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NYC nixes June events, including 3 major parades

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is barring its famous summer street celebrations for the month of June, and the state is exploring new ways to expand coronavirus testing. Amid hopeful trends in virus-related deaths and hospitalizations, officials in New York City and the state are trying to make sure the outbreak doesn’t come roaring back.

“This is cause and effect on steroids,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday at his daily briefing. “What we do today will determine tomorrow.”

Here are the latest coronavirus developments in New York:

No parades

New York City won’t allow public events in June, including three of the city’s major annual celebrations: the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Celebrate Israel parade and the Pride parade on its 50th anniversary.

Numbers

The number of people dying from COVID-19 in New York state continues to slowly drop, with 478 fatalities tallied on Sunday. It was a third straight day of decreases and the lowest death toll since April 1, when 432 people died. A record 799 deaths were recorded April 8.

More than 14,000 people have died in New York state since the start of the outbreak last month. The state tally excludes more than 4,000 New York City deaths that were blamed on the virus on death certificates but weren’t confirmed by a lab test.

The total number of hospitalizations remained largely unchanged from the day before at 16,103 and the number of new admissions remained largely flat at 1,380, Cuomo said Monday. Both numbers are down compared to last week.

After weeks of increases in deaths and hospitalizations in the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, Cuomo said the big question now is how fast the descent will be.

“Does it take two weeks for it to come down? Some projections say that. Does it take a month? Some projections say that,” Cuomo noted. “The projections are nice, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on them.”

Nurses sue

New York state’s largest nurses’ union filed separate lawsuits against the state health department, a hospital network and a hospital over working conditions for nurses treating COVID-19 patients.

The New York State Nurses Association charged in the lawsuits filed against the department, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Westchester County Health Care Corp. that its members have been forced to labor in unsafe working conditions without adequate masks or surgical gowns. The union also said sick nurses have been forced to return to work too early.

Quest for tests

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers would need to be tested for the coronavirus daily before city officials could start to loosen restrictions that have shuttered most workplaces and forced residents to cover their faces in public, de Blasio said Monday.

“To be able to come back you need testing to be — in our city probably hundreds of thousands of tests a day,” the Democrat said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You need temperature checks going into workplaces. You need all sorts of things to make sure that anyone who’s sick is immediately isolated and supported in quarantine.”

But he said New York can’t start reopening its economy without widespread testing “and so far the federal government still can’t get the handle on that.”

Cuomo said the state is starting a partnership with Ready Responders to bring testing and other health care services to an unspecified number of New York City public housing residents.

Also this week, New York is performing antibody tests on 3,000 people statewide. The tests for substances the immune system makes to fight the virus could help determine the percentage of the population that may now be immune, allowing more people to safely return to work, according to the Cuomo administration.

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