What you should know
- New York City parents are bracing for a possible school closure, following an increase in the positivity rate across the city approaching 3%. Governor Cuomo advised the City of New York to consider adding additional factors to the threshold for school closings.
- New Jersey reported 4,395 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, setting a new record for cases reported in a single day by the state.
- Six governors from the northeastern United States are having an “emergency summit” on COVID-19 this weekend as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the region.
NEW YORK – Six governors of the northeastern US are having an “emergency summit” on COVID-19 this weekend, as several states have reported record cases of COVID-19, and while additional restrictions are being felt Almost certainly, officials are joining together in an effort to stem the spread throughout the region.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, two of the six states making the summit, reported new record totals of cases in a single day on Saturday, higher than any single-day number counted in the first peak of the pandemic in the spring. .
The Garden State record came after four consecutive days of more than 3,000 new cases reported. The latest total COVID-19 cases in a day rose to 4,395 cases and exceeded the previously reported maximum by a difference of four cases, state records show. Currently, the number of daily tests performed in New Jersey is three times the volume performed in the spring. State data tThey also show that 2,000 people were hospitalized in the state on Friday, less than a third of the state record at the end of April.
New Jersey’s new COVID-19 restrictions went into effect Thursday and some reflect the rules Governor Andrew Cuomo announced would be imposed in New York a day later on Friday as the New Jersey governor seeks to roll back what has been described as a recent “devastating” increase in the number of cases.
In New Jersey, seating at bar counters is completely prohibited (it is already prohibited to congregate in an upright position inside bars), while bars and restaurants must stop service inside from 10 p.m. until 10 p.m. 5 am every day. That includes casinos, although games can continue 24/7. Restaurants can place tables closer than 6 feet apart only if they are separated by barriers. Cookout, takeout and home meals are not affected after 10pm.
Governor Murphy did not set any new limitations for indoor dining outside of curfew hours; it has also left the current 25% capacity limits in place. Most of the spread has been related to social gatherings, from weddings to parties and small group gatherings in private homes, as well as indoor sports at the K-12 level.
In Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, whose positivity rate has skyrocketed beyond double the growing number statewide, Mayor Ras Baraka has already cracked down on more stringent measures than Governor Murphy has laid out across the board. the state when it comes to mandatory curfew, sports, senior housing, religious services, and non-essential businesses.
After Newark’s tougher restrictions, another city in New Jersey has also gone beyond the state’s new measures. East Orange is ordering all non-essential businesses to close at 8:00 pm as part of what the mayor calls a “tough love” shutdown.
Governor Murphy said Thursday that he would sign an executive order that would give municipalities and counties the option to regulate non-essential business hours of operation after 8:00 p.m., as Newark has done, but any local action must comply. with state rules.
For his part, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the group of governors during the summit will discuss possible coordination of restrictions on restaurants and bars, as well as quarantine rules and interstate travel. Several states have approved new restrictions this week, including those in New York with a curfew for bars and restaurants starting at 10:00 pm and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in private residences.
“We think we will have to take additional action,” Cuomo said, although he said he does not expect major changes to the existing rules over the weekend.
Governor Cuomo said he expects infection rates to continue to rise in New York and across the country as the Christmas season begins.
New York has reported more than 45,700 new cases of coronavirus in the last 14 days. The State reported an average of 4,163 new cases per day during the last seven days. That’s almost double the rate 11 days ago and quadruple the situation at the end of September. On Saturday New York reported 5,388 cases, reaching a new record.
“You can’t take this rate of increase and survive waiting for a vaccine to come along,” Cuomo said.
With new restrictions taking effect in the tri-state area and New York City schools about to close, anxiety is familiar to millions of people who once again find themselves concerned about their children and their livelihoods.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told parents Friday to be prepared for the city’s school system to end all in-person learning instruction as soon as Monday if the virus spreads continues to accelerate.
The Democrat has said he will close school buildings if 3% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the city over a seven-day period come back positive. As of Saturday, that rate dropped slightly to 2.47%, down from 2.8% on Friday, but was expected to increase as additional test results were returned, the city’s health commissioner tweeted.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has weighed in on closure issues in the past, chose not to do so in the case of New York City schools. He reiterated Friday that he had left local school decisions up to local school districts, as long as any district’s thresholds are within the parameters set by the state. By Saturday, he suggested that the mayor and school leaders consider adding additional factors to the school closing threshold.
“Since the 3% was established, we have become more sophisticated and have more capacity than we had at the time,” he said on a morning conference call.
“Add a school positivity rate to your calculation, because if the school is not spreading the virus, or if the school has a much lower positivity rate than the surrounding area, then the school is not part of the problem, and You could argue that keeping kids in school is part of the solution, “he added.
The 3% said by De Blasio is well below the 9% mark that Cuomo set for closing and the 5% mark he set for the initial reopening a few months ago. That said, he would rather keep them open for now, and he urged the mayor and the teachers union to consider a higher threshold in the future.
The City is preparing to close all school buildings if the rate crosses the threshold over the weekend, de Blasio said.
“I want to urge parents to have a plan ready that they can put into action on Monday,” de Blasio said during his weekly talk on WNYC radio. “Parents should have a plan for the rest of November.”
Calls to keep schools open in the city were echoed by New York City Council President Corey Johnson, who on Friday issued a release in support of preventing city-wide school closings.
“Our city is in a dangerous position right now with rising rates of COVID-19. But we owe it to students and families, and to all New Yorkers who care about the future of this city, to do everything possible to keep schools open to provide services in person while prioritizing safety and security. equity. This is especially important for families who depend on our government to be the great equalizer, “read part of Johnson’s statement.
JURY SELECTION SUSPENDED
New York State courts are suspending jury selection and one county has halted the counting of absentee votes as COVID-19 cases rise.
Chief Administrative Law Judge Lawrence Marks said in a memo on Friday that jury selection in the New York State court system will stop Monday, though ongoing criminal and civil trials will continue to their conclusions.
He said no new grand juries will be selected and that future trials and hearings will be held by video until further notice.
New York resumed jury trials on September 9 in counties outside of New York City after halting them statewide in March due to the pandemic. In the city, civil and criminal jury trials began again on October 26.
COUNTING OF VOTES STOPPED
In central New York, Onondaga County, absentee ballots were stopped because a staff member was exposed to COVID-19.
Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said Friday that the counting process was postponed until further notice and that his office was making arrangements to secure the ballots.
Voters in the county, which encompasses the city of Syracuse, cast about 52,000 absentee ballots in the November elections. At least 30,000 remained uncounted as of Thursday. The results may decide a competitive seat in the 50th state Senate district.