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Newscast - April 17, 2020

SARAH GELBARD, BYLINE: From Columbia Radio News in New York, I’m Sarah Gelbard. As of 8 p.m. today, New Yorkers are legally required to wear face coverings in public spaces like grocery stores, where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today the number of deaths in New York from coronavirus has fallen, from 778 on Monday to 630 yesterday. For now, the hospitalization rate curve remains flat. 

CUOMO: Fewer people in the hospital, fewer people being intubated, but still 2,000 people walking in the door.

GELBARD: In New Jersey, there was a spike in deaths this week, placing it just behind New York with the second highest death toll in the United States at over 3,000. This morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized a need for expanded testing.

DE BLASIO: We are not just sitting back waiting because we’ve been waiting a long time for federal help, it still hasn’t come. We’re taking matters into our own hands more and more. We finally found a way to get a large number of test kits on the open market, we finally found a way to produce our own here in New York City.

GELBARD: He announced that three new testing centers would open today in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Two new testing centers will open on Monday in Harlem and Queens. Cuomo said New York will need fiscal assistance from the federal government to make up for lost tax revenue. This follows an announcement from Mayor de Blasio that New York City will have to cut more than two billion dollars of municipal services for the year. The New York Times reports that public pools will be closed, fewer police officers will monitor traffic, and trash pickups will be reduced. Expect rain this evening and tomorrow with a high of 51 and a low of 40. In brighter news, NASA astronaut Jessica Meir spoke with New York City high school students from aboard her spacecraft last month. At 1:16 a.m. this morning, after more than 200 days orbiting in space, she returned to Earth with a safe landing of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft.

Sarah Gelbard, Columbia Radio News.

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