A pedestrian wearing a face mask stops in Times Square, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in New York. (Photo: AP)
As New York City readies to reopen some businesses Monday, the state’s latest data suggests hospitalizations and deaths linked to the coronavirus are continuing their gradual decline.
Mayor Bill De Blasio says city inspectors will visit every construction site to ensure compliance with rules to protect workers and the community from COVID-19.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 42 people died in New York on Thursday due to COVID-19. That’s a drop from as many as 800 deaths in one day as the crisis peaked in mid-April, according to the state’s official tally, which doesn’t include people who likely died of the disease.
Meanwhile, 2,728 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 Thursday, down from a peak of over 18,000.
“The people of the state radically changed how they behaved and look at that progress: lowest number of hospitalizations to date in a matter of weeks,” Cuomo said.
The latest data suggests deaths are dropping in New York City as well: The city has reported nearly 150 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last week, down from about 300 in the previous week.
There are concerns that the progress could be undermined by large protests in the recent days over police misconduct. The governor has urged protesters to get tested for the virus.
Some regions that are reopening have seen upticks.
The Fingers Lake region, for example, has seen over 200 people hospitalized for COVID-19 this week, up from around 120 in early May.
Workers can return to the job at up to 32,000 construction sites when New York City enters the first phase of easing coronavirus restrictions on Monday, de Blasio said.
Inspectors from the city Department of Buildings will visit every site to check for compliance with rules requiring hand sanitizer, face coverings and social distancing, the mayor said, adding that the inspectors will “educate” construction managers during the first 30 days and will move to fines and stop-work orders after that.
The first phase of reopening also gives the green light to manufacturing and wholesale trade businesses. Retail stores can offer curbside or in-store pickup or drop off.
The city is boosting coronavirus testing capacity and will deploy mobile testing trucks in Queens and the Bronx next week.