NY Update: Fewer than 100 Deaths on Friday , Governor Allowing Groups of 10 to Gather, 8th Region to Open

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The number of statewide casualties of the coronavirus dipped below 100 for the first time since late March, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday. The governor reported 84 new deaths of the virus, the lowest daily death toll since March 24, NY Times reported.

Mr. Cuomo said. “If you can get under 100, you can breathe a sigh of relief,” he said, recalling a conversation he had with a physician at the time. “Getting below 100 was almost impossible.”Seven of the state’s 10 regions have already entered Phase 1, allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen after meeting health and safety standards outlined by the state, NY Times reported.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York slightly loosened coronavirus restrictions, saying that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed “for any lawful purpose or reason” anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distance protocols were followed, according to an executive order  released Friday

Executive Order 202.10, as later extended by Executive Order 202.18, Executive Order 202.29 and as extended and amended by Executive Order 202.32, which prohibited all non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason, except for any religious service or ceremony, or for the purposes of any Memorial Day service or commemoration, which allowed ten or fewer individuals to gather, provided that social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to is hereby modified to permit any non-essential gathering of ten or fewer individuals, for any lawful purpose or reason, provided that social distancing protocols and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to.

This executive order came after several lawsuits by Civil Liberties groups, including a suit by the ACLU on behalf or religious institutions.

This drew the ire ironically from Councilman Mark D. Levine, who represents Upper Manhattan and is chairman of the City Council’s health committee. He stressed that the order had not been made by health professionals, and lashed out at Cuomo.

Levine became the laughing stock of NYC politics when  in February  he tweeted “In powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual #LunarNewYear parade. Chants of “be strong Wuhan!” Levine told people to go out in large gatherings in China Town. Levine, on March 11th, went on CNBC telling viewers that NYC should consider carefully the repercussions of a lock down on business. 

It is also worth noting as per National Review : “Levine also criticized at least one early effort to begin “social distancing” before the CDC recommended the practice. On March 5, Rutgers University Hillel published a notice advising students to reconsider inviting over or interacting with students from Yeshiva University, which had reported its first case of coronavirus. Levine wrote in a tweet that students should ignore Hillel’s advice”

Friday night,  Councilman Levine was singing a totally different tune as he lashed out at Cuomo, over loosening restrictions on gatherings of 10. “This shocking order, forced by a lawsuit, changes nothing about the risks associated with group gatherings — especially those held indoors,” he said in tweets posted about 8:45 p.m. “No one should interpret this as advice to change their behavior”, Levine tweeted.  Yes, this is coming from the same Democrat “leader” who told people to go out to China Town in February.

From NY.Gov: “Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Mid-Hudson Valley is on track to meet all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan starting Tuesday, May 26th, joining the Capital Region, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions. The Mid-Hudson Valley has now identified enough contact tracers to meet the state’s guidelines, and the tracers are being trained in preparation for the Mid-Hudson Valley entering phase one, which includes construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup; and agriculture, forestry and fishing. On Long Island, the number of deaths is continuing to drop and contract tracing is coming online, and if this trend continues Long Island could be ready to open by Wednesday, May 27th. Business guidance for phase one of the state’s reopening plan is available here. A guide to the state’s “NY Forward Reopening” Plan is available here. The state’s regional monitoring dashboard is available here.”

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