New York City is in Phase 2 of reopening now, which includes outdoor dining; hair salons and barbershops; and playgrounds are open, . Here’s a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here’s the latest:
5:30 p.m. A new study says that 26 states have reported children with an inflammatory illness linked to coronavirus, marking the first formal effort in the United States to tabulate the cases in the country.
Known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (or MIS-C), the condition arises two to four weeks after children become infected. The symptoms include rash, red eyes, digestive problems and persistent fever. Many children have developed serious illnesses requiring intensive care.
Two children in New York have died from the disease, while at least another four fatalities were reported in the national study. As of Monday, New York state said it had received 225 reported cases.
Monday’s study, conducted by scientists from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various academic and research institutions, was published on Monday in The New England Journal of Medicine along with a separate report from the New York State Health Department. Both reports relied on data submitted to a study known as Overcoming COVID-19, which was spearheaded by Boston Children’s Hospital and funded by the CDC.
In the national study, nearly 90 percent of the 186 patients in the report were hospitalized, while one in five of the patients, who were all under 21, required ventilators.
The New York study examined 99 cases of MIS-C and found that 80 percent were admitted to an intensive care unit. Although the syndrome is not believed to affect one racial or ethnic group more than another, the pool of those studied were 40 percent Black and 36 percent Hispanic. However, researchers concluded that this was because of a higher level of infection with Black and Hispanic communities.
Similar to cases in Italy, the incidence of MIS-C in New York followed the peak of coronavirus cases.
Still, the authors of the New York study urged vigilance. “Because children often present with mild symptoms of Covid-19 and are less frequently tested than adults, the incidence of MIS-C among children infected with SARS-CoV-2 is unclear,” they wrote. “It is crucial to establish surveillance for MIS-C cases, particularly in communities with higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”
Citing “Knucklehead Behavior,” NJ Governor Halts Indoor Dining
3:30 p.m. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday announced a halt to the reopening of indoor dining, which had been expected to occur this Thursday across the state.
During his press briefing, the governor also cited “knucklehead behavior here at home” that was requiring the state to “hit pause on the restart of indoor dining for the foreseeable future.”
Murphy was referring to recent scenes captured on social media of overcrowding and lack of face masks at bars and restaurants along the Jersey Shore.
For the young crowd out at Donovan’s tonight, there’s no such thing as social distancing or coronavirus. It’s just a Saturday night party pic.twitter.com/t2YsGGwrgY
— Josh Axelrod (@j0shaxelrod) June 28, 2020
“The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media CANNOT CONTINUE,” Murphy said in a tweet.
We’re also moved to pause indoor dining because of what we’ve seen in some establishments across the state.
Overcrowding. A complete disregard for social distancing. Very few, IF ANY, face coverings.
The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media CANNOT CONTINUE.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 29, 2020
At least two bars in the seaside town of Belmar received a warning for allowing patrons to ignore social distancing rules. Another restaurant in Morristown had its outdoor dining license revoked for overcrowding.
In addition to indoor dining, Atlantic City casinos, amusement parks, boardwalk rides and arcades are slated to reopen ahead of the July 4th weekend.
Under the rules, restaurants would have been required to keep indoor seating to 25 percent of capacity and tables spaced six feet apart.
Cuomo Calls On Trump To Make Face Masks Mandatory For All Americans
1:00 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday urged President Donald Trump to sign an executive order requiring all Americans to wear face masks. Research is increasingly showing face masks as one of the most effective ways to control the spread of the coronavirus.
“We still haven’t done the simple, easy, minimal step of saying you have to wear a mask when you are in public,” Cuomo said during a press briefing in Manhattan.
Cuomo joins Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Sunday said a federal mandate on masks was “long overdue” (see below). New York was the first state to require its residents to wear a mask or face covering in public spaces when they are unable to socially distance at least six feet.
Overall, the United States was behind on mask guidance as scientists debated over whether the disease could truly be transmitted among asymptomatic people. Early on, Americans were instructed not to buy or stockpile face masks due to concerns that there would not be enough for healthcare workers.
It was not until early April that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s leading public health issued a recommendation that people wear masks. As masks have become politicized, not all states have been quick to require them. California Governor Gavin Newsom, announced his mandatory order on June 18 in the face of rising infections.
Michigan, Maine, Delaware and Maryland also have statewide mask orders.
As parts of the South and West work to contain surging infections and hospitalizations, Cuomo on Monday indicated that he may decide to delay the reopening of indoor dining in New York City, which was expected to begin at a reduced capacity on Monday as part of the city’s entry into phase three.
The governor said evidence suggests an increase in virus cases following the reopening of indoor dining. In general, public health experts have said enclosed indoor spaces, which have less air circulation, pose more of a risk than outdoor ones.
Cuomo said that he would talk to business owners and elected officials as well as examining the data. In the morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would make a concerted effort to get more restaurants to enroll in outdoor dining.
“Our reopenings have worked very well, we are not going backwards, we are going forwards,” Cuomo said, adding, “But we want to study this issue, primarily in New York City on indoor dining.”
He said there would be a final decision by Wednesday.
In another lingering issue, Cuomo also announced that only malls with approved HEPA filters that can capture airborne viruses will be allowed to reopen. He added that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which is set to host the Video Music Awards on August 30th, would have such a filter installed.
Global Death Toll Surpasses 500,000, Pence Finally Urges Americans To Wear Mask
In yet another reminder of the devastating toll of the pandemic, the number of people who have died across the world from COVID-19 has now surpassed 500,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The United States has more than 2.5 million infections, the most of any country, and more than 125,000 deaths.
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence beseeched Americans to wear face masks as well as practice social distancing, demonstrating a new sense of urgency in the face of rising caseloads in the West and South.
“If your local officials, in consultation with the state, are directing you to wear a mask, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas. And where you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea, and it will, we know, from experience — will slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Pence said at a coronvirus press briefing held in Dallas, Texas.
The remarks were striking for Pence, who like President Donald Trump and other administration officials has often eschewed mask wearing. Visiting a state which has seen record numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and infection rates, Pence wore a mask to the press conference along with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
Pence, who has also downplayed the severity of the current situation, also underscored the importance of wearing masks when asked by state or local officials during an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Asked why the president doesn’t ask people to wear a mask, Pense said, “The president has worn a mask. I wore a mask on several occasions this week.”
In fact, Trump has rarely been seen wearing a mask in public, even at two recent indoor rallies in Oklahoma and Arizona where most of the participants were maskless. He has told The Wall Street Journal that masks are “a double-edged sword,” which may result in frequent fidgets, and are also used to “signal disapproval of him.”
Pressure is now mounting on Trump to wear a mask from members of Congress.
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee who chairs the Senate’s health committee, told CNN on Sunday that “it would help” if Trump wore a mask in public because it would reduce the political stigma associated with maskwearing.
“If wearing masks is important—and all the health experts tell us that it is—in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went a step further, and called on the federal government to require that Americans wear masks in public. She claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention never mandated face masks so as not to “offend” Trump.
“Real men wear masks,” she said in an interview on ABC’s This Week. “Be an example to the country and wear the mask. It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others.”