ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Schools and non-essential businesses in New York will remain closed through April and fines will be doubled for those who don’t comply with social distancing rules as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb statewide.
With 8,685 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York, the statewide total is now 130,689, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily briefing Monday.
There are now 4,758 COVID-19 deaths in New York, up from 4,159 reported Sunday.
Of the 130,689 confirmed cases, 16,837 have been hospitalized, and 4,504 of those patients have received treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. To date, 13,366 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have been discharged from hospitals statewide.
New York remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in New York state.
“New York is plateauing, because social distancing is working, so we need to continue that,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed until April 29.”
Gov. Cuomo’s extension of NY PAUSE, comes as the apex of the virus looms in New York. With that the governor will request a change in plans for the Navy’s hospital ship docked in New York City.
“A byproduct of shutting everything down is there are fewer car accidents, crime rate is down, so there is not a lot of non-COVID patients in the hospital,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I’m going to call the president and ask him to shift the USNS Comfort from non-COVID to COVID. That is the only way we sustain this level of intensity with the hospital system.”
The governor is also asking local governments to enforce social distancing rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We’re going to increase the potential fine from $500 to $1,000, but it’s not about the fine, nobody wants the money, we want the compliance,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor said that all social distancing rules apply, regardless of occassion or religious affiliation.
“I don’t care if you’re Orthodox Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, I do not care what, it’s not about religion,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It’s a job of local government to enforce, me doubling the fine is my way of saying ‘this is serious.’ What right do you have to act irresponsibly in a way that could get you sick?”
The governor insists that social distancing is the primary factor in slowing the spread of the virus.
“We get reckless, we change, or we’re not compliant on social distancing — you will see those numbers go up again,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Now is not the time to slack off on what we’re doing.”
Fifteen staff members from Strong Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical staff left Rochester on Sunday, for New York City.
The group was were sent downstate to support health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They will be working at one of Northwell Health’s major medical facilities. The Emergency Medicine physicians, physician assistants, and registered nurses will be working alongside Northwell Emergency Medicine staff caring for patients.
There are currently 516 cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County. 19 people have died from the virus.
Nexstar Media Group partnered with Emerson College to take New York’s pulse with an exclusive poll about health, finances, and how our leaders are handling the outbreak.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s national popularity is nothing on how New Yorkers feel about him at home. His numbers are off the chart, with 71% approving of his performance, only 17% disapproving, and 12% remaining neutral.
A Johns Hopkins University professor and her graduate student have created an interactive map to capture all confirmed COVID-19 cases, fatalities and recoveries.
Check back with News 8 WROC to update this developing story.