NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says at least half a million New Yorkers will be unemployed

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) speaks at a press conference about COVID-19 and the closing of K-12 public schools in New York City.

Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that early estimates of unemployment data shows at least half a million New Yorkers have or will lose their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced state and local officials to shutter businesses and schools across the state. 

“It’s staggering, we’re only seeing the initial numbers, they will get worse unfortunately,” de Blasio said, adding that a lot of people can’t get even through to apply for unemployment.

“Right now our early estimate is unfortunately at least a half million New Yorkers will end up unemployed, are already or soon will be,” de Blasio said. 

The coronavirus has infected more than 21,800 people in the city and has killed at least 281, de Blasio said. The city normally has 20,000 hospital beds but is going to need three times that amount by May, he said.

New York City is the epicenter of the major outbreak in the state, where cases have been doubling every three days and now account for more than half of all U.S. cases.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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