New York City now has roughly a third of all confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. and half of all cases in New York state, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“We are now the epicenter of this crisis,” he said at a late Friday news conference.
De Blasio reported 5,151 confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. on Friday. That compares with 17,041 nationwide and 7,102 in New York state. The virus has caused 29 deaths, the mayor said.
The mayor praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s stay-at-home order as “the right thing to do.” The order’s directive to self-isolate will require that the city Parks Department cancel permits for field events and sports activities. Solitary outdoor exercise is still permitted.
De Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said enforcement of the stay-at-home restrictions would be focused on health and safety and not punishment. People congregating too closely in a park, for example, will be asked to separate themselves by at least six feet.
The city is setting up food pickup points around the five boroughs, offering three meals a day to all children 18 years of age and younger, the mayor said. Small-business grants and loan applications are posted on the city website.