Spike in NYC coronavirus hospitalizations can’t be attributed to George Floyd protests, de Blasio says
People gather in Cadman Plaza for a memorial for George Floyd Thursday, June 4, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Speakers included Mayor Bill de Blasio, De Blasio's wife, Chirlaine and the brother of George Floyd.
It’s too soon to link a sharp uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations to the massive George Floyd protests taking place across the city over the last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations nearly doubled from Thursday to Friday, with 84 New York City residents checking into hospitals with suspected COVID-19 cases as opposed to just 48 the day before.
But because of the disease’s incubation period, de Blasio said it’s too early to say if the uptick is related to the protests.
“We do not see evidence that it’s related to something that’s happened only over the last week, just because of the time it takes for the disease to manifest,” de Blasio said during a press conference Friday.
Hizzoner said that to continue Phase one of the city’s reopening plan, which is set to start Monday, one of the requirements is to remain under 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day.
“Now 84 is still well within our 200-person threshold, but that’s meaningful movement in one day. We’re going to keep a close eye on that,” the embattled mayor said.
The spike in suspected coronavirus hospitalizations comes amid more than a week of citywide protests following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.
Thousands of New Yorkers have flooded the streets demanding police accountability and an end to police brutality in mostly peaceful demonstrations, but some experts say the protests could lead to a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
"I cheer when I see these protesters, but I cringe when I see so many uncovered noses and mouths,” said Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University Hospital.