National Guard Is Coming To New York, Washington Governor Says Up To 64,000 Will Have COVID-19 By May ‘If We Don’t Take Action’

National Guard Is Coming To New York, Washington Governor Says Up To 64,000 Will Have COVID-19 By May ‘If We Don’t Take Action’

National Guard
Washington state’s governor says up to 64,000 people will have COVID-19 by May ‘if we don’t take action’. New York Gov. Cuomo has deployed the National Guard. People wear masks and shop for sanitizers to protect themselves from the Coronavirus in New York City, March 6, 2020. Photo by John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020

As more results come in from state-run testing for the coronavirus, the number of confirmed cases is increasing exponentially.

In Washington state, up to 64,000 people could be infected within weeks if actions aren’t taken now to stop the spread, Gov. Jay Inslee said on Tuesday.

The confirmed number of cases in Washington State range from the 160s to 170s, depending on the time of day and information source. Inslee said experts believe the actual number could be 1,000 or more, Komo News reported.

A Seattle-area nursing home is thought to be the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. At least 19 of the state’s 23 COVID-19 deaths are linked to the Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland. Thirty-one residents have tested positive. The U.S. overall is reporting 28 deaths from COVID-19 and 787 cases, according to Worldometer.

The state of New York is the second most-impacted state, with more than 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Those include 108 cases in Westchester County, according to NBC New York.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and deployed National Guard troops to combat the spread of coronavirus in New Rochelle, Westchester County. Cuomo described this area, located two miles north of the New York City boundary, as the “most significant cluster in the country”.

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Cuomo has deployed National Guard troops to a Health Department command post and is setting up a satellite testing facility and one-mile, two-week containment zone in New Rochelle. Public schools in the containment zone will be closed through March 25. National Guard troops will help clean surfaces and deliver food in the one-mile radius.

“What the experts are telling us is … the number of people who are infected will double in anywhere from 5 to 8 days … unless we take some real action,” Washington State Gov. Inslee said at a morning news conference.

“And if you do the math, it gets very disturbing. … If it’s 1,000 (infections) today, in seven to eight weeks there could be 64,000 people infected in the state of Washington if we don’t somehow slow down this epidemic. And in the next week it could be 120,000, and in the next week a quarter of a million.”

Inslee expanded state policies to support workers and businesses financially impacted by COVID-19.

The measures are supposed to help relieve the burden of temporary layoffs for workers who are quarantined, Komo News reported:

  • Workers will be able to receive unemployment benefits and employers will get relief of benefit charges if an employer needs to curtail or shut down operations temporarily because a worker becomes sick and other workers need to be isolated or quarantined as a result of COVID-19.
  • A worker that follows guidance of a medical or public health official to isolate or quarantine as a result of exposure to COVID-19 and is not receiving paid sick leave from their employer, may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • If a worker becomes seriously ill and is forced to quit, they may qualify for Paid Family Medical Leave while ill under the existing program. Once recovered and available for work, they may apply for unemployment benefits.
  • The measures remove the full-time requirement and expand standby ability to part time/less-than full-time workers who are isolated.