The latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic for April 11, 2020
NEW YORK - FOX 5 NY is updating this blog with the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak so you can get the information in one spot.
11:00 PM: In California, there are about 2 million people who are suspected of living in the country illegally, according to the California Latino Legislative Caucus. The group has asked Gov. Newsom to create a “Disaster Relief Fund” for cash payments to those immigrants until the state's emergency proclamation is lifted or they are able to return to work.
10:52 PM: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Saturday expanded her mass gatherings ban to combat spread of the coronavirus to include churches and other houses of worship on the eve of the Christian holy day of Easter.
10:30 PM: Hoboken reports 15 new COVID-19 cases (293 total)
7:39 PM: Walt Disney World is spreading some joy by donating Easter lilies to Central Florida senior citizens.
Two hundred seniors received a special surprise with their Meals on Wheels delivery.
7:19 PM: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says that FEMA has approved the state’s request to increase access to housing for vulnerable people, healthcare workers and first responders.
6:45 PM: Easter offers a message of hope in people’s “darkest hour," Pope Francis said, as he celebrated a late-night vigil Mass Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the public barred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
6:07 PM: Doctors across the world are following trails of clues to figure out what to try to treat people infected with coronavirus.
5:03 PM: A judge has allowed Michael Avenatti to be temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and to ride out the coronavirus scare at a friend's house in Los Angeles.
4:10 PM: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has announced 972 new positive coronavirus cases in the state bringing its total to 11,510. So far, 1,593 people have been hospitalized and there have been 494 fatalities.
3:40 PM: The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed Italy's for the highest in the world Saturday at about 20,000, as Chicago and other cities across the Midwest braced for a potential surge in victims and moved to snuff out smoldering hot spots of contagion before they erupt.
3:12 PM: LGBT New Yorkers who lived through the AIDS crisis of the 1980s see some bleak parallels in the COVID-19 pandemic now wracking their city. But more so, they stress the differences.
2:33 PM: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says that over 22,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus and nearly 800 residents have died.
2:17 PM: All across the world, crime has dropped as countries introduce lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
1:51 PM: Murphy says that a rental freeze is impractical in New Jersey, but that he is considering a number of steps to prevent evictions
1:47 PM: Murphy: “We’re not in the end zone yet we’ve still got a lot ahead of us.”
1:30 PM: Health Commissioner Persichilli says the next two to three weeks are expected to be especially stressful for hospitals in New Jersey.
1:26 PM: Murphy says that testing sites at Bergen Community County and the PNC Bank Arts Center will both be closed for Easter. For more information, visit covid19.nj/gov/testing
1:23 PM: Murphy says that healthcare volunteers are still needed at the state’s field medical stations, especially chief nursing or chief medical officers. If you want to help, please visit covid19.nj/gov/volunteer
1:15 PM: Murphy says he is signing an executive order effective Monday at 8 p.m. directing NJ Transit and all private carriers to cut the capacity on all trains, buses light rail vehicles and paratransit vehicles to 50 percent.
The order requires public transit riders to wear a face covering when traveling, and requires residents to wear a face covering if walking into a restaurant or bar for takeout orders. If you are not walking into an establishment (i.e curbside pickup) a face covering will not be required.
1:12 PM: Murphy reiterates that while the curve appears to be flattening, that people must continue to observe social distancing in order to make sure the curve stays flat.
1:07 PM: Over the last 24 hours, 251 people died in New Jersey due to coronavirus, bringing the statewide death toll to 2,183.
1:05 PM: Murphy says that 3,599 more NJ residents have tested positive for coronavirus, and the statewide total is now 58,151.
As of 10 PM of Friday, 7,618 people were hospitalized, 1,746 requiring critical or intensive care and 1,650 were on ventilators. However, 682 people were discharged from the hospital.
1:02 PM: Governor Phil Murphy is holding an update on the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey. https://www.fox5ny.com/live
12:25 PM: The majority of eligible Americans will receive their coronavirus aid payments no later than April 15, according to a senior Treasury official.
12:02 PM: Cuomo says that it is flattering to be touted as a Presidential candidate, but that it is also irrelevant.
11:59 AM: Cuomo says there has been no decision on how long schools in New York will stay closed.
11:56 AM: Cuomo says that you cannot make any decision to close or reopen schools in the New York-Metropolitan area without coordinating with all local governments, and that ideally he’d like to coordinate it with Connecticut and New Jersey. He says the announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio is his "opinion."
11:54 AM: Cuomo says the worst thing that could happen would be to let our emotions get ahead of logic and facts, and end up going through a resurgence of the virus.
11:53 AM: Cuomo: “This is a time where our actions literally will determine life and death.”
11:49 AM: Cuomo says that “reopening” is a public health question and an economic question, and that he is unwilling to divorce the two.
11:48 AM: He says any further federal legislation should repeat SALT in order to help the most affected areas.
11:46 AM: Cuomo: “We don’t know if there’s going to be a second wave or not, all these things are yet to come.”
11:41 AM: Cuomo says that this is no time for politics, but only for government policy. He also says there are no political conspiracies, and that all projection models had higher numbers if we did not take action to flatten the curve.
11:37 AM: Cuomo says that 783 people died on 4/10, which, while it is not a record, is the fifth straight day where over 700 New Yorkers died of coronavirus. So far, 8,627 New Yorkers have died of coronavirus.
11:34 AM: Cuomo says the curve is continuing to flatten and the number of hospitalizations appears to be hitting a plateau, with 18,654 people hospitalized as of 4/10.
11:31 AM: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding a press conference on the coronavirus outbreak in New York. https://www.fox5ny.com/live
11:01 AM: De Blasio: I want to wish you a happy Easter in advance. God bless all New Yorkers.
10:59 AM: De Blasio asked about shortening the school year. We are going to ask the state to continue extending to date. We want them to get to the natural end of the school year.
Carranza: While we are not in classrooms, we have been learning and teaching remotely. No change in the end of the school year based on the waivers we have received.
10:57 AM: De Blasio asked about the Oakland Plan. This is about enforcement. Watching the amount of workforce we have to work with and not creating the potential for gathering places. Unlike Oakland, a big American city, it's not NYC, what do we need to keep open for first responders, ambulances, food deliveries, we have to look at the whole picture. We will have an evaluation of an open plan and we'll see if it's applicable here. I will have an answer for you next week.
10:49 AM: De Blasio and Carranza asked about reinforcements for students in the Bronx where COVID-19 hit hard It's a cycle of unfairness playing out. We have to double down. The chancellor lead the way on the Bronx Plan. The schools in the Bronx for the longest time did not have the teachers they needed. We got a whole new group of teachers into the schools. We are going to have to do that more. 888-NYC-WELL for anyone who needs mental health help. We need to figure out how we can pinpoint that to children who need that in the Bronx. After long conversations with the chancellor, our health leaders, Dr. Fauci last night, he was clear about a careful, cautious approach to beating the coronavirus and keeping schools closed. We wanted to announce it right away.
Carranza: I've had daily, multiple conversations with the labor leaders I get to work with and not one of them has expressed anything but support. Let the data drive the decision. Everybody just wants to know, what are we going to be doing. That said, there is an incredible team working in the Bronx. There are so many stories of resilience and enrichment in the Bronx. People doing things to support each other. When we get to the other side of this pandemic, we will have bridged the digital divide for our students. They will have the ability to explore the world in ways the did not this past August.
10:42 AM: De Blasio asked about stricter restrictions. Essential and non-essential workers. You could tighten that even further. But the fact is it's not healthy to do theoreticals right away. It makes sense to say here is a plan that New Yorkers are making work as tough as it is yet. Something is working but we're not out of the woods just yet. We have to keep enforcing that all of the time. The Buildings Department did that deeming what was not essential. Parks did a great job. NYPD is always doing a great job. I would argue that the singular focus should be on enforcing the rules and restrictions we have now. If the three indicators go down, we can talk about loosening up.
Carranza asked about grading for students this semester. We have put guidance out to the field about grading and that will be further adjusted. What we are hearing very strongly from parents and teachers is that there needs to be trauma-informed curriculum. As the mayor said, we have not done this in 100 years.
10:41 AM: Steve Banks, Social Services: In the shelter system, there have been 343 positive cases; 20 deaths.
10:31 AM: De Blasio asked about ensuring attendance This is a work in progress.
Carranza: It's not period by period attendance. It's a once a day. We are paying particular attention to students we have not been in contact with us. Take the survey to determine what your needs are. Call: 718-935-5100 and press '5'. If you do have internet, Coronavirus.schools.nyc/remotelearningdevices That's available in all nine languages. We have given out 175,000 school devices loaned to students. This week we shipped 70,000 WiFi equipped iPads that we know based on that survey. If that was a school system that would be the sixth or seventh largest school system in America that we have put devices into the hands of.
10:28 AM: De Blasio asked about Regents exams.
We are all sensitive to the fact that we are in a place we never thought we'd be at before. IN terms of the impact on young people, we have to be creative and strategic. The last thing we want to see students who were on their way to college be interrupted. Whatever it takes. I am imagining the Regents are thinking the same way.
Carranza: The State Education Department has already eliminated the June exam. They have not yet made a decision on the Regents exam in August. The State Ed Dept has distributed guidance for seniors. Anyone who has a senior at home should be in touch with their high school guidance counselor.
10:24 AM: De Blasio asked about plans for summer school, district 75 students in school year round. We care a lot about the children that go to District 75 schools. We don't know what the summer will mean for anything. We have to get out of this widespread transmission phase. Then we have sustained the effort to stay low transmission and then make the change to no transmission. We can see September going back to a system of normalcy but that's still not known. It's hard to know for sure. It's hard to see summer programming. We are certainly planning for different options. When we see something definitive then we will see about summer.
Carranza: Optimistically, we want them back with their teachers. Realistically, we are going to be remote learning through the summer. For children with disabilities, their IEP calls for services, we are working with their teachers to make sure those services are being provided.
10:22 AM: De Blasio asked for an update on the delivery of meals to seniors. It is a true statement that previous to yesterday I did not hear of anyone receiving a meal. I want to apologize to those seniors. Something went wrong in the application process. Meals will be delivered today. I am working with Food Czar to make sure that that never happens again. If someone qualifies they must start getting them immediately. We will fix that going forward. If anyone has a problem with 311, call them back immediately.
10:18 AM: Chancellor Carranza asked in Spanish what type of support will be given to parents who are working and trying to educate their children at home. I want parents to know they are not alone. They can visit schools.nyc.gov There they will see there is "Learn At Home" with lots of activities and guides for parents. I've seen that parents are working with other parents to help their children. We want to share that information.
10:14 AM: De Blasio asked if there is talk about extending school year and how new school year will look like to help children catch up. We are still looking at the great unknown. We first have to see what happens with the fight with this disease. To be sure we can make steady progress. For us to be effective to educate children in person we have to be sure we can stop this crisis.
10:14 AM: De Blasio takes questions from reporters.
10:12 AM: De Blasio: Thanks to the Parks Department. Thank you to John Starks. He has dished out an assist. This time not with a basketball but with 3,000 scrubs for our health care workers. IBM has made a donation. Apollo Management has provided 100,000 N95 masks to our hospitals. SalesForce has made a half-million donation to help fight COVID-19.
10:09 AM: De Blasio: We are working on getting more and more New Yorkers off the streets. Social services will open 230 new safe haven beds and barriers beds. These immediately give people beds. It's for those that are ready to give up living on the streets.
10:07 AM: De Blasio: By Monday, April 20, we will have 6,000 homeless people in our shelter system now in hotel settings. 6,000 single adults will be in hotels not traditional homeless shelters. That's about 1/3 of the single clients in our shelter system. We are doing that because we think that is the right balance to strike to make sure people get what they need to be safe. We have to support everyone with COVID-19 including our homeless. It will also include seniors and people with symptoms and anyone where social distancing cannot be achieved properly in shelters. The hotels will be used to strike the right balance in our shelter.
10:01 AM: Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza: I want to thank those that have stepped up to help our students. You are true heroes. I know the news today may come as a bit of shock, we know the past few weeks have not been easy. We're staffing up our parent helpline. Thank you, Mayor, for helping with our supply chain. We are going to be there every step to support you. Thank you for your flexibility and patience.
9:55 AM: De Blasio: We have a five-point plan to get things going.
The first point, make sure the devices- iPad, other devices given out- that every student that needs one gets one. We will ensure that will happen by the end of April. We've gotten great cooperation from the companies involved. We have to get devices distributed. 66,00 have been distributed. We need 240,000 more in the hands of our kids by the end of April. Whatever it takes.
Point 2: Parent helpline. We are going to take the parent helpline through 311 and expand them. Add more educators.
Third: We will be adding more at-home creative programming. To help make that stay at home easier.
Fourth: We have about 75,000 seniors looking forward to graduation. We need to do that. We want to support them in every way possible.
Fifth point: We are working on a comprehensive plan to open schools in September. We have to make sure our vulnerable students get maximum support. We're also going to need to address the emotional impact on parents and families. And, next school year is going to have to be the greater that NYC has ever had. We are going to be playing a lot of catch up.
9:54 AM: De Blasio: There is a lot that we are going to have to do in September.
9:53 AM: De Blasio: The one thing that was clear to us if we wanted to bring back our schools we would need time it was not realistic. There was also possibility of a school having to close if there was a case of coronavirus.
9:51 AM: De Blasio: Keeping the NYC public schools closed is a way to keep fighting the coronavirus. From that perspective, that was the right thing to do. It was not an easy decision.
9:48 AM: De Blasio: We originally said that the best case scenario would be to come back after spring break on April 29. The state put the pause on that date. We've had lots of conversations to bring our schools back before the end of June. NYC Public Schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year.
9:47 AM De Basio: I just want to thank everyone, teachers, parents. I want to thank our kids. There is nothing like a NYC public education.
9:44 AM: De Blasio: I had a real faith that our educators would rise the challenge and they have. I felt in my gut that our educators and the chancellor did, too, and they have surpassed every expectation. Everyone at the DOE. Everyone went above and beyond. I just want to thank everyone, teachers, parents.
9:42 AM: De Blasio: Keeping this policy of social distancing and shelter in place is the best way forward to protect all of us. We have seen really heroic efforts by the Department of Education even through this extraordinary time. Our educators had a week to quickly retool and turn to online learning. When this crisis is over, this is going to be one of the heroic passages that will be looked at with admiration.
9:40 AM: De Blasio: It's been a tough, tough time for children. Everything we do is to end the pain and the trauma.
9:38 AM: Mayor Bill de Blasio updates the public on the coronavirus response in NYC. Watch live: https://fox5ny.com/live
9:33 AM: The Treasury Department has created an online web tool to help make sure those receiving Social Security benefits, who didn't file a tax return recently, can get stimulus checks. The website is specifically targeted for people who get Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits who have children under the age of 17 and didn't file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.
9:21 AM - A total of 197 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Tokyo on Saturday, a record daily increase for the fourth straight day, the metropolitan government said.
The figure topped the previous record of 189 marked Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the capital to more than 1,900.
Of the 197 infections confirmed Saturday, 152 or 77 percent had no clear infection routes, a metropolitan government official said. There were no deaths reported, and none was seriously ill.
9:11 AM - European countries Saturday sought to keep people from traveling in sunny Easter weather and grappled with how and when to start loosening the weeks-long shutdowns of much of public life.