Mayor Bill De Blasio hopes to open NYC public schools by April 20

Mayor Bill De Blasio hopes to open NYC public schools by April 20 – as the city calls on local companies to aid with shortages after death toll hits 281

  • NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio said it’s a ‘big challenge’ but he wants to reopen the city’s schools by April 20
  • He admits the worst of the coronavirus outbreak is still to hit in April and May
  • The Mayor added that meals will still be provided to the end of the school year on June 26 even if schools do not reopen
  • He visited Brooklyn Navy Yard Thursday to thank workers who have pivoted from making whiskey and retail displays to hand sanitizer and face shields
  • 125,000 face masks are expected to be delivered from the yard to local hospitals by Tuesday
  • Deaths in the city hit 281 on Thursday
  • Including the death of a healthcare worker in a hospitals where staff had been asked to wear trash bags instead of hospital gowns 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday his goal of reopening the city’s schools by April 20, despite the dramatically escalating coronavirus outbreak which saw 100 deaths in the state in one day.

De Blasio predicted that the city is to see the worst of the pandemic in April and May but still hopes to see students return to class before the crisis eases up.

On Thursday afternoon, the mayor visited Brooklyn Navy Yard where 120,000 face masks are expected to be made by local business in the coming days to ease the growing strain on the healthcare system severely lacking in supplies.

He teased an announcement that desperately needed ventilators will be soon be produced locally.

Nearly 22,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in NYC and the death toll stood at 281 by Thursday afternoon. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a face shield as he speaks to the media during a visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Thursday where he announced 125,000 masks would be made by Tuesday

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visits the Brooklyn Navy Yard Thursday where local industrial firms have begun manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment for local hospitals

A view of temporarily closed Lillie Devereaux Blake School as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United State. De Blasio hopes to open schools again by April 20

De Blasio revealed his aim to reopen schools during a daily briefing Thursday in which he answered questions on the city’s ability to provide meals to children through the end of the school year despite closures.

The school year was scheduled to end on June 26.

The mayor said that meals would be available even if students even if the schools don’t reopen.

‘We hope to get schools back up on April 20, but that’s going to be a big challenge,’ de Blasio said.

As of Thursday morning, there are 21,873 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the five boroughs, according the the Health Department.

Of those, 11,967 people, or 55 percent, are younger than 50 years old but the majority of those who have died have been older.

Nobody under 17 has died of COVID-19 in New York City and 96 percent of deaths have had an underlying illness.

Members of SchoolFood prepare a cart for school breakfasts and lunches to go for parents to pick up for students at Yung Wing School in Manhattan. Meals will continue until June 26

Students at Stuyvesant High School before all New York City Schools were closed

Workers making face masks for local hospitals in Brooklyn Navy Yard

Mayor Bill de Blasio is shown around the new workshop making face masks in Brooklyn 

On Thursday afternoon, de Blasio visited Brooklyn Navy Yard to thank workers from three separate companies who have joined forces to deliver between 15,000 and 18,000 new face masks a day for health care workers. 

Businesses have pivoted from making whiskey and retail displays to hand sanitizer and face shields.  

Duggal, New Lab, and Bednark Studio, which was originally forced to lay off staff last week, have called their workers in to begin on the task. 

The companies first created a prototype for the mask on Saturday and quickly began production on Wednesday as the Mayor announced that the city has called on local businesses to do what they can to help produce more supplies for hospitals.  

All wearing masks and separated on different tables, the workers from Duggal Visual Solutions and Bednark showcased their products to the mayor, who announced that 125,000 masks are expected to be produced in this center alone in the coming days and shipped to local hospitals by next Tuesday.  

‘Every one of you are heroes right now because you are providing us with supplies that are going to save lives and protect out health care workers,’ he told workers. 

‘And you make me very proud of New York City and of Brooklyn, seeing that this has been created in a matter of days to protect people and it is an example of how we are going to fight back.’

Three companies – Bednark, Duggal, and New Lab – have joined forces to make the mask

People make face shields at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where local industrial firms have begun manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment to deal with the intense shortage in supplies

While at the Navy Yard the Mayor also teased an announcement of locally produced ventilators that could come in a second briefing later Thursday, according to New York Daily News reporter Shant Shahrigian. 

The city is currently in the process of signing contracts with local industries that will produce 1.5 million face shields over the next three months, according to Carl Rodrigues, who is handling the administration’s production mobilization.

Other companies are expected to provide an estimated 1.2 million medical gowns.

‘The mayor’s made a pretty concerted effort to get into people’s brains that this is a wartime scenario and we have to come together,’ Rodrigues told the Wall Street Journal. 

‘New Yorkers are really responding.’

Just before his visit, de Blasio announced that Elmherst hospital in Queens has become ‘the number one priority of our public hospital system right now’ after 13 deaths from coronavirus were registered there in one day on Wednesday. 

‘We’ve moved in 40 more ventilators and added more staff to increase capacity. Yesterday Elmhurst was running nearly three times the number of ICU beds than usual,’ the Mayor added. 

‘Right now Elmhurst hospital is holding its own, but we are in a race against time and we need more federal help IMMEDIATELY.’ 

Roughly 6,420 people in Queens have tested positive for the coronavirus

Health officials believe the cases confirmed in New York City is still just a fraction of the number truly infected in the city as hospitals and health care structures begin to buckle under the weight of patients, the high number of deaths, and the extreme lack of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a somber update on Thursday morning as the number of deaths in the state was revealed to be 100 in the past 24 hours alone.

‘That’s what comes first: the rate of increase in the number of cases,’ he said.

‘That’s what we are looking for.’

The governor was bashed by a city nurses’ union, however, for claiming that healthcare workers have all the protective gear they need for the immediate future.

‘Right now, we have enough protective equipment — gloves, masks, gowns — for all the hospitals statewide,’ he said.

‘Today, no hospital, no nurse, no doctor can say — legitimately — I don’t have protective equipment. Right now and for the foreseeable future, we have a supply.’

But Pat Kane, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, said he is wrong.

‘A statement like that can be dangerous,’ she said. ‘If you’re saying there’s enough, but that “enough” involves following guidelines where there are a lot of risks involved, it’s misleading.’

The criticism came as it was revealed some nurses are still being asked to reuse their face masks and that a healthcare worker died from coronavirus in a hospital where workers had been asked to wear trash bags instead of hospital gowns.

Assistant nursing manager Kious Kelly, who tested positive for coronavirus about two weeks ago, was admitted to Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital on the Upper East Side on March 17 and died Tuesday night.

‘Kious didn’t deserve this,’ one nurse said. ‘The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.’

‘If I get sick and take a bed from an ICU patient, how is that working?’ Kane said. ‘I’m not pointing the finger to blame anyone at this point. But we’re not at the table. They’re not asking us for this information.’

New York’s Elmhurst Hospital is the city’s ground zero as doctors say it’s a ‘war zone’ with 13 people dying from coronavirus in 24 HOURS and queues of patients waiting for hospital beds send it to breaking point 

The Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York City is fast becoming ‘ground zero’ for the city’s battle with the coronavirus, with 13 patients dying at the facility in the span of just 24 hours.

A spokesperson with the hospital described the number of deaths as being ‘consistent with the number of ICU patients being treated there.’

Health and Hospitals Deputy Press Secretary Stephanie Guzmán explained to Patch: ‘Staff are doing everything in our power to save every person who contracts COVID-19, but unfortunately this virus continues to take an especially terrible toll on the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.’

‘Elmhurst is at the center of this crisis, and it’s the number one priority of our public hospital system right now.’

A spokesperson with the hospital described the number of deaths as being ‘consistent with the number of ICU patients being treated there’. Long lines have been forming extensively around the facility

Patients not suffering from coronavirus have already been transferred from the facility, which has 545 beds.

The hospital has added 25 staffers since Tuesday and more ventilators, according to City Council Member Francisco Moya. Moya previously worked at Elmhurst Hospital.

Health officials say Elmhurst Hospital, part of the city’s municipal hospital system, already is running at more than 125 per cent capacity compared to its typical 80 per cent capacity rate.

Guzmán did assert that the hospital was one of the top priorities of the municipal health system.

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