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De Blasio throws cold water on actually having fun at NYC’s open beaches

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that the Big Apple’s beaches will be open for Memorial Day weekend — but warned there won’t be a whole lot of fun in the sun allowed.

“You can walk on the beach. You can hang out on the beach, but do it in a manner that is consistent with everything we’ve been talking about,” de Blasio said.

“You go out for the amount of time you need, then you get back home.”

With no lifeguards on duty, de Blasio said, beachgoers can forget about one of the main attractions — hitting the waves.

“I’ve been really clear about the beaches — they are closed for swimming . . . People are not supposed to go to the beach to swim,” he said during his daily coronavirus briefing at City Hall.

Hizzoner also said that sun-worshippers will need to wear a face mask along with their bathing suits, and that social-distancing and other rules would be strictly enforced by about 150 Parks workers — backed up by “hundreds” of NYPD cops.

“There’s not going to be anything with group activity. No sports, no volleyball, no gatherings,” he said.

“And there will be vehicles constantly reminding people: no swimming, no barbecuing, no sports.”

City personnel will be stationed at all entry points, de Blasio said, “counting how many people are going on the beach, checking to make sure that there’s the right number of people, and we don’t see any crowding on the beach, we don’t see any crowding on the boardwalk.”

“If we start to see any crowding, we’re going to make sure to limit,” he added.

De Blasio called the crackdown on traditional summertime pleasures “smart moves to keep our progress going” in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

Later, during an interview on WNYC radio, de Blasio also called the plan a “modified, lesser version of what we would normally do, because we cannot allow to have happen what happened in Florida and California.”

“We cannot see people going to the beaches in large numbers, crowding together. We’re just not doing that,” he said.

During a meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Deputy Parks Commissioner Margaret Nelson noted that surfing was still allowed because it’s “not considered swimming under the state health code.”

And while there will be “people on the waterline” enforcing the no-swimming edict, Nelson said, the water won’t be entirely off-limits.

“You can dip your feet into the water,” she said in response to a question from committee Chairman Donovan Richards (D-Queens).

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De Blasio finally learns how to get homeless out of NYC subways and into shelters

“We’ve never seen so much success in a single night before,” Mayor de Blasio marveled Wednesday, lauding the number of homeless persuaded to enter shelters when the subways shut down. Well, yes: Because for once they were told they had to leave — leave the trains and the stations.

If you can’t turn public property into your own domicile, the shelters suddenly become a lot more attractive.

Over half the homeless so evicted — 139 of the 252 “engaged” by social-service workers — agreed to go to a shelter. That’s great — but it’s also a sign of what could have been done long ago, if city government were willing to force the issue.

Not that de Blasio gets any credit: It was Gov. Andrew Cuomo who ordered the subways to shut down from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for thorough cleaning — which was impossible as long as the homeless could stay on the trains and force cleaners to work around them.

Cuomo’s order would’ve been superfluous if de Blasio had simply ordered cops to clear out the homeless without a total shutdown.

The mayor’s willing to admit the obvious — that it’s not fair to anyone, including the homeless, to have them sleeping on trains. But he wasn’t willing to act on that simple fact. Indeed, not two weeks ago he was still insisting that the homeless taking over the subways during the pandemic wasn’t even a real problem.

We’ve been writing for years that de Blasio’s key failing on the homeless was his refusal to embrace “tough love.” Now he’s astonished that using a stick to supplement the carrot actually makes a difference.

What a genius.

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De Blasio: NYC will start ‘self-swab’ coronavirus tests this week

New York City will expand its coronavirus testing capacity by administering “self-swab” tests starting this week at sites across the Big Apple’s public hospital system, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The new form of COVID-19 testing, which allows patients to administer samples themselves under the supervision of medical personnel, will soon be implemented at eight sites through NYC Health and Hospitals, said de Blasio.

“There is a better way to do testing, there is an easier way to do testing, and there is a safer way to do testing and we’re going to start that this week,” the mayor said of the new coronavirus test during a conference call with reporters.

Previous tests required medical workers to swap deep inside a patient’s nose, possibly triggering a sneeze response that could spread the contagion.

The self-swab test is a two-step test that requires a nasal swab and saliva from a patient, de Blasio explained as he noted that the new way of testing better protects health care workers from exposure and also saves on personal protective equipment in the process.

“This is simpler, this is better, this is something we’re going to start using now aggressively because it will improve the situation for everyone,” Hizzoner said.

To do the self-swab test, the “patient takes something that’s basically a sterile Q-tip, puts that in their nose. They don’t have to go way deep, just enough to get a sample,” and then the patient would “spit into a cup,” de Blasio said.

“Much simpler, much easier for everyone involved.”

The new method will increase testing capacity from up to 15 per hour to 20 per hour “and then we will be expanding from there,” he added.

De Blasio acknowledged that there is a limited amount of private labs able to accept these new tests as he called on private labs to “step up.”

“We need partnership from the private labs to do the processing work. We’ve engaged in these conversations with them already. We need them to step up,” the mayor said.

The mayor also announced that the city is hiring 1,000 “contact tracers” or health care workers to help trace, isolate and support all New Yorkers with confirmed COVID-19 and find out who else that person has been in close contact with.

“We need you to come forward right away so we can get you into this battle,” de Blasio said of the “experienced health workers” the city is seeking to hire.

Meanwhile, de Blasio said that the Big Apple is “getting steadily better, but we are far from out of the woods,” in the fight against coronavirus as he reported the number of suspected COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the city’s public hospital system is down as well as the number of people admitted to city hospitals.

People in ICUs throughout city-run hospitals went down from 144 on Friday to 122 on Saturday, while the number of people admitted to city hospitals for suspected COVID-19 also dipped from 768 on Friday to 766 on Saturday.

The percentage of people tested who are positive for COVID-19 remained flat at 29 percent between Friday and Saturday.

De Blasio called the daily indicators “broadly good,” but added, “it’s not the perfect thing we want.”

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De Blasio says large gatherings in NYC may not happen this summer

As the number of suspected coronavirus patients in ICUs across the city’s 11 public hospitals increased after dipping, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s “not confident” that the Big Apple will be able to have large gatherings in June, July or even August.

“Here’s a situation where we don’t have good news,” the mayor said during a conference call with reporters as he explained that the number of people in ICUs throughout NYC Health and Hospitals went up from 835 on Saturday to 850 on Sunday.

The percentage of people tested who are positive for coronavirus also increased citywide from 58.1 percent on Saturday to 59.1 percent on Sunday, the mayor said.

However, the number of people admitted to city hospitals for suspected COVID-19 went down from 383 on Saturday to 326 on Sunday, according to de Blasio.

“We had a really good day yesterday,” de Blasio said, adding that there was “progress in all those indicators,” but he said, “Today no such luck.”

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he said. “There’s going to be good days and bad days.”

However, “it does not mean you should be discouraged. It’s just a reminder we’re gonna’ fight our way out of this,” de Blasio said as he urged New Yorkers to continue to follow stay-at-home orders and social distance.

De Blasio, who previously announced that the city’s schools will be closed through the fall despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying the mayor does not have the authority to do that, said, “We’re confident at this moment we can reopen the schools in September.”

“But,” de Blasio said, “We’re not confident about June, we’re not confident about July and we’re not confident about August that we could have people gathering together again in large numbers.”

When asked about the reopening of the Summer Youth Employment Program that was cut from the city’s budget for this summer in response to the coronavirus pandemic, de Blasio said “I don’t see that scenario at this moment.”

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Coronavirus in NY: De Blasio to make decision on fate of school year this week

The fate of the city school year will be determined in a matter of days, Mayor de Blasio said Thursday morning.

“I think we are a couple of days away — two, three days away — from getting to that decision,” Hizzoner said during a press conference at City Hall.

With the nation’s largest school system of 1.1 million kids shuttered by the coronavirus, de Blasio said there was still some faint hope of resuming in-person classes at some point.

“We’ll decide soon if we think there’s a window to still save any part of the year,” he said.

But a Department of Education source said Thursday that there was almost no chance that kids would return to their buildings before the summer break.

With the contagion rampaging across the city, the DOE shuttered school buildings and hastily transitioned to remote learning last month.

City Hall announced $264 million in DOE budget cuts this week.

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De Blasio says some NYC coronavirus restrictions could end in May

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that some of the Big Apple’s strict coronavirus restrictions could end next month — evidence that the measures are working to contain the deadly bug.

New Yorkers have to remain “tough and disciplined,” but de Blasio said he could now foresee “the promised land of low-level transmission.”

“I think it’s going to be a long tough April. [But] May might be easier than what I originally feared it would be,” de Blasio said at a press conference.

“We can say it’s time to start planning for the next phase,” he said, looking forward to eventually easing the tough restrictions in place.

He said that he imagined that the social distancing restrictions here would likely have to remain in place “through April and, I think, much of May” — adding later, “A lot of May.”

“I don’t think it happens in April, [but] if we really work hard we have a chance of in May or June,” he said of lifting the restrictions as well as seeing low-level transmissions.

Still, he warned about “letting the foot off the gas” — warning that it could force even tougher restrictions if the “horrible, ferocious virus” was allowed to re-assert its hold on the city.

“We have to be honest that that is a real possibility,” he warned.

Hizzoner also revealed that starting next week, New Yorkers will be able to see data in real-time, with info release on the numbers testing positive for COVID-19, as well as the numbers admitted to hospitals and ICUs.

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Bill de Blasio considers NYC lockdown as coronavirus cases jump

New York City’s coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in less than a week from 25 on Monday to 269 Sunday as Mayor Bill de Blasio considers locking down the Big Apple to contain the outbreak.

“Every option is on the table in a crisis,” de Blasio said Sunday morning on CNN.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

De Blasio expects the city’s coronavirus tally to rise to 1,000 in the next few days.

“It’s changing every hour so we’re going to constantly make new decisions,” de Blasio said about the dynamic public health emergency.

He also called on the Trump Administration to assume a war-time footing.

“We need the federal government to take over the supply change right now,” he said.

“Right now we have to make sure the places in this country that need more ventilators, surgical masks, they need hand sanitizers, that that is a federalized dynamic where those factories that produce those goods are put on 24/7 shifts,” de Blasio said.

“Right behind that is the question of food and basic supplies. If the federal government doesn’t realize this is the equivalent of war already there is no way the states and localities can make all the adjustments we need to,” he said.

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De Blasio defies CDC coronavirus protocol in 311 call with constituent

Mayor Bill de Blasio directly contradicted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on Wednesday when he gave a woman who’d recently returned from coronavirus-ridden Italy bad advice on when to self-isolate.

Hizzoner dished out the dubious tip while fielding a call at a 311 center in Lower Manhattan, as reporters looked on.

“No symptoms of any kind?” de Blasio asked the unidentified caller, who had recently come back from a trip to Europe’s hardest-hit nation but not shown any signs of sickness. “If you experience any symptoms at any moment, at that time adjust your approach.

“The important thing is to really be sensitive that if anything changes at all stay home immediately.”

The CDC, however, advises that anyone returning stateside from Italy self-isolate for two weeks — regardless of whether they’re symptomatic.

“Stay home for 14 days from the time you left Italy and practice social distancing,” the agency writes on its website.

City Hall admitted de Blasio was wrong and said it had reached out to the caller to give her the right information, following an inquiry from The Post.

“The mayor misspoke,” spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said. “If you return from Italy you should self-quarantine regardless of symptoms. We have made contact with the caller and clarified and the mayor will be issuing a clarification, as well.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 212 confirmed cases across the state, with 48 in the five boroughs.

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De Blasio says a citywide quarantine a ‘possibility’ — as are limited school closures

Mayor Bill de Blasio raised the potential for a citywide quarantine similar to northern Italy’s lockdown amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s a possibility but I think people are getting a little ahead of ourselves and we should be careful,” the mayor said on CNN Monday.

He noted the transmission of Covid-19 comes from close contact and is only deadly for people who are already sick or elderly. There were 16 cases of the disease in the Big Apple as of Monday morning.

Hizzoner also addressed the possible closure of the city’s public schools.

“To me, it’s a high bar for a closure. One thing I think makes sense is you have a situation in a school [with] a temporary closure, a specific targeted closure for limited periods of time,” de Blasio said.

“I don’t want to see mass closures, I want to see pinpoint response,” he said.

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