Officials are looking to control hot spots and prepare hospitals for new cases in N.Y.C.
As New York City moves toward its target of reopening on June 8, Gov. Andrew M Cuomo said on Saturday that state officials were focusing on controlling hot spots in the city and preparing its hospitals to deal with a potential second surge of coronavirus patients.
Over the next week, officials will focus on ensuring the city’s 11 public hospitals and more than 100 private hospitals have what Mr. Cuomo called “surge and flex” capacity, or the ability to shift and share resources as needed, to deal with a potential spike of new virus patients, Mr. Cuomo said on Saturday.
“We want to make sure we have that refined over the next week, because if we have a problem we need all these hospitals to work together,” Mr. Cuomo said during a news conference in the Bronx.
Mr. Cuomo said officials would also concentrate on reducing the spread of the virus in the 10 ZIP codes in the city with the highest infection rates — which include predominately low-income and minority communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn and parts of Queens — by adding a new testing center in each area and distributing hand sanitizer.
New York City is the only region in the state that has not begun reopening because it has not yet met two of the seven benchmarks set by the governor for reopening: the city does not have enough hospital beds available or contract tracers in place. Still, both Mr. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have said they expect the city to meet these criteria by June 8.
Also on Saturday, Mr. Cuomo signed a bill to give death benefits to the families of public employees who had died because of the coronavirus.
“You gave your lives for us,” he said. “We will be there to support your families going forward.”
He also reported 67 new virus-related deaths in the state for the second day in a row.
On Saturday, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey announced 113 new virus-related deaths, bringing the state’s toll to 11,634. It was 18 fewer deaths than the state reported the previous day.
He also reported 910 new confirmed positive cases in posts on social media, pushing the total to 159,608 cases in the state.
The new figures came as the state was preparing to fully reopen child care services and some summer programs for children to begin operating over the next several weeks.
On Friday, the governor signed an executive order allowing child care services to open to anyone on June 15 — they have been open for children of essential workers and health care workers.
“In order to continue our momentum in restarting New Jersey’s economy, we must prepare our workforce to return to their jobs by ensuring a continuum of care for their children,” Governor Murphy said in a statement. “Our child care centers, youth day camps, and organized sports will adhere to strict public health and safety protocols so that New Jerseyans can confidently participate in the restart and recovery process.”
Outdoor, non-contact sports practices can begin on June 22, and youth day camps, including city summer programs, can open July 6. The executive order excludes residential and overnight camps.