NYC Still the Furthest From Opening
While more than half of New York’s 10 regions start the phases of reopening, NYC still stays the furthest away from beginning the process of reopening.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says he expects it to hit all Cuomo’s seven benchmarks at some point in June.
“Basic dynamics we have now are gonna hold,” de Blasio said when pressed about his decision to keep city beaches closed as state-run beaches across the region open for Memorial Day. “We are not doing this. It’s not beach season. This is a pandemic. First half of June (will be) the first opportunity to relax anything.”
Despite NYC lockdown continuation, more regions are being approved to start reopening.
Western New York reopened Tuesday after meeting its contact tracing requirements, while the Capital Region will be eligible to enter Phase 1 on Wednesday, Cuomo said. This makes it the sixth’s region to reopen. The five other regions — Mohawk Valley, Central New York, North Country, Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes — began their process last week.
Governor Cuomo has spoken out on the great work the American people have done in flattening the curve, and has even encouraged pro sports to resume- barring an audience.
While Vehicle parades are preferable, Cuomo also said Memorial Day ceremonies with 10 people or fewer are permissible at local governments’ discretion.
Other announcements from Governor Cuomo include for the first time in months, some families will be able to visit their loved ones in New York hospitals. This is part of a two-week pilot program involving 16 facilities. Visitors will have time restrictions and given PPE to wear, and be subject to symptom and temperature checks.
Go to NBC NY for more information on this.
MTA Using UV Ray Technology to Clean Subway
The MTA is starting to use UV technology to clean the subways of COVID-19, with plans to move to busses and the LIRR/ Metro-North if successful.
According to Dr. David Brenner at Columbia University, “It has been known for 100 years that UV light is incredibly efficient in killing bacteria. The UV light that’s going to be used in the overnight subway cleaning is very efficient at killing the virus responsible for COVID-19.”
The 230 miniature portable UV lamps are provided by a start-up company named PURO Lighting and costs about $1 million.
“Dr. Brenner has shown that the use of UV light in a laboratory setting has eradicated the COVID-19 virus,” MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said. “The MTA is launching the first-ever UV pilot proven to kill COVID-19. That’s big news. This pilot will use UV technology to help disinfect our infrastructure.”
The pilot program uses UV-C light, which is less harmful than either UV-A or UV-B but still requires the subway cars to be empty.
This technology, used in hospitals and sometimes in fire/police houses, is being used to disinfect 3,500 subway cars at least once a day.
“We are also experimenting with electrostatic sprayers and anti-microbials, which kill bacteria,” NYC Transit interim President Sarah Feinberg said.
Officials at MTA will monitor the process.
To read more on this go to ABC 7 NY
Mayor Announces Summer School Starting July
NYC Kids are not getting off scot-free this summer.
That after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza announced today there will be summer school classes four days per week for six weeks starting July 13.
Teachers will determine if students are required to participate in grades three to eight but it’s estimated that about 67,000 students will participate. Math and English language arts will be covered via live or pre-recorded sessions or group/1-on-1 sessions.
For high schoolers, it’s estimated that about 83,000 will be getting classes five out the six days in the week. This will apply to students who failed school subjects and may have up to five hours of learning daily
The city will provide “virtual field trips,” “virtual clubs” and e-books to reduce the tedium of online learning, said de Blasio and Carranza.
Carranza promised summer school would “keep our students on track and ready to hit the ground running in September.”
To read more on this go to NY Daily News.
COVID Patients Testing Positive After Recovery Aren’t Infectious
A new study from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed people who test positive again for the coronavirus, despite having already recovered COVID-19, aren’t being reinfected.
Samples from “reinfected” patients don’t have infectious viruses. That lack of infectious virus particles means these people aren’t currently infected and can’t transmit the coronavirus to others, the researchers say.
“It’s good news,” says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University. “It appears people are not being reinfected, and this virus is not reactivating.”
In the study, researchers tried to isolate infectious coronaviruses from samples taken from 108 people who retested positive. All of those samples tested negative. When the scientists examined 23 of those patients for antibodies against the coronavirus, almost all had neutralizing antibodies that can stop the virus from getting into cells.
The team also tracked down 790 contacts of 285 people who retested positive. Of those contacts, 27 tested positive for the coronavirus. Twenty-four of those were cases that officials had previously confirmed. Officials also identified three new cases, all of whom either had contact with the Shincheonji religious group — which was hit particularly hard in the early days of the pandemic — or a confirmed case in their family. No new cases appeared to stem from repeat positive patients, a sign those patients aren’t contagious.
Now, “we can largely stop worrying about reinfection and address the next big questions,” Rasmussen says. “How protective are immune responses in recovered patients, and how long does immunity last?”
To read more on this, go to Sciencenews.org