Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials gave a briefing Saturday afternoon on the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in New York City.
At that hearing, Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said the city's "best estimate" for the end of the coronavirus crisis at this time is "some time in September."
Here are notes from the briefing:
De Blasio mentioned the 82-year-old woman who is the first person in New York City to die from the coronavirus.
He said she had been hospitalized for emphysema shortly before being hospitalized again for the coronavirus.
She was hospitalized last week and was one of the city's first cases.
De Blasio says there are now 183 cases of the new coronavirus in New York City.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the city had 30 people hospitalized related to the coronavirus. 19 were in the ICU as of 6 p.m. Friday.
About 80 percent of the people hospitalized are either over the age of 50 and/or have pre-existing medical conditions.
A member of the FDNY from a firehouse in Brooklyn has tested positive for the coronavirus, de Blasio says.
De Blasio says the FDNY member worked at the firehouse from Sunday through Tuesday, went home with symptoms Tuesday, and tested positive Friday.
The FDNY member did not respond to any medical runs, or treat any patients, while he was on duty. He is now quarantined at home.
Thirty-one members of the firehouse who worked with him will also be quarantined.
Other members of the firehouse will take over the operation. The firehouse is being cleaned, and will be fully operational by 6 p.m.
De Blasio called the stimulus bill agreed upon by the House a "major step forward," but said it is "still astounding" that the administration has not moved an aggressive program of testing.
The mayor said the city is waiting on FDA approvals from a number of companies, and for direct support for testing.
"We are nowhere near where we need to be as a nation," de Blasio said.
De Blasio also said key industries, like companies that produce ventilators, surgical masks or hand sanitizer, need to be producing at a maximum level "while we have a chance." He says there is no inkling of that from the federal level.
He called it "astounding" that the Senate did not remain in session in order to be able to move the House's action immediately. He blamed that on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The mayor praised numerous aspects of the bill passed by the House, including free coronavirus testing, including for those who are uninsured; 14 days of paid sick leave; up to three months of paid family and medical leave; and food-security actions for students in vulnerable populations.
"These are policies we better put in place permanently," de Blasio said. "If we don't have paid sick leave nationally, if we don't have universal health care on a much more extensive level, good luck dealing with the epidemics and pandemics of the future, and they are coming."
Senator Charles Schumer is now speaking at the briefing. He says the action passed by Congress is aimed at "the families - working people - who are affected and need the help most definitely."
He said free testing is important because it's important that people are not afraid of getting the test because it may cost "a couple hundred dollars," because then they will walk around with the virus.
He noted that unemployment aid is enhanced, so that workers at places lile Broadway and Barclays Center whose jobs are shut down have access to expanded and more flexible benefits.
Schumer called on the bill to be passed "as is," without adding anything to it, when the Senate is back in session.
Schumer says the biggest benefit in the bill for New York is FMAP, which is Medicaid. He says the federal government is now going to pay 56.2 percent of Medicaid for New York, up from 50 percent. He said that will save the state $6.2 billion on an annual basis.
It will be divided between the state and the localities.
"New York City will get over $1 billion," Schumer said. "It will enable them, since it will help pay their Medicaid, to use other dollars that might have had to go to Medicaid to go to all the needs that you were talking about."
Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot stressed that all New Yorkers need to change their behavior, because the behavior in
"When we say, 'Don't go to work if you're sick, don't send your kids to school if they're sick,' it has implications beyond the individual, beyond the individual's family, beyond the individual's family. It has implications for all of us," Barbot said. "So we need to make sure that New Yorkers are clear that if they are having symptoms, they should stay home, they should contact their providers if they're not getting better, and that in this situation, it's important for us to be testing those that really need to be [tested]."
She also stressed the need for "frequent, thorough, consistent" hand-washing, covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze, having alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you're not near a water source, and not shaking hands.
"Now, more than ever, it's important for us to change our behavior," she said.
"We are in this for the long haul," Barbot said. "I think our best estimate is some time in September. We are always hoping for it to be shorter. We can't predict if it's going to be longer. So these are things we need to put into place on a regular, ongoing basis."
There were more questions about closing the school system. The mayor says school closures are still being decided on a case-by-case basis. In terms of a decision on closing the entire school system, the mayor says he has "not reached the tipping point on making that decision."