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Virus Toll in N.Y. Region Shows Signs of Leveling Off: Live Updates

Data from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut suggested that steps to control the coronavirus’s spread might be working.

RIGHT NOWGov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that the federal government would allow the U.S.N.S. Comfort to begin admitting coronavirus patients.  

Deaths were relatively flat across the region.
For days, officials in and around New York sought indications that the coronavirus was nearing a peak in the region — the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic — and might start leveling off.

And for days, the death toll climbed faster and faster.  In New York State, for instance, it rose by more than 200, then more than 400, then 630 people in a single day.

But on Monday, for the second day in a row, officials found reasons for hope even as hundreds of people continued to die and thousands clung to life on ventilators.

On both Sunday and Monday, fewer than 600 deaths from the virus were reported in New York: 594 on Sunday, 599 on Monday, Gov. New York City News Andrew M. Cuomo said.In New Jersey, Gov. Philip D. Murphy reported a similar trend: 71 reported deaths on Monday, and 86 on Sunday, after a three-day streak when deaths had broken triple digits.And in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday reported a one-day death toll of 17, the smallest number since last Wednesday.

Mr. Cuomo said the data suggested that the spread of the virus in New York was nearing its apex, but he emphasized that the state remained in a dire, unsustainable state of emergency.“If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level and there is tremendous stress on the health care system,” he said. Here were the latest numbers from the day:

Deaths in New York State: 4,758, up 599 from 4,159 on Sunday morning. Confirmed cases: 130,689, up from 122,031 in New York.

Hospitalized in New York State: 16,837, up 2 percent from 16,479 on Sunday. It was the third straight day of single-digit percentage growth, after a long period when hospitalizations were growing 20 to 30 percent a day.

In intensive care: 4,504, up 2 percent from 4,376 on Sunday. The day-over-day increase, 128, was the smallest in at least two weeks. Last week, the number of people in intensive care beds, which have ventilators, was growing by more than 300 people a day.

In New York City, officials said later on Monday that the number of virus cases had reached 68,766, that an estimated 15,333 virus patients were hospitalized and that the death toll was 2,738.

Even if the  infection curve is flattening, the virus’s daily toll remains horrific.

New York City reported a one-day total of 219 deaths on Monday morning, bringing the city’s death toll to 2,475. Before the virus outbreak, the average death rate in New York City was 158 people a day, meaning the virus is now killing considerably more people in the city than  all other causes combined.

Mr. Cuomo asserted that New York had done all it could to prevent the loss of lives that could have been saved.

“Have we saved everyone?” he said. “No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator, or we didn’t have health care staff? No.”

In a notable shift from previous weeks, when he pleaded for more ventilators from the federal government and other states, he said New York was now adequately stocked.

“We don’t need any additional ventilators right now,” he said.

Later in the day, Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on MSNBC that President Trump had approved his request for the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that arrived in New York last week, to begin treating virus patients. Mr. Murphy said separately that the president had approved the Comfort treating virus patients from New Jersey.

No Regents tests, or spring break, for N.Y.C. public school students.
State officials said on Monday that its June Regents examinations for high school students would be canceled. Many high school students in New York State take the exams, which  help determine graduation eligibility, in June.

It was not clear whether the August Regents, which give students a second chance to qualify for a state diploma, would also be canceled. The Board of Regents, led by chancellor Betty Rosa, is expected to announce more details about the August exams and how the changes will affect graduation requirements on Tuesday.

The state had already canceled standardized exams planned for the spring for students in grades three through eight.

New York City schools had been scheduled to be closed starting Thursday through the end of next week for Passover, Good Friday, and spring break. Students are now expected to continue their remote learning during that time.

The state has said that remote instruction must continue, regardless of whether districts like New York City had spring break scheduled. And on Monday, Mr. Cuomo directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed at least through April 29.

The teachers union sent out an email on Friday berating the city for making teachers work on major religious holidays. The city’s education department and the union subsequently struck a deal that gives teachers four extra days off that can be used for religious holidays.

Deaths in New Jersey pass 1,000.
Mr. Murphy said on Monday that there had been 3,663 new confirmed virus cases in New Jersey since the day before, bringing the state’s total to 41,090. He also noted the 86 new deaths, which brought New Jersey’s total to 1,003.

Mr. Murphy arrived at the news conference where he delivered the numbers wearing a face mask, which he removed before speaking.

“Our protocol has been that when we’re in any setting with more than a modest amount of folks, we’re going to wear our masks, including for press conferences, both coming in and leaving,” he said.

The governor shared data showing that while the number of positive case results continued to rise, there had been a decline in the growth rate over the past week, from 24 percent day-over-day on March 30 to about 12 percent as of Monday.

“This means that our efforts to flatten the curve are starting — and I say starting — to pay off, even with the lag time in getting testing result back from the labs,” Mr. Murphy said.

The police broke up a Pink Floyd party in New Jersey.
Mr. Murphy, in message posted on Twitter on Monday, expressed his continuing frustration over the failure of some New Jersey residents to follow social-distancing guidelines, calling such people “jackasses” who “we now have to carry.”

One example of the kind of behavior the governor was criticizing happened Saturday night, when the police in Rumson broke up a loud party of about 30 people, all in their 40s and 50s.

When officers arrived at the house where the party was being held, officials said, they found the homeowner and another man strumming guitars and performing Pink Floyd songs.

Because the gathering violated the state’s social-distancing orders, officials said, the police told those who were there to disperse.

At that point, officials said, the crowd became raucous, with at least one man, Ryan Sheftel, 46, of Rumson, shouting vulgarities and yelling “welcome to Nazi Germany.”

The homeowner, John Maldjian, 54, was charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and two separate charges related to violating the state’s coronavirus emergency orders, the state attorney general’s office said. Mr. Sheftel, was charged with disorderly conduct and violating a borough ordinance by disturbing the peace, the authorities said.

The party came two weeks after New Jersey enacted a statewide ban on most gatherings in an effort to blunt the virus outbreak. As of Monday, more than 1,000 people had died of the virus in the state.

Nonetheless, the authorities announced that they had arrested several people over the weekend for violating various emergency orders. As least one person besides Mr. Maldjian was arrested for holding a party.

Officials said some of the people who gathered at Mr. Maldjian’s house had set up lawn chairs and were drinking alcoholic beverages. Mr. Maldjian had set up microphones and amplifiers and was streaming the performance on Facebook.

Even as officers waved flashlights to break up the party, the band continued, Lt. Christopher J. York of the Rumson police said. The music only stopped when officers directly approached Mr. Maldjian in the middle of “Wish You Were Here,” Lieutenant York said.

Domestic workers weigh the risk of working against the risk of not.

Thousands of domestic workers in New York City who clean and cook for well-off families are still working every day. They ride the mostly empty subway and buses to go clean and sustain the homes of people who can afford to self-quarantine.

Some of these workers have lost their jobs when their employers departed to second homes at the beach or upstate, Press Release Distribution Service while others grapple with working and risking exposure to the coronavirus, or staying home and falling into a deep financial hole.

“You run a risk each time you step out of your home,” said Luz, 36, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who works for a family on the Upper East Side with two children.

The nearly half-million undocumented immigrants in New York City report the lowest median annual earnings of any group of working New Yorkers, just over $26,000. They do not qualify for most forms of government assistance, including any of the emergency benefits in the $2 trillion stimulus package that Congress approved last month.

But many cleaners do pay taxes, though not with a Social Security number that would qualify them for one of the $1,200 cash payments included in the aid package,

“I came here to work,” said Celsio, a cleaner in Manhattan who is from Ecuador,  “but also to pay taxes.”

Crime has plummeted in New York City and across the state since the governor announced a stay-at-home order more than three weeks ago, data released on Monday shows.

In New York City, the number of felony and misdemeanor cases dropped a collective 43.3 percent from March 18 to March 24, compared with the same period in 2019, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

All other regions in the state experienced an even greater decline over the same period: a drop of nearly 69 percent in misdemeanors and felonies.

The number of felonies specifically dipped 33 percent in New York City and 60 percent in the rest of the state.

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