LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK (Reuters) – California has ordered nearly 40 million people to stay home and New York state on Friday told all non-essential workers to do the same by asking for more medical personnel and supplies to treat coronavirus cases that could overwhelm hospitals.
A message on how to protect yourself from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is displayed on an electronic billboard in an almost empty Times Square in Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States, March 20, 2020. REUTERS / Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump and other officials told reporters that the United States was working with Mexico to end all non-essential border travel. The northern border with Canada has already been closed to non-essential traffic.
“I would like to be clear that none of these agreements with Canada or Mexico apply to legal trade or trade,” said national security secretary Chad Wolf. “Essential commercial activities will not be affected.”
The pandemic disrupted life across much of the United States, closing schools and businesses, pushing millions of people to work from home, forcing many to quit their jobs and drastically reducing travel.
“This is the most drastic action we can take,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference announcing that he would issue an executive order to impose that 100% of the non-essential workforce remain at home and all non-essential activities close.
“Stay indoors, go outside for a solitary exercise,” he said.
The order would be executed with civil fines and mandatory closings for all non-compliant companies, he said. Cuomo said it was not an “on the spot” order, nor was it California.
New York has 7,102 confirmed cases, of which 2,950 are new. The hospitalization rate is 18%. Of the state’s cases, 4,408 are in New York City, the most populous city in the United States with approximately 8.5 million people.
Cuomo asked for the production of fans and protective masks for a wave expected in the cases.
“Fans are in this war what missiles were for WWII,” said Cuomo. He said the state would “pay a premium” to companies that could supply multiple personal protective equipment, gloves and masks, and asked companies that they might be able to make these products “creative”.
JFK TOWER CLOSED
The United States Federal Aviation Administration said it temporarily closed the air traffic control tower at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport because a technician had tested positively and the controllers would work in an alternate location on the airport’s property.
Part of the traffic control center of the Indianapolis air route was closed for cleaning after reporting new COVID-19 cases.
The late Thursday Governor Gavin Newsom’s order took immediate effect. He left the duration of the order open, suggesting it could last eight weeks, while expressing confidence people stick to orders to stay home except to visit supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies and laundromats. Essential workers will also be allowed to report to work.
More than 200 people died in the United States and more than 12,000 cases were confirmed early Friday, an increase of 3,000 cases from the previous day.
More than 1,000 cases have been confirmed in California, where 19 people have died.
Click here for a GRAPH on US cases.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are starting to report signs of distress among patients worried about the consequences.
Six clinicians interviewed by Reuters say that coronavirus has been at the center of all recent therapeutic sessions.
In Chicago Wisler, Chicago was prescribed a sedative to help him sleep when the financial and emotional impact of the pandemic hit the 50-year-old bartender. “My mind won’t close,” said Wisler. “As soon as I wake up, it’s like,” How am I going to get through this month? “”
The Trump administration has announced initiatives to relieve workers and students in the health and economic crisis.
The United States government was transferring its tax filing day to July 15 from April 15, said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The administration has temporarily suspended interest and payments on federal student loans for at least the next 60 days.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Gabriella Borter in New York; Additional reports from Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Nick Brown and Jonnelle Marte; written by Daniel Trotta and Grant McCool; editing by Howard Goller