NYC confirms five new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 25

New York City will not shut down YET and Mayor Bill de Blasio refuses to close public schools as coronavirus cases rise to 36, with 173 people in the state now testing positive, including two school bus drivers in Long Island

  • New York City has 17 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 36
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s unlikely there will be widespread school closures and insists there won’t be an Italy-style lockdown  
  • He also said he can’t get a coherent answer from the FDA over its ‘unfathomable’ decision not to approve automated testing 
  • Health officials in the city would be able to test thousands of people a day for coronavirus if the FDA approved automated testing, de Blasio said
  • Currently, officials in New York City can only carry out 100 or so coronavirus tests per day 
  • The number of confirmed cases in New York state has reached more than 170
  • The main cluster of cases in the state remains in Westchester where a Manhattan attorney was first struck down with the virus early last week
  • A seven-year-old girl in the Bronx and a the head of New York and New Jersey’s Port Authority Rick Cotton are among the recently confirmed cases 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says there will be no widespread school closures for now and insists there won’t be an Italy-style lockdown after 17 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the city.

There are now 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City and more than 170 across the state, including two school bus drivers who each have contact with about 80 children. 

The Mayor said on Tuesday that New York City will not close down to contain the coronavirus outbreak following the Italian government’s decision to place its country on lockdown. 

‘We cannot shut down because of undue fear,’ de Blasio told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

‘I would advise against these mass closures when we’re keeping this situation relatively contained… ask me in a week, ask me in a month – it might change.’

He is also currently not considering widespread closures to public schools.

New York City has confirmed five new cases of coronavirus as Mayor Bill de Blasio says he can’t get a coherent answer from the FDA over its ‘unfathomable’ decision not to approve automated testing

NEW YORK CASES OF CORONAVIRUS 

Westchester: 108

New York City: 36

Nassau: 19

Rockland: 6

Saratoga: 2

Suffolk: 1

Ulster: 1

Health officials have previously said school closures in the city would be a last resort. 

‘Our schools are running. And we’ve said, even if, God forbid, we found a case in a school, we’re not shutting down all our schools. We’re not even shutting that school down long term,’ de Blasio said. 

‘We’ll go in, clean that school, isolate individuals who had that really direct contact, and then get up and running. We’ll have a day where a school is shut to get reset, then get back up and running. Because people’s livelihoods are at stake. Parents need a place for their kids. 

‘We can stay safe but still keep our lives going, our economy going. People have to pay the rent, people need money for food etc.’ 

De Blasio said individual schools might close for a brief period of students or teachers became infected. 

The outbreak has resulted in a number of mostly private schools canceling or suspending in person classes. In New York City, Columbia University, Yeshiva University, New York University and Juilliard announced that classes would be canceled or offered online. 

Elsewhere in the state, public and private schools in Scarsdale in Westchester County will be closed until at least March 18 after a staffer tested positive. 

Two bus drivers in Long Island’s Nassau County are among the new cases who have tested positive for coronavirus. Those two drivers are responsible for roughly 80 students on various daily routes. 

The positive tests have resulted in several Long Island school closures including in Oyster Bay, Locust Valley, Glen Cove and Westbury.  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday the state was implementing a new policy that if student or teacher tested positive, the school would be shut down for at least 24 hours to be assessed and disinfected.  

De Blasio, pictured on Monday handing out coronavirus information at Union Square, has confirmed five new coronavirus cases in the city, bringing the total to 25 

Meanwhile, de Blasio also said he couldn’t get a coherent answer from the FDA over its ‘unfathomable’ decision not to approve automated testing. 

Health officials in the city would be able to test thousands of people a day for coronavirus if the FDA approved automated testing, de Blasio said on Tuesday. 

Currently, officials in New York City can only carry out 100 or so coronavirus tests per day.

‘As recently as eight days ago New York City did not have the ability to do their own tests. We finally have that ability but what we still don’t have is approval from the FDA to do automated tests,’ de Blasio said. 

‘If we had the approval from the FDA for automated tests, it would be thousands of tests we could in a single day with results the same day. 

‘It’s unfathomable that after this long these tests have not been approved.’ 

It came as de Blasio confirmed five new coronavirus cases in the city, bringing the total to 25. The number of confirmed cases in New York state has reached more than 140.

The main cluster of cases in the state remains in Westchester where a Manhattan attorney was first struck down with the virus early last week and subsequently infected his family and others. 

There were 98 confirmed cases in Westchester as of Monday. 

De Blasio said on Monday that New York City had produced 205 negative tests so far and that more than 2,000 people were in voluntary quarantine. An additional 24 people were in mandatory quarantine, he said. 

The Mayor on Monday urged sick or vulnerable New Yorkers to only use the subway if necessary to avoid spreading coronavirus.  

A seven-year-old girl in the Bronx and a the head of New York and New Jersey’s Port Authority Rick Cotton are among the recently confirmed cases.   

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new state-made sanitizer on Monday as he gave the update on the increased number of coronavirus cases after declaring a state of emergency over the weekend

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the new sanitizer on Monday as he gave an update on the increased number of coronavirus cases after declaring a state of emergency over the weekend

Elsewhere in the tri-state area, New Jersey now has 11 cases and Connecticut has reported two cases.  

The US death toll from the disease is currently at 26 with the majority being from Washington state following an outbreak at a nursing home just outside Seattle. 

To cope with the outbreak, Gov Cuomo announced the state would be making its own hand sanitizer after declaring a state of emergency over the weekend. 

Speaking about the new sanitizer, Gov Cuomo said it was made up of 75 percent alcohol and will be provided to facilities including schools, the MTA, government run buildings and prisons. 

Cuomo said that state currently has the capacity to make 100,000 gallons of the sanitizer per week, adding that it is cheaper for officials to make it instead of buying it on the market.

It is being manufactured by Corcraft, which is the company that relies on prisoners in New York to make products, and is being made by inmates at the Great Meadow correctional facility. 

The state-made sanitizer costs about $6 per gallon to produce, according to Cuomo. He said the production stemmed from reports of price gouging on sanitizer.  

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