Virus cases top 20,000 in NY as new restrictions start

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NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorkers started their first full day of severe restrictions Monday that are intended to curb the spread of the virus after the number of cases in the state continues to surge amid an uptick in testing.

All of the state’s “nonessential” businesses were ordered closed by 8 p.m. Sunday under an order that also banned nonessential gatherings of individuals. New Yorkers may still go outside their homes to pick up groceries or exercise, but must stay 6 feet away from anyone who isn’t a member of their household.

Here are the latest updates about the coronavirus in New York:

NUMBERS

The number of positive coronavirus cases in New York state surged to more than 20,000, with more than half the cases in New York City, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The city has emerged as a worldwide hotspot for the outbreak, with more than 12,000 known cases. Cuomo said the swift climb in numbers also is due to aggressive testing. The state is now testing 16,000 people a day, the governor said.

There have been 157 deaths in New York state. And there have been more than 2,500 hospitalizations in the state, with 621 ICU patients. State and city officials expecting a wave of more patients are scrambling to add more hospital beds.

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MAYOR LOBBIES PRESIDENT

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he spoke with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the city’s urgent need for medical supplies to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I spoke to President Trump and Vice President Pence last night in detail and I’m glad we had the conversation and I appreciated the focus of the conversation but what I need to see is the real material support for the people of my city, 8.6 million people who are right now in the crosshairs,” de Blasio said on CNN.

Federal aid to the city so far includes promises of temporary hospitals run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military.

But de Blasio, a Democrat, says the city also desperately needs the federal government’s help getting medical supplies and equipment, including ventilators.

“We’re literally in that very tight window now that if we don’t get the ventilators in particular we will actually start to lose lives that could have been saved.”

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, and the vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

SCHOOLS

School was back in session Monday for 1.1 million New York City public school students though their school buildings were closed because of the coronavirus.

City education officials gave teachers a crash course in online instruction last week and attempted to distribute laptops and tablets to students who don’t have them, but

The city’s sprawling public school system is joining districts around the U.S. in an unplanned, unprecedented test of virtual teaching during the coronavirus shutdowns.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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