The New Normal
The governments of the Northeast Corridor took the first steps today in reopening their economies and restarting public life after almost one month of shutdown. The states and their administrations have committed to coordinating on a plan, but not much else has been decided.
What we do know is that, by all accounts, the process of reopening will be gradual and contingent on continued monitoring of the infection rate. While all administration officials agree that the health of their citizens comes first, they recognize an urgency to open up state workforces to get the economy flowing again.
- The group of states consists of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts (a late addition on Monday evening).
- “Any plan to reopen society MUST be driven by data and experts, not opinion and politics.” – Gov. Cuomo
- No word on whether the alliance extends to sharing PPE or ventilators.
- Read more at NPR.
Schools are Closed, but By Who?
- After a day of deliberation, Mayor de Blasio announced on Saturday that NYC schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year.
- However, Governor Cuomo asserted that, while he did not question that schools should be closed, it was the State that had the authority to close or reopen schools.
- This reverses statements by Cuomo from several weeks ago, where statements inferred that it was Mayor de Blasio’s call to close schools in the first place.
- Read more at Gothamist.
12-18 months until possible vaccine
- Governor Cuomo, building a timeline for the state’s return to normalcy, highlighted the importance of a vaccine in bringing people back to work unrestricted.
- The Governor relayed the projections of his advisors, and the advisors in the Federal government, that all agreed a vaccine was 12 to 18 months out.
Chinese Food, and the Ripple Effect
- A fantastic Gothamist report shows how the virus, anti-asian racism, public transit policy, and food supply lines all contributed to the scarcity of open Chinese delivery and takeout restaurants in the city. It’s an example of individual aspects of an economy and society forming into systems, and it’s essential to understand how the modern city functions. Read the full story here.
CARES Act Funds
- Attorney General Letitia James has sent letters to both the Treasury Department and the CFPB asking them to protect the stimulus dividends from immediate garnishment from creditors.
- This would put it in the same category as, among other things, Social Security and Disability payments.
- Currently, CARES Act stimulus payments are not exempt.
- Read the full statement here.
Department of Education Releases Number of Dead
- The department had been quiet for weeks, but said on Monday that they had lost 50 people to COVID-19.
- 22 paraprofessionals, 21 teachers, two administrators, two central office staffers, a facilities employee, a guidance counselor, and a school food worker.
- Read more at the Daily News.
- The Mayor announced on Sunday that they would be hiring 500 temporary hospital workers, in an effort to staff up for non-clinical positions and offer jobs to struggling New Yorkers.
- The positions are in maintenance, cleaning, and clerical work.
- Wages range from $15-21/hr.
- Read the full report in the Daily News.
Burials, Bodies, and Funeral Homes
- NYC should set up fund for funerals, says Council Speaker Corey Johnson – NY Daily News
- CNN reported a memo published by the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that says a body has 14 days to be claimed before it’s buried at Hart Island.
- National Geographic put together a history of Hart Island and its use as a gravesite for unclaimed bodies.
- NYC public hospitals have begun to require a doctor’s note in order for hospital employees to take sick leave.
- The City reported on the new updates, issued jointly by the Health and Hospitals chief medical officer and the head of HR.
- They announced this, according to the memo, because, “in some places we have … identified very high rates of call outs and absences that do not appear to be consistent with patterns of COVID infection.”
- Five HHC nurses have died from COVID-19.
- Read the full report in The City.
Office of the NYC Attorney General
- Attorney General Letitia James put together a guide to navigate changes in burial, health insurance, and student loan systems, and to help protect against several common scams related to COVID-19.
- The March 16 deferral of student and medical debt issued by the OAG is coming up for possible renewal on April 15. If it’s not renewed, the OAG will resume normal collections.
|Friday 4/17, 1pm||Monday 4/20, 2:30pm|
|– The Bronx||27014||29505|
|– Staten Island||9166||9986|
|Confirmed Deaths||7890(NYC) / 8893(NYS)||9101(NYC) / 10022(NYS)|
This weekend: 1200+ deaths