New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday imposed a new round of restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus as infection rates rose and hospital admissions in the state that was the epicenter of the US outbreak are in the early stages increased.
Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants, and gyms across the state to close at 10 p.m. (3:00 AM GMT) each evening and limited the number of people who could attend private parties at 10 a.m.
“We’re seeing a national and global spike in COVID, and New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” the governor told reporters, adding that contact tracing identified late-night gatherings in bars, restaurants and gyms as major virus spreaders in the state .
The new measures, which will go into effect Friday, came a day after California and several Midwestern states tightened restrictions on residents in an attempt to contain the rapid spread of the virus.
“This is our LAST chance to stop a second wave,” tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday as he announced the average 7-day rate of coronavirus tests across the city were positive , Had reached 2.52 percent.
The city’s public school system, the largest in the country, would be closed to face-to-face learning if that number reached 3 percent.
Medical workers operate a test tent at a mobile COVID-19 test site in Brooklyn, New York [John Minchillo/AP Photo]As COVID-19 infections, hospital admissions, and deaths increased in the U.S., there was mounting evidence that a second wave could engulf areas in the northeast that had managed to get the pandemic under control after struck earlier this year had been.
According to a Reuters analysis, the US reported a total of more than 1,450 deaths on Tuesday, the highest number on a single day since mid-August.
U.S. COVID-19 cases rose to more than 136,000 for seven consecutive days by late Tuesday, while hospital admissions topped 60,000 for the first time since the pandemic began and threatened to overwhelm systems in many parts of the country, according to Reuters news agency.
In New Jersey, one of the earliest U.S. hotspots, a surge in cases in Newark – the state’s largest city – prompted Mayor Ras Baraka to take aggressive action, including a mandatory curfew in certain areas.
The rate of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Newark was 19 percent, more than double the state’s 7-day average of 7.74 percent, Baraka said in a statement Tuesday. The World Health Organization has said that more than 5 percent is worrying.
“Stricter measures are needed in the city’s hotspots to contain the virus and limit the spread,” he said.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced restrictions similar to New York’s on Monday in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state and outbreaks among bartenders.
In Maryland, where the rate of people who tested positive was 5.6 percent on Wednesday, officials warned of an increasing number of patients with COVID-19 being hospitalized.
Governor Larry Hogan’s communications director Mike Ricci said more than 800 people were treated for COVID-19 in state hospitals on Wednesday. This is Maryland’s highest daily number since April.
Record numbers of people died of COVID-19 in several states of the Midwest and West on Tuesday, including Alaska, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“We are definitely seeing a surge in cases and a large number of cases across the state,” said Dr. Chris Weaver, emergency physician and senior vice president of clinical efficacy at Indiana University Health, told Reuters.
“We are now in a good place to treat all of the patients we have, but if the volume increases quickly it will fill everything,” he added.
Texas became the first US state to record more than a million cases of coronavirus on Wednesday as sporting events were canceled and the border town of El Paso added mobile morgues in anticipation of weeks of virus overwhelming hospitals.
Texas leaders gave no indication of impending restrictions as the state passed the dire milestone and recorded more than 10,800 new cases on Tuesday, setting a new daily record. The number of coronavirus infections is the highest since July.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Texas has recorded 1,010,364 coronavirus cases and more than 19,300 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began in early March. Only Illinois has had more new cases on average than Texas in the past two weeks.
In El Paso, where more than 1,000 virus patients have been hospitalized, local officials have closed tattoo parlors, hairdressing and nail salons, and gyms – all steps beyond what Abbott has allowed. The state is fighting what Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton calls “suppressing” the border district of approximately 840,000 people. However, local officials received a brief respite on Wednesday when the Texas Supreme Court refused to give an expedited decision.
El Paso County officials this week announced plans to add four additional morgue trailers, bringing the total there to 10.
Officials in the states hardest hit by the virus urged residents to stay home as much as possible and followed expert advice by wearing masks, washing their hands, and social distancing.
“It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others, it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while, “said Tony Evers, governor of Wisconsin, as he issued new mitigation measures. “So please cancel happy hour, dinner parties, overnight stays, and game dates at your home.”