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Mayor de Blasio Provides Updates on New York City's COVID-19 Response

March 7, 2020

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today updated New Yorkers on the City's response efforts regarding COVID-19. New York City currently has 12 total positive cases of COVID-19, including seven new confirmed cases as of this morning.

"This morning, we confirmed 7 new cases of COVID-19. We are seeing more community transmission between people who have no direct connection to travel to one of the affected countries," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. I urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant—not alarmed—and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. As we continue to see more cases of COVID-19, we will be providing as much guidance to New Yorkers as possible to keep our city safe."

New Confirmed Cases in New York City

  • Two additional family members of an Upper West Side man in his 50s tested positive –wife and 11 year old daughter. They are currently in mandatory quarantine and are mildly symptomatic.
  • A male Uber driver in his 30s is currently hospitalized in Queens. He is not a TLC licensed driver, and drives on Long Island.
  • Two women in Brooklyn in their 60s and 70s became symptomatic after returning on a cruise from Egypt with a known cluster of cases. They are both at home in mandatory quarantine.
  • A male in his 30s from Brooklyn is currently in the hospital in serious condition after returning from a trip to Italy.
  • Additionally, a Manhattan man in his late 50s tested positive after spending time with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in Chile. He was discharged from the hospital this morning and is under mandatory quarantine.

As of this morning, 18 New York City residents are under mandatory quarantine and 2,255 are under voluntary quarantine. Those under mandatory quarantine receive daily calls and twice weekly unannounced visits by DOHMH. Starting today, upon identification, all individuals under voluntary quarantine will receive a robo-call and text with information as well as frequents texts reminding to call your doctor or DOHMH if you develop symptoms.

Yesterday, the mayor directed those who are showing any symptoms should stay home, and contact a healthcare provider. If their symptoms do not improve they should see a doctor immediately. As the City pivots to a lower threshold of monitoring for those showing symptoms, those who are well should continue to take basic precautions while going about their lives: wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.

New York City disease detectives have determined new information about COVID-19. The virus can only transmit when bodily fluid, such as through a sneeze, cough, or spit, is transferred from a person who has the virus, directly into another person. Disease detectives have determined that the virus does not survive for more than two or three minutes in open air.

New York City Health + Hospitals

  • Issue revised system-wide guidance on managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients in accordance with CDC, NYS DOH and NYC DOHMH guidelines.
    Conducting patient drills at all 5 NYC H + H skilled nursing facilities to assess their ability to swiftly assess, triage, and treat patients.
  • System-wide intranet-based, "COVID-19 Guidance and Resources" webpage is live, serving as our single source of information for H + H workforce members. Major topics include:
    1. Clinical Guidance
    2. Equipment and Supplies
    3. Policies
    4. Training Resources
    5. Patient & Community Tools
    6. FAQ
    7. Leadership Messages
    8. Public Health Partner Links
    9. Email Us
  • Participated in Citywide Pandemic Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Initiatives and Workshop, to ensure seamless H + H essential corporate location services (e.g., Medical & Professional Affairs, Emergency Management, Finance & Payroll.)
  • Conducted System-wide CEO, COO, CMO, CNO leadership briefing / workshop to review current status and next steps, led by System-wide CMO / Incident Commander.

Department of Education

  • DOE is stocking every DOE school with supplies necessary to protect our kids. DOE will be constantly monitoring current levels in schools and spot checks to confirm supplies are stocked. DOE remains in constant contact with the Office of Emergency Management.
  • For all non-DOE school (including charters, non-public schools, etc) approved disinfectants will be available for pickup Monday at distributions centers across the city. All schools have been informed supplies are available. Additionally, today DOE is sending a survey to all these schools to determine current supplies and additional needs.
  • Over February break, there were 12 school trips to countries that now have a level 2 or 3 travel advisory. There were no travel advisories for these countries at the time of departure. The Health Department does not consider these students to be at risk and none are currently showing symptoms. The DOE is contacting all students and staff on these trips to instruct them to seek medical care if they are feeling symptomatic.
  • All three teachers who traveled to Italy and who were tested for COVID-19 have tested negative.
  • Updates on DOE guidance can be found here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/coronavirus-update

Department for the Aging

  • DFTA has issued a fourth guidance to all City contracted and non-contracted senior providers on cleaning and readiness.
  • DFTA has begun visits to over 600 senior congregate settings weekly to ensure implementation of congregate setting protocols. DOHMH, DFTA, NYCHA, HPD, HDC, NYCEM, and PEU are having daily meetings regarding the City's elderly population.

Department of Social Services

  • DSS has directed outreach workers, with guidance form Health and Hospitals who identify a person with potential symptoms via questions and observation to do the following:
  • Call the Joint Command Center for the deployment of an NYPD Homeless Team (HOU) with a nurse or the FDNY to take the person to an H&H facility. Outreach workers will remain with client until transport arrives.
  • If the client tests positive, the client remains at the H+H facility and outreach teams are to work with DOHMH detectives to determine the client's contacts and areas where the client has been. DSS has convened 12 internal working groups to develop a continuity of operations plan specific for COVID-19 as well as specific operational plans to ensure New Yorkers receive the services and support they need. Discriminating against passengers is unacceptable and illegal. If any rider experiences discrimination, call 311.
  • HRA has posted educational materials on safe hygiene in all of their 71 locations as well as providing the COVID-19 fact sheet in multiple languages.

Department of Consumer Affairs

  • DCA continues to monitor sites of reported price gouging and will refer reported instances to the New York State Attorney General.
  • Earlier this week, DCWP declared facemasks temporarily in short supply to prevent stores from overcharging New Yorkers. Stores found to be overcharging consumers will be issued a violation with a fine up to $500.
  • DCWP encourages consumers who feel they were overcharged to file a complaint at nyc.gov/dcwp or by contacting 311. DCWP also encourages consumers to file a complaint if they feel a store tried deceive them about the quality or effectiveness of the product, availability, or price.

Taxi and Limousine Commission

  • TLC sent guidance to its drivers to advise drivers that, while COVID-19, is not known to transmit through air on casual contact, drivers should consider keeping their windows open when transporting passengers and not use-recirculated air in cars.
  • TLC continues to advise licensed drivers, vehicle owners and operators are encouraged to clean their vehicles at least every 24 hours, using standard cleaning and disinfection protocol and cleaners such as Clorox, Purrell, Peroxide and multi-purpose cleaner, with special attention to disinfecting surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as door handles, armrests, and seatbelts, as appropriate.
  • TLC sent an anti-discrimination notice to 600 TLC employees and will resend guidance sent to all licensed drivers.
  • Discriminating against passengers in unacceptable and illegal. If any rider experiences discrimination, call 311.

Department for Small Business Services

  • SBS has distributed information to business owners on how to prepare for slowing sales and guidance on what to do with employees who may be sick.

Department of Sanitation

  • DSNY is expanding cleaning protocols of fleet and facilities

Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

  • Distributed materials to ENDGBV Family Justice Centers (FJC), which are located near all borough court houses and posted materials in waiting rooms for survivors.

New York City Children's Cabinet

  • Disseminating educational materials on COVID-19 to Children's Cabinet Community Coalitions partners via Robin Hood Foundation Fund for Early Learning (FUEL) grant.

Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

  • MOPD published a public service announcement in American Sign Language on the Coronavirus, using DOHMH language: https://youtu.be/Uu7PRKGK1_s. This has been distributed online through social media channels.

New York City Paid Sick Leave Law

Guidance to employees: Use your Paid Sick Leave & stay home if you or a family member is ill!
Guidance to employers: Ensure your employees know about & use their paid sick leave to keep everyone safe!

Under New York City law, all private sector workplaces with 5 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Caring for oneself or a family member who is ill is exactly what paid sick leave is for.

  • Full time and part-time workers are covered.
  • Retaliation for taking sick leave is against the law.
  • Immigration status is irrelevant.
  • Employers cannot require employees to disclose health information.

For more information or to file a complaint call 311 or go to: www.nyc.gov/workers to connect to the Department of Consumer and Workplace Protection

If New Yorkers are the victim of a hate crime or discrimination

If you are the victim of a hate crime or witness what you believe to be a hate crime, please call 911 or visit your nearest police precinct. NYPD officers will not ask about the immigration status of anyone seeking emergency assistance or help to report a crime.

Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes is monitoring incidents in New York City, and working with the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force. OPHC has engaged with community organizations throughout the city about COVID-19 and has disseminate DOHMH informational material to the Hate Violence Prevention Initiative. This is a network of 15 organizations that represent diverse communities throughout the city.

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