Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City needs continued social distancing plus more conoravirus testing capacity in order to reach a point where the loosening of restrictions could be considered.
Watch Mayor de Blasio’s remarks in the player above.
“If we really work hard, we have a chance of seeing change in May or June.” de Blasio said at a City Hall briefing.
De Blasio said most New Yorkers are adhering to health guidelines banning public gatherings but anyone who sees someone flouting the rules should report it through the city’s 311 call system.
De Blasio said that starting Monday the city will release ongoing data on three key virus indicators: the number of people admitted to hospitals suspected of having COVID-19, the number of hospitalizations for the disease and the number of intensive care unit admissions for the disease. He said all three numbers would have to go down in unison for 10 days to two weeks before the city could consider loosening social distancing restrictions.
But he said that in order to contemplate returning to anything approaching normalcy the city would also need to be able to test more people for the virus.
“We need some greater capacity,” he said, adding, “I think the federal government is still the most important part of this equation when it comes to testing.”
More people have died from the coronavirus in New York City than perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.
At least 4,000 people have been killed in the city by the virus, according to a new count released by state health officials.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as a fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and can be fatal.
Nearly 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed around the world, with more than 432,000 of them in the United States. More than 88,000 people have died from the virus, while nearly 330,000 have recovered, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.