5,151 CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NYC: Mayor says NYC at 'epicenter of crisis,' has 1/3 of all coronavirus cases in US

1010 WINS Newsroom
March 20, 2020 - 6:03 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The number of coronavirus cases in New York City rose to 5,151 Friday afternoon as the death toll climbed to 29—seven more than Thursday.

With 5,151 cases in NYC, de Blasio said NYC is "at the epicenter of the crisis." He added that NYC has 1/3 of all the coronavirus cases in the United States, and 2/3 of all the cases in New York.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, all non-essential businesses will close, the mayor said Friday. He also said all field events in city parks will be canceled and no more permits issued.

There is a reduction in ferry service. S.I. ferry ridership is down 70 percent and the numbers of ferries will go from 4 to 3 beginning Sunday evening, de Blasio said.

On the flip side, bike ridership is up and de Blasio said the city will be installing temporary bike lanes on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan and Smith Street in Brooklyn.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo put the state on lockdown Friday and said that "100 percent of the workforce must stay home." 

"New York State is on pause," Cuomo said. "First rule: Only essential businesses will be functioning. Second rule: Stay indoors." 

Non-essential workers and businesses are exempt from the order. Those include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.

According to the Mayor's Office, the new numbers by borough as of Friday were:

  • Brooklyn: 1,518
  • Queens: 1,406
  • Manhattan: 1,314
  • Bronx: 667
  • Staten Island: 242

Fifty-two NYPD officers have tested positive for coronavirus and one is in the hospital, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea also said Friday.

The mayor pleaded with President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to mobilize the military to get medical supplies like ventilators and masks to the city. He said the city will run out of medical supplies in two to three weeks and be in the midst of "battlefield conditions."

"If they got the order this hour to mobilize and get resources to the places in this country that are suffering, they would give it their all and they have the best logistical capacity of any organization in America," de Blasio said. "They have extraordinary group of medical personnel and material and supplies that they can put on the ground, they know how to do it in a war. I assure you they can do it in their own country. But the order has not been given by the commander in chief, because he’s not acting like a commander in chief. He doesn’t know how. He should get the hell out of the way and let the military do its job."

In a late afternoon press conference Thursday, de Blasio said the city needs at least 15,000 ventilators, 3 million N95 masks and 50 million surgical masks by early April to fight the crisis and called out Trump for "not using the tools of your office."

The mayor said health care workers will also need 45 million more surgical gowns, coveralls, gloves, regular face masks and face shields.

"Right now, you are the Herbert Hoover of your generation," de Blasio said of Trump. "You are watching and waiting and missing every chance to be bold, and to act, and to protect our nation ... I will only say to the president, 'I don't understand' and I think there are millions and tens of millions of Americans who don't understand what you're doing right now."

So far, 1,746 retired healthcare workers have volunteered to help during the coronavirus outbreak, the mayor added.

The Brooklyn Diocese, which covers institutions in Brooklyn and Queens, said Friday that two of its priests had tested positive for the coronavirus.

One of the priests is from Sacred Heart of Jesus in Glendale, Queens. He last celebrated Mass on Sunday, March 15 at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. He was also at the soup supper on Saturday, March 14 in the church basement.

The other priest with coronavirus celebrated Mass at St. Matthew’s Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Sunday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m.

Both churches and rectories will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization, with approved disinfectants, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the diocese said.

The diocese is also closing its churches and there will be no funerals, weddings or baptisms. The diocese said it "is proving not to be feasible" to continue these services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Brooklyn Diocese closures went into effect Friday at 12 p.m. Here are the details:

  • All churches  in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens will be fully closed
  • Parish offices will be physically closed
  • Funerals and wedding will not be permitted in church since limiting funerals and weddings to 10 people is proving not to be feasible.
  • If absolutely necessary, a graveside service could be held, at the discretion of the cemetery administration. A memorial Mass for the deceased should be celebrated later. Weddings should be postponed.

Meanwhile, an NBC News audio technician at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan died of the coronavirus, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said in a memo to staff Friday.

Larry Edgeworth, who had worked at Rockefeller Center for 25 years, died Thursday, Lack said. He was 61, according to MSNBC. The Daily Beast first reported his death.

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