Mayor Bill de Blasio
Today we’re making an urgent appeal: our health care system is bracing for what’s to come. We need every available medical professional who can serve. We’re activating the 9,000 licensed and retired workers in the Medical Reserve Corps to come forward. The message is simple: if you’re a health care worker with appropriate training, your city needs you now. Go to nyc.gov/helpnownyc to join this fight.
We have good news to report when we need it most: a new agreement locked last night will give NYC Health + Hospitals capacity for 5,000 coronavirus tests per day. We’re in a race against time. This will help our public hospitals diagnose and treat people with serious illness faster. This is incredibly important for our hospitals. Doctors need to be able to test whether a seriously ill patient has COVID-19 or something else like bacterial pneumonia. Those are potentially life or death stakes, and the right diagnosis matters.
For people who are otherwise healthy or have only moderate symptoms, please: STAY HOME. Don’t go to an ER unless you are seriously ill. If you feel sick with cold or flu symptoms, wait 3-4 days and if your symptoms don’t improve, call your doctor.
Now for some other updates: Alternate Side Parking is SUSPENDED until next Tuesday, March 24, at which point we’ll reassess. I just signed an Executive Order to ban ride shares and pools to protect drivers and riders alike. This will give everyone more social distance. We’re doing this in agreement with the major ride share companies.
We currently have 814 positive cases. We have lost 7 of our fellow New Yorkers. It’s devastating. Our hearts go out to their families.
Today I spoke with the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Milley. The military has enormous capacity to mobilize people and resources in a crisis. We’re staying in close contact about any and all support the military can provide right now. We NEED more support from the federal government. In terms of sheer reach and the response we need, the only parallels out there are the 1918 flu epidemic or the Great Depression. There are some encouraging developments, but nowhere near the level required. A decade ago, we bailed out the banks and the auto industry. We’ve funded endless wars and given tax cuts to the wealthy. The federal government knows how to spend quickly, on a huge scale. It’s time to spend that money on the working people of our country.
Things are changing every day. We want to keep you up to date. Text COVID to 692-692 to have important alerts sent to your phone. This is a challenging time for our city — but New Yorkers are tough and resilient. Look out for your neighbors. If they need food, supplies or help, offer it. Be there for them. We’ll get through this together.