- NYC Mayor rolls back freedoms for first time in 9 'hot spots'
- Cuomo imposes new enforcement measures
- US adds 50k+ new cases
- Myanmar reports record jump
- Italy sees slowdown day-over-day
- The Netherlands reports record new cases
* * *
With President Trump's COVID-19 status and trip to Walter Reed sucking up most of the news cycle oxygen, the biggest COVID-19 news over the weekend was perhaps India surpassing 100,000 deaths yesterday (becoming the third country after the US and Brazil to do so) or Patriots QB Cam Newton testing positive, too.
Across the US, cases are climbing as a post-LDW bounce extends amid a surge in new cases as businesses and schools reopen across the country, with the US reporting more than 50k new cases on Saturday.
But in NYC, and, to a lesser extent, other parts of southern New York State, a relatively mild resurgence in new cases has prompted political leaders to reimpose restrictions on businesses.
On Sunday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that the city will close schools (just days after they re-opened on their staggered schedule following 2 prior delays) once again, and businesses in the hard-hit COVID-19 "hot spots" cropping up around the city.
“Today, unfortunately, is not a day for celebration,” Mayor de Blasio said. "Today is a more difficult day," though to be fair, that could describe any day in the de Blasio administration.
The mayor's plan, which must still be approved by Gov Andrew Cuomo, the mayor's political archrival, marks the first major reversal in the city's reopening plan since the outbreak began, according to the NYT.
Nine ZIP codes include portions of Far Rockaway, Borough Park, Midwood, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay and Kew Gardens are being targeted by the order. The city is also closely watching 11 additional ZIP codes that de Blasio said were a "real concern."
In the 9 affected neighborhoods, indoor dining - which it only just re-started last month - will be curtailed, along with outdoor. Schools, both public and private, will also be shuttered. Since many of the neighborhoods include ultraorthodox Jewish populations, the rule will apply to private Yeshivas, where Jewish students are educated. De Blasio said he will "rewind" the reopening of schools in the zip codes now that all 9 zip codes affected have seen their 7-day positivity rate climb back above 3%.
De Blasio's plan comes as new cases in NY retreated back below 1,500 on Sunday, according to a tweet from Gov. Cuomo, who also announced Sunday that the state would take over supervision of 20 'hot spots' around the state, including many in NYC. Cuomo announced his plan roughly an hour before de Blasio announced his.
Today's update on the numbers:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 4, 2020
Of the 110,329 tests reported yesterday, 1,222 were positive (1.11% of total).
Total hospitalizations fell to 618.
Sadly, there were 14 COVID fatalities yesterday. pic.twitter.com/ZFxw057kUF
"When the state does enforcement, we do enforcement," Cuomo said. Notably, nothing about Cuomo's plan conflicts with de Blasio's, which is expected to be approved by the state.
Cuomo hinted at plans to intensify social distancing and mask-wearing enforcement in 'hot spots' yesterday.
Most of the hot spots are in New York City, in Brooklyn and Queens, but also counties including Hudson and Orange. Cuomo said the Orthodox Jewish communities in many of these hot spots have been cooperating with efforts to lower the numbers. Across the 20 spots, the aggregate positive test rate is 4.8%, he said. Minus those areas, the state's overall rate falls to 0.9%, in line with the recent overall low trend in New York. Outbreaks in these "hotspots" are driving infection rates to their highest levels since NY's reopening.
The return to restrictions could be the kiss of death for more restaurants and small businesses in those areas, which have been struggling to hold on. It also offers a preview of how President Biden might run things until a vaccine is widely available.
New York is closing down again.— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 4, 2020
Just a preview of what Biden would do. https://t.co/t6xfZqclcU
Here are some more COVID-19 stories from overnight and early Sunday (test courtesy of Bloomberg):
Italy reported 2,578 cases on Sunday, compared with 2,844 Saturday, which was the highest since April 24. Daily tests dropped below 100,000 to 92,714. Another 18 virus-related deaths were reported and patients in intensive care units rose above 300 to 303, well below the peak of over 4,000 in early April (Source: Bloomberg)
Myanmar reported 1,294 new cases and 41 more fatalities, the highest single-day surge since the pandemic broke out late March, the Ministry of Health and Sports says (Source: Bloomberg).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government has prepared a priority list for who would receive the coronavirus vaccine first, when one becomes available (Source: Bloomberg).
The Netherlands’ daily infection level surpassed 4,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with 4,007 new cases on Sunday. This brings the the total amount of new infections this week to 24,000, ANP news agency wrote. Amsterdam witnessed the biggest increase with 457 new cases (Source: Bloomberg).