Governor Andrew Cuomo this Friday cleared up a mystery that he kept in caps thousands of entrepreneurs, small businessmen and workers in the Big Apple, on whom the anguish of a possible new economic closure weighed, after Christmas, given the rise in cases, deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19: “We are not meant to have a closure”, said the state president.
Although the governor made it clear that it is not considered necessary to apply a commercial pause immediately after the Christmas holidays, as Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested, to put a wall to the high contagion curve, he also did not completely deny that in the coming 2021 new restrictions can be made.
“The last thing anyone wants is a general closure like in the spring. So I am working as hard as I can. I believe we can stay open and we will stay open. We have a new mantra: ‘stop the spread and stop the closure’. It’s that easy”.
Although new infections continue to rise, Cuomo explained that his strategy of “avoiding at all costs” any radical policy of restrictions that would lead to non-essential business breaks, as happened at the beginning of this public health crisis, because in his opinion very clear measures have been taken to avoid the collapse of the hospitals.
Countdown to January 8
The Governor assured that hospitals are ready to deal with an expected increase in hospitalizations due to the virus.
At this time, there is 31,000 beds available after a mandatory 25% increase in the capacity of health centers to admit patients was managed in recent weeks.
He State Department of Health has said that hospitals must notify when are within 21 days of 85% of their capacity.
“In three weeks from today Friday, no hospital in the state believes that will reach 85% by January 8. That is good news, ”he clarified.
Only this thursday 120 deaths were reported from COVID-19, but even so Cuomo insisted that “we already have the experience to face this rise without painfully impacting the economy, but it will also depend on the community intelligence this holiday season”.
The ‘Thanksgiving’ experience
The Health authorities They continue to insist a week before Christmas, that all the data that show the commemoration of Thanksgiving with mobilizations and family gatherings, prove with great force that this second wave of infections rose later of those dates of great congregations.
“I hope New Yorkers have learned their lesson from ‘Thanksgiving’ as we watch the numbers increase. I insist celebrate Christmas, but be smart”, Concluded the Governor.
New York State has experienced a 97% growth in deaths from coronavirus, over the past 14 days, cases increased 30%, while hospitalizations soared by 60%, according to data crossed by The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the Mayor Bill de Blasio who at the beginning of the week had encouraged a general pause in the Big Apple to contain the rapidity of the virus’s expansion, reiterated this Friday that the numbers shown by the city they are not encouraging at all.
“COVID-19 continues to grow. We have a positivity rate that has already climbed 6.16% in the last seven days, there are 2,805 new infected. We have a lot to work on, in the days to come, “said De Blasio.
Vaccination in the elderly starts
New York state nursing home residents will begin receiving the new vaccine next Monday, according to plans by state health officials.
Approximately 19,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated so far, of which 9,025 have been in the New York City hospital system.
Pandemic forces changes in admission processes in schools
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor of Education Richard Carranza announced this Friday important changes in the way we students will be admitted to middle and high schools as of the next school period 2021-2022.
The coronavirus pandemic and the need to ensure greater equity and less segregation will force changes in some selection methodologies to enter some educational centers.
Middle Schools Will Not Use Test Scores Or Other Academic “Screens” To Select Students, Performing Arts School Auditions Are Going Virtual And Controversial Specialized High School Admission Test will be administered in the city’s middle schools, rather than only in a few.
The other aspect is that the City Department of Education (DOE) will eliminate the district-based admission preference which has allowed some of the wealthiest zip codes in the city to forge a set of their own elite high schools.
“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the long-standing inequalities in our city’s public schools. Now, as we rebuild the Big Apple, we are expanding opportunities for all public school students and redoubling our mission to provide a quality education for everyone, regardless of the child’s zip code, ”said the Mayor.
For many years, advocates for integration have been lobbying the city to renew the competitive process for children from 10 and 13 years of the city, which often favors wealthier families who have the time and skill to navigate it, according to the vision of some organizations.
“This year, we have faced the unknown together and, as we look to the future, we know that opening more schools to more students will make our system stronger and more equitable for all,” explained the Chancellor of Education.
Likewise, the ombudsman Jumaane Williams described the New York City school system as the most segregated in the nation before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only deepened these inequalities.
“We value these steps behind the immediate need to bring justice to our admissions systems and create transformative change within our schools,” Williams reacted.
The next steps
- State law requires that the City Administer the Specialized High School Entrance Exam (SHSAT). Beginning Monday, December 21, 2020, students can register to take the exam to enter specialized high schools.
- The logistics involved in exam supervision are being modified to ensure the health and safety of staff and students.
- The SHSAT record will close on January 15, 2021. The test will now be administered in students’ own middle schools to reduce travel and mixing of different cohorts of children.
- The SHSAT will be administered beginning in late January. Families can complete their application through the portal MySchools, by calling 311 or by Virtual family welcome center.
- High schools of the arts will move to a virtual audition system that will allow students to submit their audition online.
- Students will only need create a submittable audition for all schools that require it.
COVID-19 does not stop:
- 4.60% is the positivity rate for the entire state of New York
- 6,081 hospitalized for complications associated with COVID-19, 66 patients less than last Thursday’s report in NY.
- 1,068 of these inmates with complications are in intensive care wards, 27 fewer than previous official figures.
- 158 patients infected with COVID-19 had to be admitted to hospitals in the Big Apple this Thursday.
- 5.11% is the positivity rate of coronavirus in Staten Island, the highest in the five boroughs of New York City with an increasing trend over the last week.
- 4.76% is the average number of infections in Queens, followed by The Bronx (4.64%) and Brooklyn (4.24%)
- 2.75% is the infection rate in Manhattan, one of the lowest in the state, where the sustained rise in patients in other regions such as Long Island (6.08%) begins to be a concern.
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