Cuomo also says no one should be prosecuted for NY nursing home deaths. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee retracts contact tracing requirements for restaurants. Virginia sees massive crowds at “closed” beaches. Atwater, CA, declares itself “sanctuary city” from lockdown.
Today’s update starts with the news that New York is facing a new coronavirus crisis: There are too many tests available that are not being used.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a coronavirus test during his daily briefing Sunday, saying that all New Yorkers who think they have symptoms should get one.
The governor said New York is now conducting 40,000 COVID-19 tests per day at 700 testing sites.
“Which means there is a testing site near you,” Cuomo said. “The new problem is we have more sites and more testing capacity than we’re using.”
Cuomo said any individual who thinks they have a COVID-19 symptom can get a test.
“If you think you have symptoms, get a test. It’s up to you,” he said. “We just don’t have enough New Yorkers coming to be tested.”
WATCH: Gov. Cuomo explains “new problem” of MORE testing capacity than New York is actually using!
“Now we have more testing capacity and more sites than we are actually using…who can get a test today? Any individual who thinks they have a COVID symptom.” pic.twitter.com/XTTODRElgr
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 & get the APP (@TrumpWarRoom) May 17, 2020
Cuomo says no one should be prosecuted for coronavirus deaths in New York, including those in nursing homes
Cuomo has been slammed for his coronavirus rules, which had infected patients returned to nursing homes…resulting in further spread of the contagious virus that has proved deadly to the elderly.
His excuse now appears to be: They were going to die anyway.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday addressed the state’s early response to the coronavirus outbreak and said “nobody” should be prosecuted for those who died, noting that “older people” were most vulnerable. The governor has been criticized for a decision in March, which has since been reversed, to send patients back to nursing homes after they tested positive for COVID-19.
More than 4,800 people died from COVID-19 in nursing homes in the state between March 1 and May 1, according to a tally released by the Cuomo administration on May 1. Cuomo has called nursing homes a “feeding frenzy” for the coronavirus.
“Despite whatever you do, because with all our progress as a society, we can’t keep everyone alive,” Cuomo said.
The number of deaths in New York state dropped again Saturday to 139 people. When asked about the nursing home deaths, Cuomo noted the 139 people who died on Saturday and asked who is accountable for everyone who died.
“How do we get justice for those families of those 139 deaths?” Cuomo said. “Who can we prosecute for those 139 deaths? Nobody. Mother Nature, God, where did this virus come from? People are going to die by this virus, that is the truth.”
When pressed further about how some people thought their loved ones would be safe because of Matilda’s Law, Cuomo continued to stress the point that older and more vulnerable people were “always going to die from this virus.” He said when talking who is accountable for deaths, the most important thing was to make sure “you can have a situation where everyone did the right thing and everyone tried their best.”
Gov. Jay Inslee retracts requirement that diners provide contact info when restaurants reopen
We had previously reported Washington state was mandating that restaurants keep a log of patrons to aid in contact tracing.
Outrage over these plans due to privacy concerns has swayed the governor to change his mind.
When dining rooms in Washington start to reopen in the coming months, restaurants will not be required to record customers’ contact information after all.
In a walk-back of a controversial component of the restaurant reopening guidance issued earlier this week, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office issued a statement on Friday evening “clarifying” that the state will not require customers to provide their contact information when they go out to eat.
Instead, businesses are asked to maintain a list of customers who voluntarily do so.
“We are asking visitors to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure. We only need information for one person per household. If we learn you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your visit, the information will only be shared with public health officials,” Inslee’s news release said. “They will contact you to explain the risk, answer questions and provide resources. This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, it will be destroyed.”
Virginia Beach was closed, but the crowds came anyway
More proof that for all intents and purposes, American citizens are ending the lockdown themselves.
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront felt like summer in more ways than one Saturday as children ordered “blue and lellow” snow cones and bought hermit crabs, shoppers sampled fudge inside cramped gift shops and bikers pedaled on the boardwalk — with the usual complaints of people walking in the bike lane.
And that’s as the beach is considered closed.
While Virginia began to slowly relax some restrictions Friday for businesses and places of worship in the first of a three-phase approach — limiting indoor capacity to 50%, allowing outdoor dining but only if people sat at least 6 feet apart, requiring staff in some cases to wear masks — the state’s beaches remained restricted to fishing and exercise.
…While the sprawling beach nearby was not at all packed, and groups were keeping their distance, there was no lack of beach blankets, towels, tents and umbrellas set up near the water.
Maria Parke, 45, of Virginia Beach sat near a blue tent, just steps from the ocean, and said she felt safer on the beach than the busy boardwalk. Nobody wants to be on top of each other, so all beachgoers were doing their part to keep their distance, she said.
Atwater, CA declares itself “sanctuary city” from lockdown, allows businesses to open
The hot, new take on the “Sanctuary City” concept.
The City of Atwater has declared itself a “sanctuary city” for all businesses, allowing owners to open despite the state of California’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Atwater City Council voted on the resolution on Friday afternoon, saying it, “Affirms the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights.”
“This is America. You have the choice. It’s time for the government to stop dictating another month, another three months, six months,” said Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton. “When is it going to end? When everyone is bankrupt?”
Non-profit organizations, such as churches, are also allowed to reopen under the new resolution.
— Vanessa Vasconcelos (@VanessaABC30) May 15, 2020
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