A lot happened today.
First, the marriage bureau closed. I found out it was closed when I showed up and tried to get married. It seemed it was being announced concurrently on the Brian Lehrer show; no press release was sent out the night before.
I did eventually end up getting married by a Judge outside Manhattan criminal court. Harry Siegel wrote about it in The Daily News, and it was also in The New York Post.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions for New Yorkers, restrictions almost entirely similar to those being used in San Francisco under what is being referred to there as ‘shelter-in-place’. Even though many Americans have become familiar with the term, the Governor still refuses to call his new collection of mandates “shelter-in place,” and decided to use a new acronym. P.A.U.S.E. stands for Policy that Assures Uniform Safety for Everyone.
One thing was very clear: we need more supplies. The Governor and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed the urgent need for ventilators, masks, and other essential goods.
There was a new face at Mayor de Blasio’s press conference today: Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea, who was there to answer some questions about what we should expect from law enforcement in NYC in the coming days.
Shelter-in-Place / P.A.U.S.E
The Governor signs an executive order for P.A.U.S.E
What does it mean for New Yorkers?
- Here is the 10 Points on PAUSE
- Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed: – Get a complete list of essential businesses at NBC NEW YORK.
- All non-essential gatherings of individuals, of any size, for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
- Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
- When in public, individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
- Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
- Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
- Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
- Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
- Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
- Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.
- Mayor Bill de Blasio sent out guidance for New York City residents
- No non-essential gatherings; any concentration of people outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services
- Practice social distancing in public (separate by 6 feet or more)
- Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to solo and non-contact exercise.
- Limit use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary.
- Sick individuals should not leave home except to receive medical care.
- The City will also enforce “Matilda’s Law,” (named for his mother, Matilda) which sets the following restrictions for vulnerable New Yorkers who are over the age of 70 and/or immuno-compromised:
- Remain indoors
- Limit outdoor activity to solitary exercise
- Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking temperature
- Wear a mask when in company of others
- Do not visit households with multiple people
- Everyone in presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask
- Stay six feet from other people
- Do not take public transportation unless absolutely necessary.
- Law enforcement was a big topic at The Mayor’s press conference, given the seriousness of the Governor’s new restrictions.
- Commissioner Shea said that crime was down over the past week and so were 911 calls, with the exception of calls for health services.
- When asked about the calls to temper arrests in NYC during the COVID-19 Crisis, Commissioner Shea said “So, if you look at where we are in New York City, we’ve dramatically cut our enforcement over really the last six years. I’m very comfortable where we are right now in terms of policing in this city.” He also said, “we (the NYPD) have no intention of strategically cutting enforcement specifically related to this coronavirus. But as I said before, we have through precision policing exhibited what I like to think is the best policing model in this country for the last six years, and we’ll continue to do that.”
- 52 members of the NYPD have tested positive for COVID-19, with 1 hospitalization.
- Legal aid filed a suit to free 116 NYC inmates and state parolees. Read about it in the NY Daily News.
- Mayor de Blasio has been talking about releasing inmates, so as to ease the conditions inside jails and prisons, for several days, and as of yet nothing has happened. Today, he said, “we have an initial list of people who are being processed for release, but that requires DAs and/or State approval. We’re still waiting on that.” He promised that more names would be added to the list.
- Senator Alexandra Biaggi called on the Governor and the Mayor to do more to protect the Rikers Island population from Covid-19. Read about it at Riverdale Press.
- The Mayor said that the city would start installing new bike lanes soon due to the uptick in cycling. “We want to support that.” We would see new bike lanes by the end of next week (March 27th).
- Manhattan – 2nd Ave btwn 34th and 42nd
- Brooklyn – Smith Street (Extended Bike Lane)
COVID-19 Testing in NYC
- “We actively discourage asymptomatic people from getting tested because it’s squandering scarce resources,” says Dr. Oxiris Barbot MD, Acting Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- The instructions for people who get sick are as follows:
- Stay at home and wait 3 or 4 days
- If your symptoms get worse call your doctor and have them advise
- If you are elderly or have a pre existing health condition that makes you more susceptible, call sooner.
- There is very little guidance for people who do not have a primary care physician beyond “Call 311.”
- The Governor calls for private aid and issues a new ventilator order – NY Post.
- Christian Siriano Offers to Help Make Masks to Fight COVID-19 – NBC New York
- Governor asked private businesses to “get creative,” and if they could help manufacture any of the needed supplies like masks, gowns, or gloves. He said that NY State was buying, “at a premium,” if need be.
Numbers as of Thursday, March 20th 5:30p.m. EST:
- Confirmed Cases: 5,151
- Queens 1,406
- Manhattan 1,314
- Brooklyn 1,518
- The Bronx 667
- Staten Island 242
- Deaths: 29
FAQ.NYC and Racket photographer Daniel McKnight took a walk from the High Line to Hudson Yards and up through through Times Square, in the wake of the Governor’s announcements. This is what he saw.