Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Mar. 19, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

Cuomo, Levine Step Up

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Our Town reported on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Tuesday press conference, during which he discussed the growth rate of the COVID-19 virus and how its spread may overwhelm the state’s healthcare infrastructure. He intends to cooperate with the Trump administration as well as the governors of neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut to help reduce the virus’ spread.

Meanwhile, City Councilmember Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights) expressed opposition to universal coronavirus texting, arguing that it would further overwhelm the city and state’s hospitals.

“Scientists will one day figure out how many of us had the virus. If you have fever/cough getting a test result will be of zero value. There is no add’l (sic) treatment it will unlock. It changes nothing about what you need to do: stay home & rest,” said Levine. “In places like NYC the healthcare system is about to be entirely over run. It will be the equivalent of wartime. It is critical that every single element of this system be reserved for those who face serious peril. In terms of covid (sic) this means respiratory failure or worse.”

De Blasio Discusses Casualties of Coronavirus

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill De Blasio’s (D) office announced Thursday that the reported number of COVID-19 cases citywide nearly doubled from Wednesday night to Thursday, with a current total of 3,615 from 1,871, the Daily News reported. In a statement the previous night, the mayor blasted the federal government for not doing enough to help.

“I want their ability to get stuff from factories all over the country, wherever needed. The only force in America that can do that effectively, quickly, is the United States military,”he told CNN.  “And they’re being sidelined right now by [President] Donald Trump.”

De Blasio Expands Appointment-Only COVID-19 Testing

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) announced the expansion of appointment-only COVID-19 testing across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers, and 4 drive-thru test sites.  

At this time of writing, New York City has seen 3,615 positive cases of COVID-19 and 22 fatalities. The expanded testing capacity—available by appointment only—will help keep potential COVID-19 carriers out of ERs and ensure testing access for citizens showing moderate-to-severe symptoms. H+H anticipates that it will be able to serve at least 150 people per day at each of its 10 centers.

“If we’re going to curb this epidemic, we need fast and expansive testing for those most at risk for serious illness,” said de Blasio. “Now we can get more New Yorkers the care they need at the right time—helping save lives, one test at a time.”