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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Updates New Yorkers on City's COVID-19 Preparedness

March 4, 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Everyone, we're obviously have been gleaning a lot of information. Apologies for the delay, we had to get everything from the State. And I know they were putting information out, but we've had some additional things we wanted to track down before coming, before we give you an update. Okay. So, starting at the beginning, we all have been predicting that these cases would come to New York City and that we would see a number of them and that we would see community spread. We are seeing all these things. That being said, we also are seeing a very consistent pattern – I'll go over the numbers with you – that when we test people who are the kinds of individuals that it makes sense to focus on a test, we're finding the vast majority of cases that we're getting a negative back. So, that’s not to minimize the severity of this crisis and the global nature of the crisis, it is to say that we're going to do as much appropriate testing as we can, because I think it will help us to continue to inform all of you and the people in New York City as to what's going on, obviously allow us to follow up on cases most effectively. And as we are doing this testing, we're getting some results that are generally good for all of us. That being said, obviously, for anyone who does have this disease we want to make sure they get all the support they need and all the help they need and obviously protect against others getting it. So, we're going to keep updating regularly on the results of our testing so you get the overall picture.

Let me begin. And first, I want to just note everyone who’s here – Deputy Mayor Raul Perea-Henze; Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, Chancellor Richard Carranza; the First Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Management Andy D’Amora; Dr. Mitch Katz, CEO of Health and Hospitals; and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the Deputy Commissioner of Health. And then I want to thank Council Members Mark Levine and Steve Levin for being here and for all you’re doing working with us. Oh, I’m sorry, I did not have you on my list and I did not look up far enough – I know see you – Council Member Inez Barron. Thank you all, all of the Council Members who have been working with us intensely to get information out to the community and make sure people are getting the help they need. So, thank you all very, very much.

So, let's start with the cases that connect Westchester County in New York City. We have the lawyer from Westchester, you all are very up to date on his situation. We're hearing from the State his condition is hopefully a little bit better. We're hopeful on that front, but obviously not out of the woods. Want to just make sure everyone knows, because, as I said, we're going to be adding specificity whenever we can. In some cases, as I said yesterday, we might have to hold a little bit until notifications are made and people are ready for specifics. But now, we can tell you the law firm in question is Lewis and Garbuz – that's G-A-R-B-U-Z – 60 East 42nd Street by Grand Central. We'll go through the family first and then talk about the employees of the law firm. The family members, the wife, son and daughter of the lawyer – the family from Westchester – the wife, son and daughter have all tested positive.

This is not surprising. They are all in isolation at their home in Westchester, which is where they need to be. I'll go one by one. In the case of the wife, she actually works at the law firm. She is asymptomatic, she tested positive but is asymptomatic. Let me – then I'm going to talk about each of the three and then I'm going to double back to the law firm itself. In the case of the daughter, who is 13 years old, and I apologize, we did have the gender wrong yesterday, so apologize for that. The –

Unknown: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Maybe you can give me a better age. I have 13. What do you have?

Unknown: 14 –

Deputy Commissioner Demetre Daskalakis, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: 14 is correct.

Mayor: I'm sorry, that might be my inaccuracy – writing it down. 14 years old, a student at SAR Academy in Riverdale, asymptomatic. The son, Yeshiva University undergrad, 20 years old, had symptoms, apparently is getting better, was last on the campus on February 27th. Department of Health disease detectives have been following up on his connection to the campus. They have two individuals that meet the standard – the New York City Department of Health standard for the kind of close contact that would be pertinent here in the case of coronavirus – one is a roommate, the other is a close friend. Those are the only two. Those two individuals are being tested or have been tested. We're waiting for the results at Bellevue. And we are – right now, the disease detectives are mapping their contacts proactively even before we get the result of the test. Now, again, I want to use this example – I'm the layman, the experts are around me, but I'm going to keep trying to make things real simple. The disease detectives, who are very, very proficient at what they do, who worked with us in the Ebola crisis and many other really challenging situations, they've interviewed that student at Yeshiva, looking for the level of specificity and the close contacts that would reach the level where someone needs to be followed up on. They found two people that meet that standard. So, undoubtedly, the student was in classrooms and activities with all sorts of people, but two only reach the standard that require follow-up, and that follow-up is happening. It's not – and I'll keep emphasizing, it is not, for example, you walk by someone in the hallway or you sit in a classroom with them. It is, you know, if you are – a roommate is an obvious example or if you're, for example, in a study group that meets every day and you're in constant direct contact in a small enclosed area, just to give you an example. So that's Yeshiva – we're working very closely with the leadership at Yeshiva University – great cooperation, and they, I think, are pleased that Department of Health is taking a very aggressive effort to ensure that we're tracking each situation.

At the law firm – the same standard, using our disease detectives, we have seven coworkers, one intern that are the people of interest here. So again, husband and wife both work there – in addition, seven employees, one intern for those individuals, five being tested as we speak in the City, one tested in New Jersey, two more we are confirming the location of their test. We'll have more on that later on today.

Okay. Let me go over the overall numbers. And again, these numbers will keep moving, so we'll do our best to clarify them at any given point in time. From the beginning, and I'm going by those in New York City who have a completed test result, that's the standard I'm going to be using here – 16 individuals under investigation from the beginning have tested negative. So, 16 – and I'm going to have to just check one fact here – 16 have tested negative, one particular – a very particular case is the husband of the health worker who was in Iran is a negative, but we're going to treat as a positive. So, I want to make very clear on that – that one we were waiting for the final answer on officially has come back a negative, but we are requiring the same exact quarantine, the same exact follow through as if it was a positive in that case.

I’m going to give you some agency updates, but first say that we are now in a series of daily tabletop exercises at OEM. We'll be going over there a little bit after this, continuing to run different scenarios so that – at these tabletop exercises, so we basically have all pertinent city agencies around same table. We go through evermore challenging scenarios to identify everything, supply chain, personnel, what we would do to compensate for different situations if we had to do closures, that type of thing. So, that effort is ongoing and will continue to prepare us for any eventuality. Again, we will constantly give you updates as we get them on a variety of fronts, sometimes me, sometimes my colleagues. Let me give you some updates on agencies, and this is in response to some of the questions the other day. Department of Consumer Worker Protection formally declared as a regulatory act that there is a shortage of face masks in New York City, which means that they can prevent stores from price gouging. Any store that is found to be price gouging will be fined. If anyone sees what they think is price gouging around a surgical masks, please call 3-1-1 and report it right away. Taxi and Limousine Commission has provided guidance to 200,000 drivers and operators on a daily cleaning protocols for their vehicles. And a reminder on top of that, of course, that drivers need to recognize the same health standards as everyone, if they have symptoms that they need to immediately not put themselves in proximity of people. Also, reminding all that discrimination against passengers is illegal and anyone who feels they’ve been a victim of discrimination should call 3-1-1. Department of Education, canceling all trips or study abroad programs to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan. In addition, cleaning protocols have been sent to all schools, CDC approved cleaning supplies have been provided in all 1,800 schools. Deep cleaning will be required two times a week. Guidance has been sent to all principals and health personnel in schools on what to do in the case of a suspected a coronavirus case in a school, whether it be a student or a school personnel. The simple protocol for a student would be to, of course, immediately isolate them, ensure they have a face mask and ensure that they are picked up by a parent or guardian and taken to a doctor right away.

There's a question – a couple of things came up the other day. Again, I'll always tell you when I think some things are not what we're doing first compared to other things, but we do have answers on them. Attendance – the question about attendance and admissions – attendance will be frozen as a factor in admissions for the foreseeable future so as not to allow any impact of this crisis to negatively affect the admissions process. That said, the Chancellor and I just talked about his attendance situation. He has been monitoring daily and hourly. It is unchanged. Very important for people to know that – school attendance has not moved one iota as result of what's going on here. I want to thank parents and students for continuing to go about their lives, even against this challenging backdrop. Further later today, the Department of Education will issue guidance, there have been some issues that have to be worked through including a contractual issues. We will issue guidance later today to all school personnel if they have traveled to any of the affected areas in recent weeks. This is an area we have to clarify and that guidance we're – we have some quick legal work to do and some work to do with the unions, but that guidance will go out by the end of the day and be communicated to all personnel this afternoon or this evening before anyone has to travel to school tomorrow. So, we will get that done and we'll update you on that later on when we get that out.

With that, I think those are the basics. I want to just again – I will say just a couple of words in Spanish, but want to keep coming back over and over again, the most important guidance to New Yorkers – we’ll keep saying it, can't say it enough times. Again, this is a disease – I think it's a little perplexing for everyone. For the vast majority of people, even if you had it, if you contracted it, it would feel like a common cold or a typical case of the flu. For some other people, it could be a real danger, but that is a small minority of those who even were to contract it. The best way to prevent is the basics – washing hands, covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, using hand sanitizer. And I think one of the things the doctors have said that I want to repeat it is, even though it's not the typical time of year to get a flu shot, if you haven't yet gotten a flu shot, it's helpful. So, reminding – oh, and by the way, flu shots are very readily available in medical offices, pharmacies, etcetera. So, for folks looking for something productive to do in light of this very challenging crisis, real simple thing – if you and your loved ones have not gotten the flu shot, please go get it. That's a simple thing you can do right now.

Again, if you have symptoms and you believe it might be coronavirus because of travel, your life and your family loved ones or for any reason, get to medical help right away, your doctor, Urgent Care, whatever it may be, get to help. If you're not sure how to get to help, where to get to, how to pay for it, call 3-1-1. No one should hesitate. A few words in Spanish –

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, let's take questions.


Question: I'm going to ask you about the neighbor in Westchester who drove him to the hospital and then is now testing positive for coronavirus. I know that this was in Westchester, this is not a New York City issue, but have the Department of Health have its disease detectives seeing if this neighbor has any connection in New York City. And I know for Dr. Barbot, if you want to maybe address that, I know we've been told that you can't patch coronavirus within unless there was like super close contact. But it is a little concerning that you could be driving someone and it can happen. So, if you want to speak to that And Mayor, if you want to speak to the neighbor, any New York City connection at all?

Mayor: So, I'll make a point to begin, and then over to the doctors. We are – I mean, these diseases detectives do extraordinary work. We're actually going to be bringing on more of them very quickly or training existing personnel to be able to do the work very quickly. So, we're going to increase our capacity rapidly. Anytime where we can look for a nexus, we want to. I think you make a good point, in the case of someone in Westchester who works in the city that we want to know everything we can know. His wife who is also employed at the law firm has been interviewed, looking for any connection to the city so far. My understanding is, the patient himself up to now was not in a position to be interviewed just health wise, but the wife has been able to work to sort of track everything. I don't know if we know about the person who drove him and whether that's something we need to follow up on or not.

Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: So, I'll start and then Dr. Daskalakis can give more detail. I think it's important for New Yorkers to know that the degree of collaboration between the City Health Department, the Westchester Health Department, and the State Health Department is really unprecedented. And I think it's a testament to the Mayor's leadership, to the Governor's leadership that there's no ambiguity about what the job is in terms of keeping New Yorkers safe. And so, we've been working very closely. I would say that almost on a daily basis I have communications with Dr. Zucker and Dr. Daskalakis has communication with his counterpart at the State. So, we're working very closely to make sure that we identify individuals as quickly as possible and get them to the appropriate level of care. I don't know if you want to add details about the neighbor.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: Just one comment, which is that we work very closely – disease detectives – the disease detective across borders to make sure that we identify all appropriate contacts and we're in the process of doing that.

Question: [Inaudible] is he drove – he or she, the neighbor drove this coronavirus patient to the hospital. So, we are always are on subways, we're in close contact. Do you have any information from the State on if there were other factors at play?

Commissioner Barbot: So, there's no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who's potentially sick is a risk factor, because, again, it goes back to the issue of casual contact.

Question: So, then how did the neighbor – if they're connecting the act of driving to the hospital with him getting sick. So, I think that kind of is counter –

Mayor: No, it's a fair point. I think, just to make it simple that Dr. Barbot is making the broad point and, I think, rightfully, the broad point, because that's what the medical science keeps telling us. If someone got sick from – we don't know the whole story – I mean, I think it gets to your question – we don't know if he was spending a lot of time with a him otherwise or with someone else, but we need to know. We need to know, because if there's a nexus to New York City, we need to know. And again, I think the point about the disease detectives are kindred people working with each other. We will follow up and make clear with the Westchester personnel, if they know something we need to know, we need it; if we need to do a separate interview, we will certainly do it.

Question: Yes, Mr. Mayor, as you know, of course, you are also an employer of over 300,000 people and as we know throughout the world, civil servants are on the front line of this kind of [inaudible] challenge. There is a controversy developing within the TWU Local 100 about the question of wearing masks in the subway environment for protracted periods of time. At this point, management has lined up saying that that is not effective, but there is already – there's occupational evidence that being in the subway for 12 hours a day and more isn't healthy even without coronavirus. [Inaudible] be solved. The NYPD [inaudible] had a story, and I believed them, about buying thousands of masks. Where is the civil service supposed to be on this in terms of being free to keep themselves safe and public?

Mayor: Okay, so, let me do my best here. TWU Local 100, we clearly care about them, we need them. They're very, very important people to this city. We don't manage them. The City of New York doesn't manage them, so I just want to be mindful, I don't want to speak about the management by another agency. You need to ask them. But on the bigger question, which is a very fair question – I think we saw images from around the world that told us that people are supposed to wear masks and somehow that's helpful. I believe our professionals here who say, no, it's the other way around. It's not that you wear the masks to stop from getting, it is that you wear the mask if you have it to stop from spreading it. And if you are a health care provider who is in constant contact, that obviously qualifies under the definition we're giving of someone who has very regular contact with people. We want whatever level of protection necessary for the contact. So again, what we're going to do – I want to just warn everyone, I think we're going to be together for not weeks but months talking about this. I'm always going to try and put things in very simple terms that I believe are true. And if any of these four doctors hear something that needs clarification – that means you too Mitch –


These millennials, they're always looking at their screens.


If any of these four doctors hear something that they think needs clarification, they will jump in. If none of the panel of four exceptional leaders in public health say I'm wrong, I think you can bank on it. So, here we go. If you have this disease, wearing a mask helps you to not spread it to others.

Unknown: Correct.

Mayor: Okay. If you are a health care professional, coming in contact with folks on a regular basis who may have the disease, the proper mask helps protect the health care professional.

Unknown: Correct.

Mayor: Those are the two reasons for masks. It is not a general – I'll use the word prophylactic – no one laugh – it is not a general prophylactic for every-day people trying to ward off the disease.

Unknown: Correct.

Mayor: Okay. Of course –

Question: [Inaudible] brave first responders, World Trade Center survivors [inaudible] initial research [inaudible] folks that are dealing with World Trade Center health issues, may be back on the job but have immune issues – this may be a little bit of a complication. It that something the doctors could talk about how they should be guiding, because many of them –

Mayor: If someone has got a compromised health dynamic and might be in the presence of this disease, who wants to speak to that? I think that should be handled very specifically, right?

Commissioner Barbot: Yeah. I would encourage them to talk to their individual physician. I would encourage them that, if they are thinking about traveling to one of the affected countries, that they rethink it and don't do it. And that if they have come in contact with someone who has traveled to one of the affected countries in the last 14 days, that then they should contact their provider.

Mayor: But I would go further to your occupational point, which is if we've got folks who are compromised, I think our managers need to make adjustments in how people are working if they think there's any potential vulnerabilities. So, I think this is obviously the health care [inaudible] – I’m look in the Mitch, first and foremost – and Mitch, you're quick on your feet, I'm sure you can speak to this. If in this environment, one of your employees says, I have a compromised system, what should I do? Give us your best on how you're going to guide.

President and CEO Mitchell Katz, Health + Hospitals: You're absolutely right, Mr. Mayor. We would make job adjustments and I think that that's what's appropriate. You have to tailor it to the person's circumstance.

Mayor: So, Bob, I think you'll get the word out, I'm sure. If individual employees have a concern who might come in regular contact with patients, they should come forward to their supervisors at H + H, obviously EMT’s would be another good example. We will give guidance, the team will follow up to make sure that those requests and concerns will be received positively.

Go ahead –

Question:  Mr. Mayor, is it safe to say that coronavirus is contagious essentially in the same way in common cold and flu are?

Mayor: I think that's – I was about to say – well, you guys, this would help, I want you to answer, but the difference between this and measles, which you talked about the other day – help everyone know the difference of sort of infect-ability, if you will.

Commissioner Barbot: Absolutely. And what we know currently from what's been seen across the globe is that one individual who's symptomatic with coronavirus can infect up to 2.5 people, and so that is equivalent to a really bad flu season.

Mayor: But do the comparison I said – like what’s an easy to contract – super fast contracting kind of situation, versus it takes more, just give some examples.

Commissioner Barbot: As opposed to measles, which is airborne, meaning that if a person with measles was in the room right now, two hours ago –

Mayor: You and me, right now.

Commissioner Barbot: Right. You had measles, you came into the room, you left – two hours later, if I was unvaccinated, I would be at high risk for contracting measles –

Mayor: Because it’s in the air.

Commissioner Barbot: Because it's in the air. As opposed to an individual, let's say, God forbid – I would never wish this on you – you've got coronavirus –

Mayor: Thank you, Commissioner.


Commissioner Barbot: You're in the room, you go out for that same period of time – I, being a good health commissioner have been washing my hands religiously, but I touched the microphone. If I don't wash my hands on a regular basis, then there's a very, very, very, very small – and probably a microphone would not be the best example – maybe a handle – an extraordinarily small technical risk. But the reality is for every-day living there's no indication that casual contact, being in a room with someone, using the subway is going to any way, shape or form increased the risk to every-day New Yorkers. We want to really emphasize the risk to New Yorkers remains low.

Mayor: And to both of you, the cold and flu parallel – and I think would be helpful, I'm just going to take a moment here to clarify to everyone where the cold and the traditional normal flu are on the spectrum of diseases, family of diseases with coronavirus and whether the way you contract is similar or not.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So, biologically and epidemiologically, the coronavirus acts a lot like the influenza virus. So, I think it's exactly on the same end of the spectrum.

Mayor: And again, just over-communication – how do you contract the flu?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So, contract track the flu usually from droplets. So, it usually is direct contact with someone coughing or sneezing. As Barbot said, hand hygiene is important because there is the possibility of touching something and potentially getting the flu, but it's less common than the droplets. I just wanted to add a comparison for measles, about nine in 10 people who are exposed to measles who are unvaccinated will get the measles. So, way less in a coronavirus-influenza world.

Question: [Inaudible]

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: It's what Dr. Barbot said that about two people – so, it's about 20 percent.

Question: [Inaudible] one other question. New York States said that it is following the CDC guidelines, New York City going to expand those guidelines and test more people.

Mayor: Yeah, you start and I'll jump in.

Deputy Mayor Raul Perea-Henze, Health and Human Services: The Health Department already sent a health alert notice this morning, matching the CDC criteria.

Question: [Inaudible]

Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze: Yes, our health department. Vice President Pence actually opened the lid even more last night. So, we are trying to make sure we understand exactly what the repercussions will be. But more than likely, the Mayor has said, we err on the side of extra caution. We want people to come forth and get treatment and tested if needed.

Mayor: Yeah, let me follow up on that. So –

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Hold on, let me – when I'm saying let me follow up, let me follow up, and then we will happily take your question. The big story here, and I’ve really been thinking about this a lot and we've had endless meetings about it – but the big story here is what a difference it would have been if in the very beginning the decision had been to decentralize the testing and maximize the ability of all localities to do that. Because what I'm seeing here is, now that we finally have it – and we're, you know, on day-three of having testing capacity – it gives us much more strategic ability to address the situation, you know, to the CDC guidance and beyond, which is where I want to be, I want to be beyond. That, you know, when – and these is not just, you know, random, but when there's a strategic reason to test someone, we need to be able to test them and we're building out that capacity rapidly. Given the trajectory of this disease, and I think our colleagues in Washington State would be the first to say this – if that capacity have been up and running two weeks ago, three weeks ago, four weeks ago, this would be an entirely different situation. I'm hoping and praying it's just in time to stay ahead of this, but my directive is that we are going to expand the criteria for testing. We're going be testing more people than the CDC would specifically suggest. Obviously, we have to keep building up our capacities. And we talked about yesterday, we want other labs to come online and that's going to help. But my strategic approach is, every time we can disqualify a person, which is so far what the batting average says, you know, the disqualification rate is pretty high, that's helpful to everyone. And when we can clarify, that someone has it, that we know what to do and we can maximize the chance there it won't be a spread. So, we're leaning into testing.

Go ahead.

Question: I just wanted to ask how Vice President –

Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze: Original CDC guidelines were Hubei Province, very, very strict. Then rest of China. Then the CDC changed guidelines for the new countries, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan. So they're very slowly expanding. What we are seeing here is that if, because of the community spread now beginning, the nexus to the countries is important but it's not the only way. So as the Mayor keeps challenging us to do, we're going to be leaning forward to try to find more people out faster.

Question: [Inaudible] Vice President [inaudible]?

Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze: He's beginning to say, we need to test more. We cannot restrict only to the countries because it's already here.

Mayor: Right. Gloria?

Question: Mr. Mayor – I wanted some clarity on when and how we got to the schools guidance specifically there's some reporting about a teacher who is showing symptoms and has been self-isolated.

Mayor: Right.

Question: What, where are you on that? What, what do we know about who that teacher has been in contact with, the kids he might've been in contact with?

Mayor: I think it’s a she? Or is it a he?

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza: I think it’s a she.

Mayor: Okay. We'll confirm that. That look, the important thing is the teacher is self-quarantined and that is a very good thing. We are, as I said today, we will tighten up that guidance for sure. We have some work to do with that teacher and with the union. Right now the most important thing is that teacher is not in contact with students and won't be in contact with students until it's safe to be so. But we're going to look at that situation to see if there's any other follow up that we need to do in that school. We'll know more on that later today.

Question: [Inaudible]?

Mayor: Again, we'll speak to that later today. We're just, again, I want to – that's, and again, you'll understand folks, there will be times where I say we're not ready to say something until people who have been appraised and we've given the proper notification. Go ahead.

Question: I understand that we're not quite there yet, but when will the Department of Education begin planning for the eventuality that you might have to close a school or two? Maybe not the entire system? I'm not mistaking, I believe during H1N1, there were a couple schools that had to close. Are you planning for remote learning at the time?

Mayor: I'll start and then over to the Chancellor. We spoke about this and it's going to be one of the additional elements of the tabletops. We have right now the basic capacity, if we had to close the school to provide remote learning, we have more work to do to get it to the level we would like it to be. But it is an already existing capacity.

Chancellor Carranza: Yeah. So we're working very diligently with our department partners in the city, especially the Department of Health around contingency plans should we ever get to that point. I think we all agree that closing schools is probably the last option because of the, just the myriad of issues that creates for not only students, parents, teachers, et cetera. So that's a one – it's on the spectrum of a last resort. But we have contingency plans already developed for if we need to get there, how we get there. What are the triggers, et cetera. We're continuing to revise them and as the Mayor mentioned, we have our tabletop exercises where we're kind of kicking the tires on those as well.

Mayor: Okay. Go ahead.

Question: Back to the Westchester attorney. I know we said yesterday that he first became ill on February 22nd. I'm wondering if you can determine when he contracted it based on that date. And have a couple other questions but maybe start –

Mayor: Go ahead, start with that.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So it's hard to say exactly when he contracted. We know that the incubation period for this ranges from a couple of days to maximum 14, the average is about five. So somewhere in that timeframe before he became ill was his exposure. So maximum 14 days, but potentially as little as two to five.

Question: We still don't know like exactly where or how he contracted it?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: We do not have a source for incident infection.

Question: Okay. And I know we went over this yesterday and there was kind of a refusal to say whether he had taken the subway or even Metro-North. Can we say whether he did that? Is there a reason that you're not saying whether he did that?

Mayor: Again, it's not a refusal, it's just not the way we approach this strategically. The fact is we trace where there is a specific danger to an individual and we follow up on that danger. We just, we're just, this is what this Department of Health does. We believe it's the right strategic approach. It's something that's been worked on many, many times. It is not simply based on taking mass transit. That's just the reality.

Question: Because what I think people are concerned about is that they hear that he was in this car with this [inaudible] he's in this car with this neighbor. So you're an enclosed space like a subway.

Mayor: Well no a car and a subway are not entirely the same. But go on. Go on.

Question: [Inaudible]

Question: The subway is worse.

Mayor: No, I would disagree. Go on.

Question: They are both enclosed spaces. I'm just saying this is generally what the public is concerned about. And we don't know how he may have contracted it, the neighbor, otherwise. So –

Mayor: But again, I understand why people want maximum information, but I also want us all to be careful here of what we know and what we don't know. And when we start worrying about the things that we don't know the wrong way, I think it only creates confusion for people. So what we have is, okay, we've got a case of someone who knew him obviously. We need to find out, I think very valid question, where did that come from? If we learn something new, by the way, I want no sacred cows. If it turns out it happened in the car, we need to know that. But it could also be any number of other things. So they think getting a clean answer out to the world is good. But we don't go by if he took Metro-North or he took a subway or whatever else we're going to tell you that. So what does that – and I'm saying this not to be difficult. I'm saying it to be sort of a communicative. So if he took Metro-North, are we telling people therefore don't go on Metro-North, it just doesn't follow. We have standards this city has been working on for a long time of what constitutes the kind of contact that would be pertinent. That's what we're going to work on. That's what we are going to speak to. If we start telling people a bunch of information, we actually think will be misleading. I don't think we're doing anyone a service. Go ahead.

Question: The teacher, has she been tested at this point?

Mayor: We need her to be tested.

Question: And there's a plan to test her or?

Mayor: There is a plan to test her.

Question: Okay. And is that going to happen today or?

Mayor: I think it's probably more like tomorrow.

Question: And in terms of her students, is there any examination of whether those students have come down with any issues at all?

Mayor: I don’t think we have any evidence of that.

Chancellor Carranza: We don't have any evidence of any symptoms with any students.

Mayor: Any student. Let me just clarify. It's a very important point. I'm glad you asked the question. Richard and I just went through that question earlier. So remember it's 1,800 schools, 1.1 million kids and schools have all been asked to report back if they have a situation. And at this moment we don't have a single report.

Question: Follow up question on a different topic.

Mayor: Okay, go ahead.

Question: The lawyer, his building? When did a City Health officials –

Mayor:  Work, the law firm? Go ahead.

Question: When did City Health authorities contact the building management there and what guidance was given to the building management?

Mayor: I'll start and pass it out. Again, the question is not the building management. The question is who was in close contact with him in that building and obviously with his wife as well. That mapping has been done. That's the seven employees and one intern.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: Otherwise, from the perspective of just maintenance, which I think is what you're asking. The guidance is routine cleaning. There's no – it's unnecessary to do any further terminal cleaning or, or more than just routine.

Commissioner Barbot: And so –

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner Barbot: Sorry. We were – the same day we found out that the individual was positive, that morning we were there before any other employees waiting for them at the door to make sure that they were aware that we were now conducting an investigation to rule out a potential close contacts. So we were in touch with the Director of Human Resources. No one came to work that day. They are all able to work remotely. So it was a very aggressive response as soon as we found out.

Question: Is there another parent at the SAR Academy? He was tested positive.

Mayor: Is there, are you asking?

Question: Yes.

Mayor: I don't have in New York City, another parent from the SAR Academy testing positive. Do you know of one outside New York City?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: Do not.

Mayor: We do not at this moment. Okay. Anyone hasn't gone? Yes.

Question: Thank you. What is the current testing capacity of the city lab in terms of number per day?

Mayor: I think we're in right now, dozens and we need to get to hundreds quickly. Yeah.

Question: So because community spread is definitely an issue now. So is the City considering canceling any mass gathering events?

Mayor: No. Again, we talked about this a little bit yesterday. I have under my executive powers the ability to cancel mass gatherings. That would be triggered by very specific developments. We are certainly not there yet.

Question: Two questions. Like the teacher who self-quarantined, how many other school personnel do you know that might be in self-quarantine right now? And also we're three weeks after the first suspected case in New York City. Why isn't there a protocol yet for suspected cases involving school personnel?

Mayor: I think the first point we want to confirm any other employees who are in self-quarantine, I want to make sure that we give you accurate information. So I think we will have that if not today, tomorrow. If there are any, I think it's a very small number at this point. On the second point, I think the initial focus on China was there and was right. I think we would all say now there should have been a faster adjustment for the additional countries. We're going to get that fixed today.

Question: One of the issues I imagine is teachers are limited to ten sick days per year. Is that one of the issues that you're working out? Are they [inaudible]?

Mayor: Yeah, that's not going to be an issue in this case. We'll work with that.

Question: Is the City doing any work with private hospitals to make sure that they are prepared and equipped to take on the coronavirus? You know, Staten Island is the only borough with no public hospital. What are you doing there and also does it –

Mayor: Wait, can we just stay on that and we'll come back to you? Go ahead.

Commissioner Barbot: So we have a very robust network of both public and nonpublic health systems that we meet with on a regular basis during this outbreak. When we activated we are on regular calls with Greater New York. We're on regular calls with Health + Hospitals to make sure that they are up to date on proper protocols for identifying patients, communicating with us about patients that need to be tested for coronavirus. We query them on a regular basis to make sure that their supplies are up to date. Beyond that, we have a health alert network where we send out written guidance to thousands of providers across the city who may not be connected to a health care system but may be in solo independent practices. And then beyond that, Dr. Daskalakis in collaboration with our State partners has been on webinars for health care providers. And the last call that he was on, there were over 3,000 doctors participating all across the city.

Mayor: Go ahead, your follow up.

Question: Do you have estimate of like resources that you're giving to public hospitals, like masks and gloves, testing kits?

Mayor: Again, let me I understand the import of the question. Let me cut through it. Right now in this environment, I think there's been extraordinary coordination between State, City, Greater New York Hospital Association, everyone. There's no question that what people need, they're going to get. So if we control it, we're going to make sure people get it. We have raised the important point about the federal government's role in distributing certain types of masks. That requires federal action. We don't control that supply, but the things that we can control, we'll work with every single health care facility. So if the question is, if there's something needed on Staten Island and we have it, will they get it? The answer is yes. If there's a specific, that any of the health care providers on Staten Island feel they have a need for, they should raise it immediately to my colleagues. Go ahead.

Question: For Yeshiva University students who don't live on campus, are they being sent home. And is there any concern that they could spread the virus?

Mayor: I'll start and I don't know. I know Dean Fuleihan has been in regular touch with the President of Yeshiva University, so maybe want to see if he wants to do a guest appearance. But my understanding is their impulse here is to not do a prolonged closure. They did some very short term closure to address the immediate situation. But that they will be up and running. I don't want to speak for them, but that's certainly been their instinct as I understand it. We agree with that.

Question: Two questions. Do you have anything on five NYPD officers who had self-quarantined because of the coronavirus?

Mayor: Yeah, I understand just that. That there are five. We're going make sure they get tested. And we're coordinated with PD on that.

Question: Do you know where they had traveled, if they had –

Mayor: I don't have that right now. We'll get that to you.

Question: Do you know anything about the disease detectives? I know you mentioned before that you were going to bring on more. Is there any sort of timeline or how many you are going to bring?

Mayor: Fast. That's a great question. I've given the order and the resources are there and I know our good colleague, Dr. Katz is going to help make some of his folks available. Let's get you, we can get you an answer on that one later on today. Go ahead.

Question: So as you know, there are a lot of people that are buying mask and they are [inaudible] enough equipment. Knowing the fact that – is the City ready to take care of this massive, if there is a massive outbreak because knowing the fact that most of the, even the ventilators are made in China and they are shut down. So are we ready, have enough hospital beds in the city?

Mayor: So you asked a couple of different things. Again, I want to differentiate on the masks and I'll start and then the health care folks will jump in. Two crucial purposes of the masks again, stop someone who already is affected from spreading it. And for our medical personnel and any first responders who are dealing with folks who are sick. In that context, we have a very substantial supply right now. Our colleagues can speak to that. On the question of, I think it's a very important question, not just what do we have right now in New York City or what could we get from the federal government, but what if fundamental supplies are disrupted because global supply chains are disrupted? That puts a premium on what we have in stock and how long it will last us. Start with Mitch in terms of, because they do the direct health care provision.
I think we've said the other day in the meeting that Health + Hospitals is in strong shape for any short terms scenarios. I think there's a question, obviously over long term with something like ventilators, you can speak to that.

President Katz: On ventilators, New York City is in good shape. And based on the, even the most dire predictions of percentages of people who will have serious illness with this, we will be fine. And that’s because all hospitals, including ours, have the most current ventilators that we use every day. And we also keep stores of ventilators that were previous generations that can be made to use an emergency.

Mayor: On masks, I think we would say our supply right now is sufficient. In a more extensive crisis, we would need help from the federal government.

President Katz: Right. So we're set as all the hospitals are, but if there were influx of hundreds of patients, it would require using the stockpiles. But that's why you have stockpiles though. The whole point of the State and the federal government keeping reserves is for exactly this emergency.

Mayor: Back on Yeshiva for a moment. Hold on. Dean, I'm going to summarize it and if you have anything to add, I mentioned that you've been in touch with a President Berman I think it is? That their impulse is not to stay closed for long. They did some temporary closures just to address the issue and then they plan to reopen and that we agree with that strategy. Is that a fair assessment?

First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan: Yes. Right now they have closed the Morningside Heights campus through Friday, but they – I'm sorry. They've closed classes. They have not closed the campus.

Mayor: Classes themselves. They've canceled classes.

First Deputy Mayor Fuleihan: Correct. The dorms remain open, food service remains open. They've only closed classes. The rest of their campuses are remain open.

Mayor: Okay. We're going to finish here and then we'll go back over this side. Go ahead.

Question: Are all New York City public hospitals equipped with negative pressure rooms and mechanical ventilation devices to contain the coronavirus and –

Mayor: Okay. Stay there first. Go ahead.

President Katz: Yes.

Mayor: Go ahead. Next one.

Question Okay. Question for you Mr. Mayor, what, what do you think about the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus so far? And are you concerned that the outbreak is being politicized?

Mayor: I don't want to politicize the outbreak and I don't think that's been the response to it by and large. I think the honest, and I'm saying this as a practitioner, the honest response here is the federal government was out of position for a long time. They just weren't ahead of this. They weren't providing us what we needed. I, you know, we're talking about six weeks or more ago, you know, I said, we need – we need to do local testing. I said it publicly, we sent letters, folks here talked to officials at the CDC. I'm sure we weren't the only locality. So I think it's very frustrating to think about six weeks ago localities were saying empower us to do this testing and then we can stay ahead of this. I strongly believe, I'm not a medical expert but as a leader in government that if Washington State had had the capacity to do local testing, the trajectory out there would have been different.

So I think the central story here is the federal government waited a hell of a long time to act and – there was some denialism about the extent of the problem. And we're all paying for it now. That said, I agreed with the travel restrictions. I'm glad they were in place and I'm glad they're acting now because they clearly have moved intensely in the last few days. But I want them to stay ahead of it, not always play from behind. And I want to stop any talk that this is going to be over anytime soon. It's not going to be over anytime soon. So we're actually better off – people appreciate real talk. Assume this is going to be with us for a long time and maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised at some point. Okay. Who has not gone on this side? Not gone, let me give you a chance.

Question: So first question, can you give us a total number of people who you are aware of who are self-quarantining? And as a follow-up, can you talk a little bit about what that process should be? Because you're in New York City, lots of people live with each other and other people and family, roommates, et cetera. So what should that process actually look –?

Mayor: I'm going, I start and frame it. You can, we talked about this the other day and I restate it, you can self-quarantine in a home, in an apartment. There is a way to do that. Now, a lot of our homes, apartments are pretty damn small, so some - they'll be harder in some cases depending on the number of people, but there is a way to do that properly and I think we'll describe that to just to be vivid about it. In terms of what I'm seeing is relatively few examples that have been reported to us of self-quarantine. There are well may be any number of folks out there doing it and that's great. But in terms of our constant tracking, we're not seeing a huge number of people formally reporting through our channels – self-quarantine – that I know about. But you guys can correct if you know better?

Deputy Mayor Perea-Henze: The mayor is totally right in the numbers and we're tracking almost each one of them. There is another group, however, if you may remember the guidelines from the CDC said if you are coming back from [inaudible] you have to go and get tested and all that. And then there's the other group that if you are coming from mainland China you were going to go to self-quarantine and we have about 2,000 of those people regularly being monitored by DOH at all times. We started with about 7,000 and of course now that the trips are diminishing, but we're still very closely monitoring that group.

Mayor: Describe how to quarantine, including if you're in a multi-room apartment?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So in a multi-room apartment, the guidance is to try to stay in one bedroom if possible. Try if possible to use a separate bathroom facility if not hygiene with the bathroom facility to make sure that it's wiped down. Otherwise the guidance is outside of the apartment, which is to minimize any departure from the apartment and if necessary to wear a mask.

Mayor: Can you just one more step Dimitri, if you're in an apartment you're going to come in - as you just said - you're going to have to go over to the bathroom or people are to pass you food. Can you sort of clarify how to do it in a way that would not create the kind of exposure or prolonged exposure for if you're the person bringing someone the food, why are you going to be okay?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So most delivery of food in that way wouldn't involve any amount of prolonged close contact. So it would not be something that would make us very concerned. Of course, I'll echo Dr. Barbot’s previous comment that everyone should make alcohol based hand sanitizer their best friend. So there's no harm in sanitizing your hands after that. But ultimately it's not a high risk exposure.

Mayor: Go ahead.

Question: Hi, yes, there's some scientists in Washington State who actually use – who’ve actually sequenced the genes of the coronavirus cases there and in doing so have been able to come up with an estimate how long it's been circulating in the state and also to some extent how many cases might not have been diagnosed. Are there any plans to do similar genetic sequencing in New York State to get a sense of how long it might've been circulating here and an estimate of how many undiagnosed cases there might be?

Commissioner Barbot: At this point we're not there. We will be having conversations with the State to see what’s the right time to do that.

Mayor: Folks haven't gone first please? Anyone?

Question: So you've told us you're going to ramp up the instructions for teachers about what to do if they're sick but we've also been hearing from teachers who are concerned about lots of coughing kids in their classrooms. So what's the advice for them?

Mayor: Again, the guidance to principals and assistant principals and health personnel in schools and obviously on down to the teachers is if you've got a case where there's a specific nexus we want to know about it. Look, this time of year, a kid with a cough, per se, is not telling us a whole lot. But a kid with a cough who has traveled overseas to an affected country or whose family member who lives in the same home with them has – then we obviously want immediate follow-up. So I would just say we're all finding our way step by step through this, but I think the underlying reality, I keep having to come to this is this, you know, this is like the anti-Ebola, right? This is not – you know, if it touches you for a moment, you're going to die. This is something very, very different. This is a disease that for the vast majority of people will have a very mild impact. Even for the vast majority of those who have a tougher experience, they're still going to come out the other end. They're going to be okay.

The reason I think if it were not for – and this is said very, very seriously – if it were not for the fatalities, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion at all, right? So what is really driving this is not here's a disease, kind of like the flu. It is, here's the disease, kind of like the flu that can lead to fatalities that we don't understand enough, that doesn't have a vaccine, that doesn't have a cure. That's what's really going on here. So if a child, and again we are seeing this does not appear to affect young people much or even if it affects them, it is very, very mild. That's what we're seeing so far. A child with the sniffles, we have to not overreact, but a child with symptoms and that travel nexus, we want to get that child immediately to health care.

Question: But who will know? You know, do teachers are they expected to know the travel plans of their kids?

Mayor: Teachers know a huge amount about their kids. Parent coordinators know a huge amount about the kids and families. You would – it would be pretty natural to know if someone's sick. It's a very simple dialogue. Have you traveled recently? Has anyone in your family traveled recently? And if so, and that's again, principal and Chancellor jump on in that the folks who run the school, the schools are finite. I mean, the vast majority of our schools are not huge. We have some huge ones, but most are a pretty manageable size. If a teacher comes in to the principal and says, hey, I got a kid who, you know, his aunt just got back from China three weeks ago and he seems to have the symptoms, they're going to act on that right away.

Chancellor Carranza: Absolutely. And just a reminder, we're still in cold and flu season in general, so you know, they're sniffly noses and sneezing is not uncommon. But a teacher myself,
I always had that that a big bottle of disinfectant to all the time. So we encourage teachers to do that. But if a teacher notices that a student just doesn't look well, the protocol calls for the teacher to bring that student to the attention of a nurse or the principal or the designee, at which point that person will do an assessment, ask those specific questions, ask the student to wear a mask only for protective purposes. We will call a parent and a guardian to come and pick up the student and then the instruction is for the parent and guardian to get a medical care and we can facilitate and help make that happen. And then, we've also as part of our protocol are requiring nurses or principals or any situation like that to be reported to us so that we can then report that to the Department of Health. And then there's follow-up that happens with the student.

Mayor: Guys. I've got about 10 more minutes. So let's give folks our second round. Bob?

Question: Yeah, I know the doctor had said his background with this. I didn't see him [inaudible] any references to the Department of Homeless Services. We know as a matter of fact that we're only as healthy as those people with the least and humble circumstance. How do you deal with this issue that there are people out there that [inaudible] has significant health issues?

Mayor: We spoke about this yesterday. I'll reiterate the fact that we're deep into the HOME-STAT strategy, which is very, very specialized to each individual. Means our outreach workers are aware – broadly, not every single person – but a very, very high percentage of folks on the street. We know who they are there, their general health private profile, we're in a lot of touch with them. If someone exhibits the symptoms who's homeless, they'll be immediately offered care depending on their willingness to accept or not and what specifically is going on. If they're not willing to accept care and they're deemed someone who needs care for the good of everyone, we have the ability legally to require them to come in.

Question: As a follow up, if I may ask you? To what degree is the universal health care that's provided for use for Health and Human Services – HHA - helpful to being able to do with signs? Isn't there a very proactive thing –

Mayor: Profoundly. And then I'll let Mitch advertise, but the, if people know they have access to healthcare, they know it's a readily available. It's a supportive and compassionate and free. The chances of them coming in when they have a problem are greatly intensified and that's how we stop a small problem from turning into a big problem. Mitch?

President Katz: This is a great example of why NYC Care needs to exist and should exist throughout our country. Immigrants should have no fear about coming forward for care.

Mayor: Go ahead.

Question: Could you just outline if you have any cleaning protocol for the City’s correctional facilities? It's not on the briefing and I don't know what the Department of Correction is doing to –

Mayor: Yeah, they have very intense protocol around inmates ensuring that if there's any possibility that they get them to health care immediately. I think the clean protocol and Dean, this is your turf, I think for every agency that clean protocols gone out?

First Deputy Mayor Fuleihan: Correct. Correct. We're doing it citywide. We'll get you the details.

Mayor: Yes?

Question: Mr. Mayor, I think that also we have heard that the New York Law School suspended classes today because they also have a student who made contact with the lawyer and self-reported it to the school. Do you have enough data on New York Law School specifically?

Mayor: I don't, and again, we're happy to work with them. Coming into contact - we'd need to know a lot more about that before we would suggest a closure of the school, but again, they have a right to do whatever they choose to do but we'll follow up with them right away.

Question: I know there is a concern about whether or not a countrywide there are enough testing kits available. Do you have numbers of how many kits are available in the city? And do you know yet how many people have been tested?

Mayor: So again, I gave you the update on the negatives –

Question: Right.

Mayor: And I gave you - obviously know the positives. So that's everyone. We're with new people coming in now. We have what we need right now. Right? We have what we need. If we see a meaningful uptick in the coming days, but we need to keep expanding capacity. We're working on that right now. We're also looking forward to private labs having the capacity, which I think we hope is fairly soon. So we are right now we can do dozens, as I said, we'd like to get to hundreds. Right? So we're nowhere near needing dozens in a single day right now. But we have that ability right now. I want us to be in the very short term, meaning you know, next week I'd like to see us having the capacity to do hundreds in a single day. Go ahead.

Question: Mr. Mayor, do you find yourself washing your hands more frequently these days? Now having the handset and sanitize here around you. And you - would it be useful for you or do you think it would be useful for you to take the subway more frequently now to express confidence in the assessment?

Mayor: That's a great point. I've partly because I'm in constant contact with people I learned a while ago, it’s a smart idea to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer. So that really hasn't changed. I'm doing it the way I was, but I accept the point happily. I'll go out in the subway and bring you all with me to a show people that – because by the way, I mean everywhere I've been going to be clear, I think New Yorkers are going about their lives. Again, we do not intimidate easily. Every place I've been in the normal course of life in the last few days, I don't see major changes. I told you fact, largest school system in the country today versus the same day a year ago, you know, no change in attendance. So I think New Yorkers are going about their life, but I'm happy to be an agent of positive reinforcement and go out in the subway. Yeah, go ahead – I'm sorry. Finish.

Question: As a follow up, and you heard that Italy has closed all of its schools from pre-K all the way through universities until the 15th of March?

Mayor: I had not and I'm sorry to hear that for Italy's sake and for those kids’ sake. But I think this is an object lesson. The - look national government's pretty much across the board have been behind the curve on this. Right? I mean, I don't want to put down any one government. It's been all of them. China, Italy, United States of America, South Korea, Iran, I mean look at this wonderful global coalition of, they've all been equally screwed up and localities have to deal with this stuff. National governments don't. You know, they often can make our lives a lot easier or a lot worse, but we have to bear the brunt. So I think what you're seeing at the local level here in a lot of other places is we are doing the things to actually try and stay ahead of this, but it's very sad to know that this whole scenario could have been better if national governments had been more active in the beginning.

Question: How does the city do enforcement of quarantines? I guess in New York we only have the case of the health care worker.

Mayor: Right? I mean I would just start and say on a common sense level where we're not hearing – and that we would always listen for – we're not hearing a lot of people resisting quarantine or misunderstanding why it's in their interest in everyone else's interest. I think we had such a situation, we – I'm very happy to be creative about being assertive about it and we obviously have a tremendous ability to do that if we need to. But I think to date we have not had an instance, at least I have not heard of, where someone's trying to violate quarantine and we need enforcement.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: That's correct.

Commissioner Barbot: So we check on them daily and then we do random checks to make sure that, you know, they're not cheating.

Question: That’s DOHMH?

Commissioner Barbot: Yes.

Question: Okay, and then are there guidelines for the self-quarantine suggestions that the doctor was on your website or something?

Mayor: Go ahead.

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: We do have guidelines for self-quarantine. They're not available on the website but we do provide them to individuals who are on quarantine.

Mayor: Go ahead.

Question: Mr. Mayor, you said you expect this to be around for months, but to the health professionals, do you expect the trajectory of this just to follow the cold and flu season?

Commissioner Barbot: There's nothing at this point that gives us any indication about when it's going to stop. I think one of the challenges is that when you have a novel virus where people haven't been previously exposed and developed natural immunity, it's difficult to project where and when it's going to end. You know, and I'll go back to H1N1 where I was actually the Medical Director of the public schools here in New York City and that outbreak started in April and went deep into the summer, which is not typically what you would expect in flu season. So, you know, I think the reality is that we take every opportunity to learn from what other jurisdictions are experiencing and that our preparedness remains high.

Mayor: Okay, last call. We're going to have to shut down in just a minute. So I'm going to take these two - three. I'm sorry. And we'll be done. Go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible] you suggest [inaudible] get the flu shot, where they should get the shot?  I called several like CVS and Walgreens last week. They are all out of the flu shot. So what should [inaudible]?

Commissioner Barbot: So two things on that. One is I want to be clear that we are asking people to get the flu shot, not because we think it's a treatment for COVID-19 but because we don't want them to be in a situation where they may develop symptoms, have the anxiety of thinking, do I have COVID-19 when it's an actuality the flu. The other thing I would say is if they go to a CVS where they don't have flu vaccines, they can call 3-1-1 or they can go on our website and we have a flu tracker where they can find the location nearest to them.

Mayor: Go ahead.

Question: So the MTA is going to be disinfecting the trains and the buses every three days [inaudible] does the city plan to do the same for the Staten Island ferry?

Mayor: Yes, of course.

Question: But when do you plan to?

Mayor: I think that guidance has already gone out and looking to Dean, I don't know if you would know, but we will get you an answer. Do you know off hand or we get? We'll confirm it back to you.

Question: For the folks that already have the virus, what's their day to day look like? Are they in touch with somebody from the city? Can somebody come visit them personally? Are they're getting tested every day? What's that like?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: So the individuals who are isolated because they have a COVID-19 are contacted daily by our staff to make sure that they're clinically doing well. They're offered wraparound services if necessary. And then also as you heard, we do come by unannounced just to make sure they're complying to their isolation.

Question: Who exactly is coming?

Deputy Commissioner Daskalakis: The disease detectives are the ones who do the main contact. So again, that, that power force, the people who do both contact tracing as well as follow up, they sort their cases and follow them through. And then we have other staff including health police that will do spot checks.

Mayor: Okay. Thanks, everyone. We'll get you more updates soon.

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