The Daily Poster
With cases surging in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that he was canceling all further in-person press conferences.
“Since the beginning, we’ve talked about the important role the media has played in educating the public about this pandemic,” said senior Cuomo advisor Rich Azzopardi in a statement. “But given the new stricter [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines released Friday and the reality of rising cases in New York, going remote is now the most prudent action.”
While the press pool may be breathing a collective sigh of relief, workers across the state are still being compelled to head into offices, schools, and restaurants.
New York has continued to allow indoor dining as cases increased — though on Friday, Cuomo announced that he will be suspending indoor dining in New York City starting on Monday.
At the same time, the state has not been providing up-to-date information on the spread — instead, its maps tracking the coronavirus are often not updated or even showing decreases as the pandemic worsens. And as the virus surges, Cuomo suddenly changed the method for evaluating whether areas should be locked down — and the shift would allow more businesses to continue forcing employees back to their workplaces.
New York is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases similar to the wave it recorded in the spring when Cuomo’s late shutdown saw hospitals and morgues overwhelmed. Unsurprisingly, much of that surge is represented in New York City where less than 20 percent of hospital beds are vacant compared to 23 percent statewide.
Despite the surge, employers across the state have been calling workers back into offices, schools, and restaurants. Some remote-capable employees have also been compelled back. These workers face a difficult choice between their health and their financial security at a time when more than 19 million Americans are receiving unemployment aid.