Trying to get people in the potentially life-saving habit of social distancing, Mayor de Blasio is warning New Yorkers that the police will enforce the rules if residents don't do it themselves.
At his Coronavirus briefing from City Hall on Sunday afternoon, Mayor de Blasio said people are still allowed to enjoy the parks and exercise, but “don’t make a day of it.” The mayor says large gatherings, including families mixing together for barbecues, need to stop and the NYPD will enforce new social distancing rule in parks.
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While Governor Cuomo said earlier on Sunday that the high density of people in the city’s parks is “unacceptable,” the mayor says he is not prepared to close playgrounds in parks. De Blasio said he's also reluctant to close streets because it could encourage people to gather.
Also from the mayor's briefing: de Blasio said the city is looking to release vulnerable inmates at city jails, mostly those over 50 years old.
About 200 inmates will be evaluated this week.
The city will issue 10,000 special parking permits to healthcare workers, and according to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea 98 members of the NYPD have tested positive for Coronavirus.
There are 10,764 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, accounting for about one third of all cases in the country. There have been 99 deaths. No one under the age of 44 has died from the virus, and 35% of the hospitalizations are those over 70 years old.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the city is organizing the production of vitally needed medical supplies to help hospitals and health care workers who are on the verge of running out.
The mayor said on Sunday Carl Rodrigues — a top level official in de Blasio's administration — will lead the production capacity group. The effort will involve leaders from various city agencies working with the private sector to rapidly produce ventilators, masks, gowns and other medical supplies.
The mayor says the federal government is not moving fast enough and that the city desperately needs medical equipment.
“This city is being left in so many ways on its own to deal with this crisis, [it’s] deeply painful, but we don't take it lying down,” Mayor de Blasio said. “We're going to fight for all the resources and support we deserve and need."
The mayor also says the city needs members of the Armed Forces to help combat the crisis immediately. He said he is thankful for the coming arrival of the USNS Comfort, but says the full mobilization of the military could accomplish even more.