Coronavirus in NYC: de Blasio says community spread now the biggest threat

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Mayor Bill de Blasio talks about the latest developments on coronavirus at the OEM briefing room. Here, he shows how not to spread coronavirus. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration has thoroughly studied the behavior of the coronavirus and says the real threat is not from world travelers, but rather community spread.

A more nuanced analysis of COVID-19 has found that it does not live long on surfaces and is not airborne, but if someone sneezes in your mouth, nose or eyes, there may (or may not) be a problem. Transmission occurs when infected fluid from a carrier enters any of these three orifices.

On Sunday afternoon, de Blasio echoed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Sunday morning message, warning New Yorkers to avoid congested spaces such as trains or buses.

“I’ll put an asterisk on and say there are always exceptional cases, I’m not saying that this is the perfect rule that affects every single time, but this is the basic rule, overwhelmingly consistent rule based on what we have seen globally from this disease,” de Blasio said.

People with Heart disease, lung disease, cancer, compromised immune systems and diabetes, as well as people who smoke or vape, will find themselves more vulnerable to the worst the coronavirus has to offer. The risk is especially higher for seniors, ages 50 and over.

“The folks we have the greatest concern about whether or not they will still be alive at the end of this are the folks who are in that category,” de Blasio said.

There are currently 13 confirmed cases in the city with a new positive test coming up on Sunday morning, and according to the mayor, 146 have tested negative. But the de Blasio said it could only be a matter of time before the administration will no longer be able to report cases with as much detail as it currently is.

Over the next few weeks, the de Blasio administration expects the number of confirmed cases to balloon to a relatively higher degree.

“I think we could well be at 100 cases or hundreds of cases over the next two or three weeks, we have to be prepared for that reality,” de Blasio said. “Our public health apparatus is already planning on the assumption that we will be at hundreds of cases soon and is prepared for that reality.”

But as for small business, de Blasio encourages New Yorkers with no symptoms to continue patronizing mom and pop shops, and will be giving grants to businesses with under five employees up to $6,000 to help them maintain employees in the face of economic hardship.

The city will make $75,000 available to businesses with over 100 employees who can document a 25% drop in sales.

There about 19 people in the city under mandatory quarantine in their homes and there have not been any issue with them disobeying the order.

Mayor Bill de Blasio talks about the latest developments on coronavirus at the OEM briefing room. (Photo by Todd Maisel)