CUOMO: Schools Remain Shut Through April 29, Social Distancing Violators To Be Penalized With $1,000 Fine

NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Janet Ekstract – Governor Andrew Cuomo in Monday’s daily briefing on the coronavirus situation, said the question now is “What is the curve?” In other words, when will the highest point of most coronavirus cases peak in New York. The governor said that projection models have a number of alternatives. Cuomo said since there are less ICU admissions and more hospital discharges that there could be a “possible flattening” of the curve based on the improvement over the last week. He said the models are still inconclusive and that if New York plateaus it will do so at a very high level. Currently, Cuomo explained that the system is at red line right now – at maximum capacity and added: “that people can’t stay at this level for a long time.” To that end, Cuomo said he will ask President Trump on Monday to shift the ship ‘Comfort’ to a COVID patient vessel rather than its current non-COVID status. He also added: “That Javits Center is going to be a major relief valve,” with 2,500 beds and is almost ready for patients.

Cuomo explained that the New York PAUSE will be extended: “We have to continue the social distancing, schools and non-essential businesses will stay closed until April 29.” The governor made it very clear when he said: “I’m not going to choose between public health or economic activity.” He added that there’s “a real danger in getting over confident too quickly.” Cuomo suggested the U.S. must follow the examples of Hong Kong, and South Korea who realized their pandemic was continuing and took swift measures to combat the outbreaks. He said some are making the mistake in thinking the pandemic is over but as he warned: “That’s wrong.”

New York’s governor slammed the level of laxness in social distancing and said he plans to ibe more aggressive in enforcing violators with an increased fine from $500 -$1,000. Cuomo mentioned this past weekend in New York was an example of that and added: “The level of activity is up in New York City but now is not the time to be lax and it is a mistake – we all have a responsibiity and all have a role in this and we have to respect the role we play.” The governor stressed the disrespect people are showing when they refuse to employ social distancing. He commented that whether transit workers, medical personnel or delivery people – they risk their lives on the frontlines daily. Cuomo added: “If I can’t convince you to show discipline for yourself, show discipline for other people.” He also said  he noticed the level of activity is up in the city and that it must come to a halt. Cuomo said he wants governments to enforce the social distancing rules and added: “I want to be more aggressive on the enforcement and all the evidence is people aren’t respecting it.” The governor added that no one has the right to be “cavalier or reckless” by not following social distancing rules.

There are positive developments on the horizon, Cuomo emphasized. He referred to a new program that has been created to assist first-responders financially with lifestyle issues such as childcare and other essential needs. He said the Blackstone corporation made the first 10 million donation and said that’s a really great start. For mental health assistance, the firm headspace will partner with New York on that front, he added. The governor also revealed that the state has allowed use of the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with another drug to be approved only by a patient’s doctor. He said there is no official data yet from a hospital or a study to indicate its effectiveness. That would take weeks or months Cuomo explained but did indicate there is anectdotal evidence that it has been positive. He cautioned though that the drug isn’t suitable for every patient.

The governor reiterated: “We like to think we can control everything, we can’t” He said: “The undeniable truth here is that this virus is a deadly enemy and we will lose and we are losing people who are vulnerable to the virus.” Cuomo remarked: “Control what you can, do what you can.” He said the challenge moving forward is “to make sure we don’t lose anyone who you could save if our healthcare system is working properly.” He added: “The people we lost are the people we couldn’t save,” 

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