NEW THURSDAY MORNING: We’re at a critical moment in our battle against the coronavirus, as we take steps to slowly begin opening parts of our state, while we address the very real threat still posed in some communities and nursing home/adult care facilities. As we begin to take steps forward, we can never forget that our continued success is wholly based on our own behavior and actions. Now is not the moment to say “we’ve got this,” and stop doing the things that are saving us from the hell we’ve just been through. This is where we need to be strong, and soldier on, or we risk losing everything we’ve fought so hard for.
Expanded antibody testing of first responders and frontline workers shows conclusively protective gear and clean hygiene measures can keep us safe. Antibody testing of first responders across the region and in different occupations consistently had a lower percentage of positive results than the general population. So please wear a mask in public, it makes us all safer, and it’s not my opinion or anyone else’s; it’s a fact.
New testing results unveiled today show that communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, with areas in the outer boroughs of NYC still experiencing very high positive rates and gross new hospitalization rates. To combat these hot zones, the state is doubling testing programs in these impacted communities, and partnering with houses of worship and community based providers to establish additional testing sites in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The state will also be working with Northwell Health and SOMOS community care to deliver PPE, hand sanitizer, and public health education to these impacted communities.
We must continue to be realistic with ourselves and one-another about the recovery and reopening process if we’re going to succeed in this fight together. Recovery won’t travel a straight line--and that’s okay, and it’s expected. Today, Long Island slid back slightly on the reopening dashboard, now with 4/7 metrics met. We previously met the threshold for the number of beds available, but that number is now too low to qualify. At this point, the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York are all in Phase 1 reopenings, with Long Island, Mid-Hudson, and NYC still works-in-progress.
Beginning today, religious gatherings of no more than 10 people will be allowed statewide where strict social distancing measures are enforced and all participants wear masks. Drive-in and parking lot services are also being encouraged as we seek to find new ways to safely experience different aspects of our lives. The State is also convening a new Interfaith Advisory Council that will discuss proposals to safely bring back religious services. Our community is well-represented on the council by our very own Bishop Lionel Harvey of First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury and Dr. Isma Chaudhry of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury.
Following a spike in domestic violence during the pandemic, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa announced the creation of a new task force to find innovative solutions to this crisis. The task force will identify solutions to help domestic violence survivors, with the specific goal of looking beyond the traditional ways that services have been provided in the past. The group will make recommendations by Thursday, May 28th.
In the last 24 hours, 38,097 people statewide were tested for coronavirus, with 1,525 positive results. In Nassau, 2,281 were tested with 73 new positives.
As of Monday, 39,368 Nassau County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 564 currently hospitalized, 178 in the ICU, 142 intubated, and 48 new discharges. Statewide, 354,370 New Yorkers have tested positive, with 5,570 currently hospitalized, 1,761 in the ICU, 1,421 intubated, and 456 new discharges. Statewide, there were 295 new hospital admissions due to Covid-19.
We lost another 112 New Yorkers to the coronavirus since yesterday, including residents of Nassau County. This brings the total number of our friends and neighbors lost to 22,976 statewide, and 2,065 in Nassau.