At his daily press briefing, Mayor de Blasio says the city is partnering with CityMD for a large scale testing program for COVID-19. Anyone can seek out testing at 123 facilities across the city. The city is now conducting 20,000 tests per day, ahead of schedule.
Responding to reports Saturday night that people were violating social distancing guidelines by gathering on sidewalks outside bars, the Mayor said he is “not comfortable at all.” People were seen buying drinks at bars on the Upper East Side and socializing without taking proper precautions.
“If we have instances where there’s no compliance I want to know about it, I want any New Yorker who sees dining in to call 311 immediately and they will be visited immediately by inspectors and they’ll be given serious fines, and if we have to shut places down we will. If they’re violating these rules, this is about health and safety, and the same with congregating outside,” the mayor said. “Look, if a bunch of people are congregating, that’s a gathering, what did I say the other day? The NYPD is going to focus its importance on gatherings,” he stressed.
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De Blasio also reiterated that city beaches will remain closed for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff of the summer season. People will be allowed to walk on the beaches, but not swim. And if people get too close to one another, city officials will put up additional fencing to keep people off.
The city is also running very low on blood. Down to just a two-day supply. The mayor is reminding anyone who wants to help out during the pandemic to donate blood.
More troubling news was announced on the inflammatory syndrome found in children. The number of cases is now up to 137. It’s found in children who have coronavirus or had it previously. It’s an inflammation of the blood vessels, with symptoms similar to the very rare Kawasaki disease and it can be fatal.
Finally, the mayor defended his Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot. She has not been at either of the last two briefings after the New York Post reported that she told NYPD top brass at a meeting two months ago that she “doesn’t care” about cops who were asking the city for masks.
Barbot allegedly used crude language during the meeting. De Blasio says he spoke with his commissioner and they had a very positive and constructive conversation. He expects to apologize publicly for her remarks soon.