Mayor urges NYers to take social distancing seriously as NYC cases top 10K

Mayor Bill de Blasio told the city Sunday that it's normal and human to want to go outside, but says New Yorkers must practice social distancing and solitary exercise amid the coronavirus pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Mar 22, 2020, 6:38 PM

Updated 1,524 days ago


Mayor Bill de Blasio implored New Yorkers to take social distancing seriously as cases citywide climbed past 10,000.
City officials said Sunday evening that there are now 10,764 positive cases of COVID-19 and 99 fatalities. The case total includes 3,050 cases in Queens, 2,324 in Manhattan, 3,154 in Brooklyn, 1,564 in the Bronx, and 666 in Staten Island.
City officials say there are at least 1,800 people are hospitalized and of those individuals, at least 450 are in the ICU.
Health officials say even if you don't have symptoms, you may still have the virus and not know. Mayor de Blasio says to only leave the house to get essentials from the grocery store or pharmacy, or to work out alone and then go back inside immediately.
The city will be enforcing social distancing Monday. Mayor de Blasio asked parents to keep their children away from other children.
Mayor de Blasio also said in an interview that the coronavirus pandemic has "only just begun" and that he fears that the "worst is yet to come."
"April is going to be a lot worse than March, and I fear May could be worse than April. I think that's the honest truth," de Blasio said in the interview on CNN  Sunday. "I think we're about 10 days away now from seeing widespread shortages of really fundamental supplies – ventilators, surgical masks, the things that absolutely are necessary to keep a hospital system running."
The mayor echoed calls made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday for the federal government to invoke powers to mandate private companies to manufacture much-needed medical supplies.
"It's true, companies are trying their damnedest to step up, but the president of the United States is not stepping up," de Blasio said on CNN. "He, right now, this minute, could mobilize the United States military because if they don't get involved, anything that's produced around this country won't get to where the need is greatest. The only logistical capacity that could actually save us in real time is the military. Their medical personnel are sitting on the bench. They don't want to sit on the bench. But that's what's happening because the president hasn't given the order. And if you don't order companies to maximize production of ventilators, surgical masks, all of the things that are desperately needed, and you don't organize that and prioritize where it's going to go, it won't happen in time – and we just have to be clear about this. This isn't something where everyone just makes up their own mind and you hope the stuff arrives in time."
Earlier Sunday, FEMA chief Peter Gaynor said in an interview on CNN that the federal government hasn't had to invoke the Defense Production Act yet because companies around the country have been stepping up voluntarily. Gaynor noted that the president can use "that lever" at any time.
-Mayor de Blasio says he is angry and frustrated by lack of federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.  However, he says 'There is no place on Earth where there are stronger, tougher and more resilient people.'
-The mayor thanks first responders, health care workers, transit workers, postal workers, grocery workers and pharmacists. 
-Mayor de Blasio says NYC has a ‘staggering’ 9,654 coronavirus cases and 63 deaths.  35 percent of the hospitalizations are people over 70. 
-The mayor says 'we need our armed forces and we need them now.' Says he cannot understand why President Trump has not dispatched them. 
-Mayor de Blasio says the city will be ramping up production within the city for essential supplies.  Says the city has been left on its own during the pandemic. 
-The mayor addresses the crowding at parks.  Reiterates that people need to leave to get their exercise, then get home.  Says that for the next week, parents can use playgrounds with responsible social distancing that will be monitored.  They will then assess the policy. Says there will be enforcement through education and warnings.  
-Mayor de Blasio says that people living under the same roof do not need to remain 6 feet apart while at parks.  
-Mayor de Blasio outlines plans to release some Rikers Island inmates amid outbreak, says they are low risk to offend again and the situation is being continually discussed and monitored. 
-Bike repair shops will remain open during PAUSE order, they will be treated as essential.  
-Blood donation services is considered essential for people who are willing. to do so.  Says anyone interested in giving blood can call 800-933-2566 or go to
-Commissioner Shea says seeing large level of cooperation and New Yorkers rise to the challenge.  
-Shea: 'We can't be having parties with large gatherings.' 
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