio said that means "literally hunting down each and every case."

    "Every individual who contracts this disease, following up with them and making sure they're interviewed about the people in their life and then following up with those people," the mayor said. "Continue following all the way through."

    "That entire aparatus is being put together," de Blasio said, adding that thousands of people in the city may need to be placed in isolation as the system expands.

    The mayor also announced that six new testing sites prioritizing NYCHA residents and nearby residents with high-risk factors will be opening in the coming days across the boroughs.

    On Friday at these H+H Community Testing Sites:

    -Cumberland Health Center in Crown Heights

    -Belvis Health Center in Mott Haven

    -Gouverneur Health Center on the Lower East Side.

    Next week at these NYCHA facilities:

    -Jonathan Williams Houses in Williamsburg

    -Woodside Houses in Woodside

    -St. Nicholas Houses in Harlem

    Test and Trace
    NYC Mayor's Office

    There were 134,874 coronavirus cases in the city as of Wednesday. There were 9,562 confirmed deaths and 4,865 probable deaths from the coronavirus, for a death toll of 14,427 citywide.

    De Blasio also said Wednesday that the city plans to celebrate the Fourth of July this summer despite the ongoing outbreak.

    "Summer’s going to be very different in our city this year," the mayor tweeted. "But I can promise you one thing: we’re working with Macy's to find a safe way to celebrate the Fourth of July."

    De Blasio said he spoke with Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette and told him, "We may not be able to do it how we historically have" but it would be "right to mark the day."

    He said Gennette told him "We are right there with you."

    "One way or another the show will go on," de Blasio said. "One way or another we’re going to celebrate the Fourth of July in New York City."

    Major permitted events in May and June like the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the city's Pride March have been canceled because of the outbreak. Outdoor pools have also been closed and it looks like city beaches may stay closed as well.

    It's unclear how the annual fireworks display, which brings hundreds of thousands of people to the East River, will go forward if social distancing measures are still in place.

    De Blasio said "there's definitely going to be fireworks" but the questions of where and how they will take place is still being worked out.

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