Coronavirus New York News - April 2020

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Eyewitness News coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in New York during April 2020.

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CORONAVIRUS NEW YORK APRIL 2020



APRIL 30, 2020

Health Department revises policy for COVID-19 positive nursing home employees returning to work
The New York Department of Health is revising a policy that allowed nursing home employees to continue to work after testing positive for coronavirus.

The earlier policy said employees who were asymptomatic could return to work three days after recovery and at least seven days since first symptoms started. Now, the state wants nursing home employees to wait two weeks before returning to work.

Little League World Series canceled
The Little League World Series will not be played this year for the first time since the organization began because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Little League International, which announced the move Thursday, also canceled regional tournaments but said the events would return in 2021.

NYC Subway Plan
A new subway cleaning plan was unveiled Thursday that involves a complete suspension of overnight service after Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered officials to figure out how to "disinfect every train every night." Starting next Wednesday, May 6, the MTA will stop ridership from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily to complete the cleaning. To fill the gaps, the MTA will provide buses, for-hire-vehicles, and dollar vans at no cost to essential workers.

Contact Tracing
Cuomo on Thursday announced the state's contact tracing pilot program, with leadership from former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, that will begin in the coming weeks. The program will focus on areas with the highest rates of infection and on regions where data shows could be the first to open, and it will operate through the next flu season, Cuomo said. It will be implemented in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut and will include a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 individuals.

APRIL 29, 2020

Baseball HOF induction weekend canceled
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced that its Board of Directors has voted unanimously to cancel 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend events as a result of health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rockland County parks open Friday
Rockland County officials announced the re-opening of county parks effective 6:00 AM, Friday, May 1, 2020, with the exception of H. Pierson Mapes Flat Rock Park in Hillburn, which will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Parks will be open for walking only; social distancing and walking directional signs will be posted throughout the parks. Amenities and facilities such as restrooms, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic tables, all lawn areas, park benches, fishing piers and dog runs will be restricted for public use and will remain closed.

Frontline workers antibody study results
An antibody study of frontline workers found that 17.1% FDNY/EMT had antibodies, NYPD 10.5%, and the downstate average is at about 18%.

Cuomo requests MTA disinfecting plan
Crime is up in some categories in the transit system with 90% ridership down. "I don't even know mathematically how that is possible," Cuomo said. The governor told the MTA that he wants a full plan in two days on how to disinfect every train, every night.

Self-portrait of America
Governor Cuomo unveiled a "Self-Portrait of America." It's a wall of masks sent to the state from people all over the country.

"It spells love, that's what it spells. We've received thousands of masks from all across America, homemade, creative, personal with beautiful notes, from all across the country literally," Cuomo said, "A little bit more of this and a little less of the partisanship and the ugliness and this country will be a beautiful place."

APRIL 28, 2020

New rules at major airports
On Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began restricting access to all terminals at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty Airports.

According to officials, only ticketed passengers, airport employees and those who need to enter for airport business will be allowed.

Teen starts volunteer clean-up crew
A 17-year-old Scarsdale student, who instead of being shut in and feeling helpless in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, got out and started literally cleaning up.

Face mask designs
Face masks are now a part of the fabric of our lives and a source of creativity for many.

What about schools?
Cuomo says expect a decision on the future of the academic year for New York schools by the end of the week. A decision will also be made regarding summer school.

Cuomo updates on coronavirus pandemic
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that hospitalizations are still trending downward in the state and there were 335 new deaths. As far as reopening, the governor outlined a 12-step plan and said that CDC guidelines say that in order to reopen there should be a 14-day decline. The governor plans to open areas with no more than 70% of hospital capacity filled or where the rate of transmission reaches an outbreak level of Rt 1.1.

Cuomo comments on homeless on subways
"It's disgusting what is happening on those subway cars," Cuomo said, "It's disrespectful to the essential workers." Photos and videos show subway cars strewn with belongings and homeless individuals seemingly sleeping on nearly every subway car. The governor said not only is it not safe for essential workers, but it's not safe for the homeless who are on the trains without face masks. "We will do better," Cuomo said.

APRIL 27, 2020

Westchester brothers donate 10,000 pillows to NY, NJ hospitals
Two brothers have donated thousands of germ-resistant pillows to hospitals to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Unemployment in NY
More than 4.4 million people nationwide applied for unemployment insurance last week alone, according to the US Department of Labor, as the COVID-19 pandemic has left an unprecedented number of people jobless.

Religious community impacted by coronavirus
Three nuns and 10 priests have died at the Maryknoll religious community in Westchester County, while dozens of others have tested positive for COVID-19.

Massive face masks donation
New York auto dealers in the metropolitan area are donating 500,000 face masks to New Yorkers in need.

Governor on phased reopening
"We're going to turn the valve on reopening, and then watch the dials," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The coordinated and slow reopening of some services would be dependent on the hospitalization and infection rate. NY PAUSE ends on May 15th, but only for areas where the regional hospital rate is in decline for 14 days, according to federal guidance from the CDC. The governor said that the state will leave some extra medical centers built by the Army Corps of Engineers in place to deal with flu season and a possible second wave of COVID-19.

More antibody study results
The state is continuing its antibody study. 7,500 people have been tested to help establish the rate of infection. As of Monday, 14.9% of people have tested positive for antibodies. NYC is up to 24.7% positive, up from 21.2%; Long Island is 14.4%, down from 16.7%; Westchester/Rockland is up to 15.1%, up from 11.7%; The rest of the state is 3.2%, down from 2.6%.

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NY Gov Cuomo added having antibodies does not mean you are immune



Cuomo noted that antibodies may not mean longterm immunity. "You'd have to make your own calculated risk," Governor Cuomo said. "Maybe you're immune, maybe you're not immune."

Farm to city, food bank help
Governor Cuomo says there has been a sharp increase in demand for food and supplies at food banks. He said that he would like to start funding and philanthropy funding. He said there are farmers upstate who can't sell their product and dumping milk. His administration is starting a special Nourish NY initiative. They will work with industries in the state to get the excess milk to people who need it.

Democratic Presidential Primary canceled in NY
In an unprecedented move, New York has canceled its Democratic presidential primary originally scheduled for June 23 amid the coronavirus epidemic.

APRIL 26, 2020

Schumer urges FDA crackdown on at-home testing kits
Sen. Charles Schumer wants the FDA to crack down on at-home coronavirus and antibody testing kits sold on the internet.

He says they are untested and unregulated and could give people who use them a false sense of security.

USNS Comfort discharges last patient
The Navy hospital ship sent to relieve stress on New York City hospitals at the height of the pandemic has discharged its last patient with COVID-19 on Sunday as it nears the end of its mission, according to Northwell Health, which provides operational assistance to the vessel.

L Train project complete
NY Gov. Cuomo announced the L train tunnel project, which was months ahead of schedule, has been complete.

APRIL 25, 2020

Executive order expands collection sites
Governor Cuomo said Saturday that he signed an executive order authorizing all independent pharmacies in New York State to be collection sites for testing. The Governor said the state's 300 labs have gotten more equipment and supplies that he hopes will allow them to double the number of tests the state processes in a day from around 20,000 up to 40,000. With the labs able to handle more tests, Governor Cuomo said the focus is now on increasing the availability of collection sites for samples. The executive order expands collection to all of the state's roughly 5,000 pharmacies. The Governor said the state will also expand eligibility for testing, beginning with first responders, health care workers, and essential employees.

437 new deaths Friday, up slightly
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that 437 new deaths occurred on Friday, up from 422 the day before. The total number of deaths in New York State from COVID-19 now stands at 16,599. The Governor said total hospitalizations were down again and the number of new cases dropped to around 1,100.

APRIL 24, 2020

Governor Cuomo talks revenue losses
Governor Cuomo says there will be a $13.3 billion New York state revenue loss, as projected from the Executive Budget forecast for this year.

He added that New York is expected to lose $61 billion in revenue over the financial years of 2021-2024 as a result of the coronavirus.

Snapshot of humanity
Governor Cuomo read a letter from a retired farmer in Kansas:

"Dear Mr. Cuomo, I seriously doubt that you will ever read this letter as I know you are busy beyond belief with the disaster that has befallen our country. We are a nation in crisis, of that there is no doubt. I'm a retired farmer, hunkered down in northeast Kansas with my wife who has but one lung, and occasional problems with her remaining lung. She also has diabetes. We are in our 70's now, and frankly, I am afraid for her. Enclosed find a solitary N95 mask leftover from my farming days. It has never been used. If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your state. I have kept four masks for my immediate family. Please keep doing what you do so well which is to lead. Sincerely, Dennis and Sharon."

"How beautiful is that? How selfless is that?" Governor Cuomo said as he held the mask.
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Governor Andrew Cuomo reads a letter from a man in Kansas.



Applications for absentee primary ballots
Governor Cuomo announced that he is issuing an executive order to mail every New Yorker an application for an absentee ballot for the primaries. The primaries are set to be held on June 23rd in New York. Polls will also remain open.

APRIL 23, 2020

Many New Yorkers struggle to obtain unemployment benefits
Eyewitness News has learned many New Yorkers are still struggling to get their unemployment benefits, as the state announced today an additional 207,000 people have filed for unemployment.

Nursing home investigation
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to investigate nursing homes who violate Executive Orders requiring these facilities to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents' families.

New York and New Jersey lead nation in COVID-19 deaths at VA hospitals
New York state leads the country in deaths at hospitals run by the Veterans Health Administration, the nation's largest healthcare network, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

New Jersey followed New York with the second-highest number of deaths nationwide, followed by Louisiana and Michigan, according to that data.

Students team up with NBA player to raise money for hospital
Two high school students from Westchester County have teamed up with an NBA player to launch a video game tournament to raise money for an area hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Scarsdale High School juniors Noah Weber, 16, and Max Roth, 17, launched "Gaming for Good," an NBA 2K20 tournament to aid relief efforts at White Plains Hospital.

Antibody Study Phase 1 results announced
Governor Cuomo announced preliminary phase 1 results of an antibody study of 3,000 people statewide to try to determine the infection rate. It was collected over two days in 19 counties and 40 localities across New York state. The tests were collected at grocery stores and other box stores. The tests found 13.9% of people tested positive for having antibodies. In New York City, 21% of the people tested had antibodies.

Cuomo cautioned that the data was preliminary. The sample of people tested was small and people were recruited for the study at shopping centers and grocery stores, which meant they were healthy enough to be out in public. Experts also say having antibodies is not necessarily proof someone is immune from the virus. But Cuomo said knowing how many people have antibodies could potentially help set policy on when to reopen parts of the state.

APRIL 22, 2020

Many New Yorkers still ineligible for unemployment despite change
The New York State Department of Labor announced a partial solution to an unemployment loophole that has kept many people throughout the state from receiving benefits While the state and federal government expanded who is eligible for unemployment, it did not forgive or postpone penalties individuals received for collecting unemployment when the state determined they shouldn't have. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the state has been denying those individuals assistance until they exhaust forfeit penalty days assessed against them.
Lawmaker introduces bill to close state licensed slaughterhouses amid COVID-19
New York Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, is announcing new legislation in response to mounting concerns about the safety of urban slaughterhouses amid the coronavirus pandemic and reports that early cases of the virus were connected to a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Her legislation also follows a recent report by 7 On Your Side Investigates about repeated violations at several of the roughly 80 live animal markets in New York City and protests by animal rights groups.

Loved ones seek information about nursing home patients
New York's policy of returning elderly coronavirus patients who have recovered to nursing homes is raising concerns among family members.

NY cats are 1st pets in US to test positive for COVID-19
Two cats living in separate areas of New York state are the first pets in the United States to test positive for COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratories announced the felines had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. The agencies said there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States, however further studies are needed.

Cuomo provides update on state and visit with President Trump
Governor Cuomo said hospitalizations continued to inch lower while deaths also decreased to a still painful 474 people in the state. There are now 15,302 dead from the coronavirus in the state.

The governor called his meeting with the president "productive" and said that they agreed to work on federal funding for New York state as well as testing. One positive development was that President Trump agreed to drop the FEMA match requirement for the state.

Governor Cuomo called for "Testing, tracing, and isolating." He said that would require a "Testing Army." He said that governors Murphy and Lamont would work to launch a nation-leading contact tracing program. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help develop this first-ever testing/tracing/isolation program.

Tracing is already underway, Cuomo said, but there isn't a timeline for the increase in testing and tracing, it will just ramp up going forward.

Yonkers cancels city-sponsored events through June 30
Yonkers has canceled all city-sponsored events now through June 30 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Mayor Mike Spano said the cancellations also include community events requiring Yonkers police or parks department special events permits.

NY Primary could be canceled
The chairman of the state's Democratic party is pushing for canceling the New York primary, saying it would reduce the risk factor of spreading the virus.

APRIL 21, 2020

Doubling testing capacity
Gov. Cuomo says NY plans to double its testing capacity from 20,000 tests per day to 40,000 per day. He says it is an ambitious goal but is critical in the fight against COVID-19.

Testing responsibilities
Cuomo said he and Trump agreed that the state will be responsible for managing the actual tests in our laboratories. The federal government will take on the responsibility of supply chain issues that are beyond states' control.

Construction halted
Gov. Cuomo said construction on temporary hospitals has been halted once the numbers started to plateau, but he is not ready to shut down any facilities yet.

Cuomo says US Comfort no longer needed
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told President Donald Trump that New York no longer needs the U.S. Comfort during their Oval Office meeting on Tuesday.

Cuomo updates latest statistics
Governor Andrew Cuomo said hospitalizations in the state are relatively flat, ICU hospitalizations are down, but deaths increased by a few to 481. He noted that he feels the city and city suburbs are trending downwards, but that Western New York was at its plateau now. The governor said elective outpatient procedures would be allowed at hospitals in counties of the state that did not have a surge in coronavirus cases.

Cuomo, Trump to meet at White House
The two leaders are expected to discuss coronavirus testing and how to increase New York state's capacity.

APRIL 20, 2020

US immigration suspended
President Trump tweeted late Monday night that he is signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.


Nurses union files lawsuits
The New York State Nurses Association is suing the state department of health and two hospitals over health and safety issues.

Montefiore Medical Center "is like a war zone," the New York State Nurses Association alleged Monday in the federal lawsuit that accused the Bronx hospital of failing to provide frontline health care workers with adequate protective gear.

Cuomo heading to White House
President Trump announced during his daily briefing that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to Washington for an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday.

Teen donates 3D masks
A hospital in Westchester County is now equipped with 100 new medical face shields and it's all thanks to a teenager with a 3D printer. Arjun Dayal, 17, from Greenwich, donated the homemade shields Monday afternoon to officials at White Plains Hospital.

Hazard pay for front-line workers
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a 50% hazard pay bonus for police, firefighters, medical personnel, mass transit employees and other essential workers on the front-lines of coronavirus.

NY death toll
New York state's daily death toll dropped below 500 for the first time since April 2 to 478.

Expanding health care and testing
Gov. Cuomo announced New York state is launching a new partnership with Ready Responders to bring healthcare services, including COVID-19 diagnostic testing to residents of public housing in New York City.

Antibody testing
Cuomo confirmed New York state will begin testing 3,000 people for antibodies to the coronavirus starting on Monday. People who test positive for antibodies are believed to have already had the virus. Widespread testing could be key to reopening.

NY-based Shake Shack returns federal loan
In a statement, Shake Shack announced the company secured extra funding late last week through an "equity transaction" and decided to immediately return the $10 million paycheck protection loan obtained through the CARES Act.

APRIL 19, 2020

Trump compliments Cuomo
Days after he criticized Andrew Cuomo on Twitter, President Donald Trump thanked New York's governor during a White House press conference and even called him a "good-looking guy."

Multi-state council appointees announced
Area governors Sunday announced their appointees to the multi-state council's efforts in restoring the economy and getting people back to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Nursing home death toll represents almost 25% of total COVID-19 deaths
Officials say 3,425 residents of New York state nursing homes or adult care facilities have died because of COVID-19, according to new information released by the state health department. This represents nearly 25% of the state's COVID-19 deaths. Queens has had the most deaths - 754 in total. The Bronx follows with 554 deaths.

Cuomo: Cases descending, but it's only halftime
Governor Andrew Cuomo says "all indications at this point are that we are on the descent," but added that the war is not won as the state still has a high number of new cases and new deaths. Cuomo announced 507 new deaths since Saturday, with 474 fatalities in hospitals and 33 in nursing homes. The total killed by the virus has reached 13,869.

NY marinas reopening amid signs of improvement
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Bill de Blasio have decided it's OK to open marinas to the public as numbers are continuing to improve.

Antibody testing to begin
Cuomo says the New York State Health Department will take "aggressive" actions on the COVID-19 antibody testing procedure over the next week. "That will tell us, for the first time, what percent of the population actually had the coronavirus and is now at least short-term immune to the virus," Cuomo said. "This will be the first true snapshot of what we're really dealing with."

APRIL 18, 2020

Diagnostic Testing
Governor Cuomo announced Northwell Health Core Laboratories is bringing in as many manufacturers as they can for diagnostic testing, which determines whether a person is positive or negative. "Nobody has done testing at this level ever," Cuomo said. "And we have to do this in partnership with the federal government, because there's all sorts of logistical questions and supply chain questions, and people can't get certain chemicals they need to do tests and the chemicals are made in other countries. So we have to do this with the federal government. I spoke to the head of CDC yesterday and he was very smart, very informed, and we talked about how we can do this together."

New York to allow remote marriage license applications, clerks to perform video ceremonies
Gov. Cuomo announced an executive order Saturday allowing people to get marriage licenses remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies over video. "Video marriage ceremonies," Gov. Cuomo said. "There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage. No excuse. You can do it by Zoom."

Federal government sends 1.5 million cloth masks to New York, will be distributed to public
Gov. Cuomo says the federal government sent 1.5 million cloth masks to New York state on Friday. "I want to thank them for that," Cuomo said. "These are cloth masks that we can distribute to people to help implement our policy, where if you are in public you have to wear a mask. It is not a surgical mask, it is a cloth mask manufactured by the Hanes corporation, I believe. But we are asking people to wear masks. This is going to be very helpful because we will have additional masks to distribute to the public."

Hospitalizations plunge as Cuomo asks if we are past apex; 540 died on Friday
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that hospitalizations for COVID-19 in New York have now dropped below 17,000. "We are down now for several days," Cuomo said. "The statisticians will say, are we passed the apex, have we hit the plateau and flattened for a period of time, and are we now on the way off the plateau and on the descent? If you look at the past three days, you could argue that we are past the plateau and are starting to descend which is good news. Again, it is only three days, but that is what the numbers would start to suggest." Gov. Cuomo also announced 540 more deaths occurred on Friday, down from 630 the day before.

APRIL 17, 2020

Bethpage Air Show called off
Eyewitness News has learned the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park is now cancelled for 2020 as a result of the coronavirus. The air show is usually held on Memorial Day weekend. Officials say social distancing could not be maintained for the event and so they were forced to cancel.

More protective equipment for MTA
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Friday received the second and final part of a shipment this week of more than 1 million additional new masks and 50,000 pairs of new gloves to protect heroic frontline workers across New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Bridges and Tunnels, Construction & Development and MTA PD.

Trump, Cuomo engage in war of words

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held his daily briefing, President Donald Trump was watching and tweeting that "Governor Cuomo should spend more time "doing" and less time "complaining". Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking! We built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn't need or use, gave large numbers of Ventilators that you should have had, and helped you with testing that you should be doing. We have given New York far more money, help and equipment than any other state, by far, & these great men & women who did the job never hear you say thanks. Your numbers are not good. Less talk and more action!"

Cuomo fired back, saying Trump was "disrespectful" in dismissing the 800 people who were patients at the Javits Center and pointed out the federal government agreed with the need for hospital beds - and New York's projection for ventilators was based on Trump's and the CDC's projections.

APRIL 16, 2020

Governor Cuomo says we're still in "Phase 1"

"You're only controlling the beast because of what you're doing, that's where we are," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. He went on to say that the state is in "Phase 1" where we are still working to get the rate of infection down and control it.

Governor Cuomo noted that the situation we're in cannot be sustained economically or personally. He said that we're looking ahead as a state to "Phase 2" where people are infecting .9-1.2 people, for a very slim margin within the rate of infection. The governor said the phase includes testing, tracing, and isolating infected individuals. He also wants to stabilize the state's finances during this phase.

Governor spoke of personal connection to his daughters

The governor said that during these past 44 days he's had a chance to connect with his three daughters, ages 22 and 25-year-old twins.

"I was missing a lot," Cuomo said. "You can't have a real quality relationship with your child or another human being unless you take that time to get underneath the surface and understand a person."

"I am not going to let that happen again," he said of losing touch with the deeper connection with his daughters.

Michael Cohen gets early release
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has notified Michael Cohen that he will be released early from prison due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Cohen's attorney, Roger Adler, and sources familiar with the matter.

Cohen is serving a three-year sentence at the federal prison camp in Otisville, New York. He was scheduled for release in November 2021, but several staff and inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

Walk-thru testing
Mount Vernon is opening a walk-thru testing site on Friday morning. The mobile facility will be located at the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center on West 4th Street.

An appointment is required.

Hospital in Westchester creates 'Butterfly Wall' for recovered patients
A hospital in Westchester County has found a unique way to celebrate its patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

White Plains Hospital has created what's being called a Butterfly Wall. For every patient who has been treated at the hospital for coronavirus and is now recovering, a butterfly is placed on the wall.

Officers read bedtime stories
The Town of Greenburgh Police Department has been posting videos of officers reading bedtime stories on its Facebook page. Each night, an officer reads a different story as requested by the town's young citizens.


Cuomo extends NY Pause
Governor Andrew Cuomo extended NY Pause until May 15th. That meant that social distancing measures would remain in place for another month. He reminded people that they also need to wear a mask or face-covering in public starting Friday.

The governor also announced that hospitalizations, ICU, and intubation rates are all down in New York state. He said that there are still roughly 2,000 new people getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state daily. 606 lives were lost on Wednesday. "This means we can control the beast," Cuomo said of the lowering rates, which he attributes to social distancing.

He mentioned that his conversations and coordination with the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island were still ongoing.

"Coordinating with the other states does not always mean that we will be in lockstep," Cuomo said. But he added that they would all be talking about their decisions and making sure they weren't contradictory. The governor added that New York will send 100 ventilators to New Jersey, since they are in need.

APRIL 15, 2020

Teachers use basement 3-D printers to make plastic face shields
Communities continue to step up during the coronavirus pandemic, and one New York teacher is providing crucial personal protective equipment that wasn't purchased but made in a basement.

JP Kaminski is making use of 3-D printers to create plastic face shields for nurses and other frontline healthcare workers. His setup is similar to that of a dozen public school technology teachers from Westchester, Rockland and Dutchess counties who during the summer work at a STEM enrichment camp called Discover Camp.

Summer school possible as Westchester district mulls options
A school district in Westchester County is considering its options to keep students on track despite extensive school closures due to the coronavirus outbreak and summer school is one possibility.

New Rochelle's schools were among the first public schools in the country to close because of coronavirus and Superintendent Laura Feijoo says distance learning has been a challenge.
including summer school.

Yonkers food distribution
Officials in Yonkers are hard at work to keep students fed as schools remain closed. Fresh produce was put into the hands of children and other community members in need earlier Wednesday.

Tractor-trailers filled with $45,000 of food were brought into help. It was all donated by United Food Group and Produce Tech Giants. Public schools in Yonkers are providing grab and go meals for students on weekday mornings.

Quarantine vs. self-isolation
Westchester County has a new online tool to help you figure out if you should quarantine, self-isolate or exercise caution. All you need to know is answer a few questions and what you should do next is determined by your answers. Click here to learn more.

Face coverings in public
Cuomo said state residents will be required to wear face coverings when they are out and coming in close contact with other people. The new mandate will require a mask or face covering on busy streets, public transit or any situation where people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

Nursing home concerns
The number of people being hospitalized has gone down at most local hospitals, but some fear the number of positive cases and deaths will continue to increase at nursing homes with the current resources. "They're becoming infected with COVID-19, we've had staff pass away," said Stephen Hanse, President of NYS Health Facilities Association, which represents more than 450 nursing homes and assisted living centers in New York.

Patrick McEnroe recovers in Westchester Co.
Former tennis pro Patrick McEnroe came out of quarantine this week, a month after he began to feel sick. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 but was able to recover at home, where wife Melissa Errico and their three daughters rallied around him.

APRIL 14, 2020

Ocasio-Cortez, Schumer ask feds for help to pay for funerals
Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked the federal government to help pay for funerals for the state's thousands of dead.

The two Democrats appeared together in the hard-hit neighborhood of Corona, Queens, part of Ocasio-Cortez's district, to ask the Federal Emergency Management Administration to approve disaster funeral assistance across New York.

Nursing home crisis
About 25% of New York state's COVID19 deaths are residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities, new data shows. 2722 people residents have died at either a facility or a hospital. The state has updated their data to reflect the deaths in all counties.

Death rate flat, but devastating
Governor Andrew Cuomo said that hospitalizations were flat and even a bit lower in the state's battle against the coronavirus. ICU admissions are down, but nursing homes are an increasing issue with a growing number of cases. 778 lives were lost on Monday for an increase of deaths in the state for a total of 10,834. "Deaths are flat at a devastating level of pain," Cuomo said.

Cuomo says he wants no fight with Trump
In reference to the president's tweet criticizing him for forming a coalition to develop a multi-state reopening plan, "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came," was on a poster at the governor's grade school and Cuomo said, "Sometimes it takes more strength to walk away from a fight to engage it. The president will have no fight with me. I will not engage it." Governor Cuomo said he welcomes working together with the president.

APRIL 13, 2020

10,000 surgical masks donated to Orange County health care workers
Upstate New York hospitals are receiving an influx of PPE for health care workers. Orange County executives accepted 10,000 surgical masks on Monday to be used in the fight against coronavirus.
The donation comes from the American Chinese United Care Alliance.

Nursing home fatalities
According to data released by the NY State Department of Health, 1,064 of the state's 10,056 deaths are classified as a nursing home fatality - just over 10% of the total deaths.

Metro-North announces 1st COVID-19 related fatality
Metro-North announced Monday that an MTA railroad worker has died from the novel coronavirus. Officials identified him as 28-year veteran machinist John Oles, who worked in the Harmon Support Shop and leaves behind his wife, Karen, and his two daughters, Kristen and Kimberly.

6 states announce COVID-19 collaboration
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday a multi-state workgroup with the purpose of jointly confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaboration includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island.

Each state will appoint a public health official and an economic development official, and each governor's chief of staff will immediately start a working group to come up with an economic reopening plan based on data and research.

Cuomo Monday briefing
671 more deaths from coronavirus were reported on Easter Sunday, causing the death toll in New York State to reach 10,056. "We will be recalibrating what is essential," the governor said about reopening the economy slowly. He called for more testing and more precautions when that process eventually starts.

Cuomo on Rolling Stone cover
During the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has emerged as a leader not just for New Yorkers but for the American public too -- and now he will grace the cover of "Rolling Stone."

APRIL 12, 2020

President Trump's friend dies of COVID-19
ABC News has confirmed New York real estate mogul Stanley Chera has died after battling the coronavirus. Sources familiar with the matter tell ABC that Chera, a longtime friend of President Trump's, died at a New York hospital where he was battling the illness. The President has referenced Chera, but not by name, for the last few weeks as a close friend of his whom was battling the disease.

Nursing homes
More than 2,700 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded at nursing homes nationwide, including 1,880 in New York state as of Saturday.

There are about 96,000 residents at 613 licensed nursing homes in New York state. More than 5,500 residents at 338 nursing homes have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Yonkers police officer dies of coronavirus
A member of the Yonkers police department has passed away from the virus.

A 25-year member of the force, Detective William Sullivan was known as a devoted family man who leaves behind his wife Eileen, a daughter Jacqueline and his son Will, who's also in the police department.

Regarding NYC Schools
When asked where he and Mayor Bill de Blasio stand on the closing of New York City schools, Cuomo reiterated that a decision needs to be coordinated and decided regionally, and in collaboration with New Jersey, and Connecticut. Cuomo said that for now, schools will remain closed, explaining that he is not yet prepared to make a decision as to what will happen in June.

New push for federal help
Gov. Cuomo repeated that it is crucial that the state receive federal assistance. Cuomo and Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) issued a bipartisan statement, calling for an additional $500 billion in federal aid for U.S. states and territories dealing with COVID-19. "The federal CARES Act just almost ignored state governments. When you ignore state government, you ignore our situation -- we have a $10 billion to $15 billion deficit -- we got a budget done, but our budget was basically contingent on what happens going forward. And without federal assistance, how does this state economy come back? How do we really start to fund schools? And that's going to happen -- that has to happen from a federal Level. There is no level above a state government that can make a difference, besides the federal government," Cuomo explained.

New guidelines for employers

Cuomo announced that the state would issue a number of additional guidelines, including requiring that cloth masks be provided, cost-free to essential workers, by businesses, and the expansion of who is eligible to receive an antibody test.

Touching gesture
Governor Cuomo visited Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niskayuna. Cuomo said the center wanted to loan 35 ventilators to those in need downstate.

APRIL 11, 2020

Most deaths in world
The United States has overtaken Italy for most COVID-19 deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Cuomo: fewer hospitalizations; ICU admissions, intubations down

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the number of hospitalizations appears to have hit an apex, and this peak is turning into a plateau. That means while people continue to enter the hospital with COVID-19, the rate of increase is lower. Also promising: the three-day average of intensive care unit admissions is down as well as intubations, meaning people being put on ventilators, are also down which the governor calls "a very good sign."

"So while ICU beds may not mean anything any more in the hospital system, intubations are still intubations. And this is a very good sign that the intubations are down," Cuomo said.

He added: "All the numbers are on the downward slope. Still people getting infected, still people going to the hospital but again a lower rate of increase."

APRIL 10, 2020

NY COVID-19 ICU admissions down for first time

For the first time since the coronavirus crisis struck New York, there were fewer admissions to the intensive care unit on Thursday than the day before. It's one of a number of encouraging signs that the worst may have passed.

Governor Cuomo daily briefing

The governor said that he is "cautiously optimistic" that we are slowing the infection rate. He cited a dramatic decline in hospitalizations and even a negative statistic for the first time in the ICU.

"The actual curb is much, much lower than any of them projected," Cuomo said. "In fairness to the experts, no one has been here before, no one."

He said that social distancing policies and compliance by the public greatly flattened the curve.

"They couldn't count the spirit of New Yorkers in their models," the governor said.

Cuomo again said testing would be the key to restarting the economy.

"We've done more testing in New York than some countries have done," Cuomo said. "It's not enough if you want to reopen on a meaningful scale and reopen quickly."
Another bright spot, "We are relatively comfortable with ventilators and PPE," Cuomo said, as long as the hospitalization rate doesn't increase.

Governor Cuomo on GMA
There are more than 160,000 confirmed cases in the state of New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared on "Good Morning America" on Friday morning. He was asked by Michael Strahan if the state was at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. "That's the big question," Cuomo said. "We think we're at the plateau, and the hospitalization rate is coming down." Strahan asked the governor how we can get back to the economy and start to move forward. "Before we start to relax there is some troubling news about a second wave," Cuomo said, "We don't want the same thing to happen twice."

State unemployment site gets a reboot
New York state says those filing for unemployment will find the process to be much more user friendly when they go online on Friday.

APRIL 9, 2020

Westchester nurses take action
Nurses at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla took part in a national day of action and pleaded for someone to supply them with the proper PPE and personnel they need to care for COVID-19 patients.
Record unemployment
It's been almost a month since stores around the state have been shut, its employees home and out of work, and trying to apply for unemployment benefits. This week 347,000 New Yorkers filed for unemployment, bringing the number of jobless claims since March 14 to over 800,000.

Temporary hospitals
With the pace of hospitalizations declining, plans for emergency treatment centers have been scaled back. Cuomo said the state doesn't plan to build any more temporary hospitals beyond those completed or nearly finished at the Javits Convention Center, the USNS Comfort, Staten Island, Westbury, Westchester County and Stony Brook. He had previously announced plans for four additional field hospitals.
Pay freeze
The state is delaying pay raises for about 80,000 state workers for three months as it deals with the loss of up to $15 billion in revenue from the outbreak-related economic downturn. The move is expected to save about $50 million for the state, which will see if the raises can go into effect later, said Division of Budget spokesman Freeman Klopott. Cuomo said Thursday he had two choices: layoffs or a pay freeze.

Governor Cuomo talks about rising deaths
Governor Cuomo said in his daily briefing that, "Our healthcare system has done a phenomenal job in doing an insurmountable task." However, even though hospitalizations are continuously down, on Thursday the governor announced another higher one-day COVID-19 death total record for the state: 799 people. There are 159,937 confirmed cases in New York state - more than any country in the world.

Long Island concerns
The number of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus are creeping up in Nassau, Suffolk and Rockland counties. The governor said additional supplies were being sent to areas showing increases. "You stay at home and you save a life," Governor Cuomo reminded residents.

NY cases came from Europe, scientists find
New research found that the coronavirus COVID-19 arrived in New York weeks before the first confirmed case and likely came from Europe, not China.

APRIL 8, 2020

Hospital to house field hospital on grounds
Nothern Westchester Hospital will house a field hospital on its grounds to keep ahead of the potential need for additional beds for COVID-19 patients.
The hospital will be patient-ready by Saturday, April 11. It is designed as a unit within the hospital with the same staffing ratio, equipment and supplies. It will give NWH the ability to care for approximately 30-40 additional patients.

Former Assembly Member dies
Former Assembly Member Richard Brodsky has died from coronavirus at age 73. He was a tireless advocate for the people of Westchester during his 28 years in public service.

US Open hospital site
The first COVID-19 patients are expected to arrive Friday at the temporary hospital that has been set up at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Queens.

"Terrible" news, but Cuomo sees flattening
The grim figure of 779 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day was met with some cautious optimistim that New York is seeing a flattening of the curve. "What we are doing is actually working and is making a difference, he said," Cuomo said.
"If we stop doing what we are doing, we will see that curve change. It's not a time to get complacent."



No return to normal
As far as when things could go back to normal, the governor said he didn't think there was any going back. "Well, when will we return to normal? I don't think we return to normal. I don't think we return to yesterday, where we were. I think if we are smart, we achieve a new normal," he said.

Minorities hit hardest
"It always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price," Cuomo said, "Let's figure it out, let's do the work." He promised more testing in minority communities to gain research and data so scientists could figure out a way to help the situation.

Absentee ballots for all
Governor Cuomo announced that all New Yorkers could vote absentee in the upcoming primary election on June 23.

Greenburgh to require temperature checks
The Town of Greenburgh issued an emergency order Tuesday night requiring specific health and safety requirements at all grocery stores and pharmacies, including temperature tests for every employee and customer entering the businesses. There is also an extensive list of other requirements for supermarkets.

Sanitation workers help 3-year-old boy celebrate birthday
Hudson lives in the village of Ardsley in Westchester and turned 3 on Tuesday, and he loves garbage trucks. Some Westchester sanitation workers came to the rescue after his party got canceled.

APRIL 7, 2020

Westchester man comes off ventilator
A husband and father from Westchester County is recovering after spending 17 days on a ventilator. His family decided to speak out about their journey to give hope to others going through the same thing.

John Prine dies
A representative for John Prine said the singer died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus at 73.

Yonkers nurses rally
Nurses at two hospitals in Yonkers say they're not being given adequate PPE. The nurses from St. Joseph's Medical Center and St. John's Riverside Hospital stood six feet apart as they called for more supplies.

They also said they are dangerously understaffed and that a growing number of workers at both hospitals are testing positive for COVID-19.

Westchester County cases approach 15,000
Officials reported Tuesday that the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Westchester County is now 14,804, and there have been 283 fatalities attributed to the virus. County Executive George Latimer said the total number of patients hospitalized is now 1,056.

Cuomo updates situation in NY
Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the three-day average of hospitalizations in the state is down, suggesting that we are reaching a plateau, however, the number of deaths continues to increase with its largest single-day loss.

5,489 people have died as of Tuesday morning, up 731 in a single day. There are 138,836 total positive cases in the state.

The governor said that the infection will not end before the economy starts back up. "It's going to come down to testing," Cuomo said.

The 1918 pandemic peaked for six months and 30,000 people died, Cuomo noted. He said that we see this plateauing due to social distancing. "Social distancing is working," the governor said. "I know it's hard, but we have to keep doing it."

As far as a plan for when people could get back to work, Gov. Cuomo said, "We're working with Connecticut and New Jersey, because when we go back we go back together."

He said those that go back to work first will likely be people tested with antibodies, or younger people.

Rockland County parks close
All park facilities (trails, parking lots, boat ramps, restrooms, offices, playgrounds) are closed and officials canceled all upcoming park events in Rockland County due to overcrowding.

APRIL 6, 2020

USNS Comfort to take COVID-19 patients
President Trump approved Gov. Cuomo's request that the Navy ship start treating coronavirus patients. The governor says it will add an additional 1,000 beds staffed by federal personnel to provide much-needed relief to the over-stressed hospitals in New York and New Jersey.


US Open postponed
The 120th US Open set to be played in June in Mamoroneck has been postponed to September 17.

Westchester County cases
Westchester County officials reported Monday that there are 6,184 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 211 deaths.

Is this the apex?
"It's hopeful but it's inconclusive, and it's still dependent on what we do," Governor Cuomo said of a model saying we are possibly hitting the apex.



Governor Andrew Cuomo said data suggests the spread of the virus in New York is nearing its apex, but "there is tremendous stress on the health care system."

There are 130,689 positive cases of coronavirus in New York. 16,837 are hospitalized, and 4,758 have died.

Comfort request
Governor Cuomo is also requesting the use of USNS Comfort for COVID-19 patients. The Javits Center was already approved last week for coronavirus patients.

PAUSE continues, Fines increased
Most notably, NY PAUSE is extended to April 29th. That means non-essential businesses and schools will remain closed. Governor Cuomo is increasing the fine from $500 to $1,000 for violating gathering and social distancing orders. "You don't have the right to risk someone else's life," he said.

Thank you
The governor thanked the states of Oregon, Washington, and California for sending ventilators. "We will be there for every other state like they have been for us," Cuomo said. "Leading the charge, like we always do."

APRIL 5, 2020
Washington returning 400 ventilators
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday that the state will return more than 400 ventilators of the 500 it has received from the federal government so they can go to New York and other states hit harder by the coronavirus.

The Democratic governor said Sunday his statewide stay-at-home order and weeks of social distancing have led to slower rates of infections and deaths in Washington. The state Department of Health said Washington had nearly 8,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 338 deaths. New York has more than 122,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,000 deaths.

Cautious optimism
The state reported 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday - a small decrease compared to the 630 new fatalities announced the day before. ICU admissions and intubations were also down, the governor said, while the discharge rate from hospitals was rising. Cuomo sounded cautiously optimistic even as he urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant and continue adhering to the strict social distancing policies in place.



United Airlines slashes LaGuardia, Newark service
United Airlines significantly cut service at LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports starting Sunday and for at least the next three weeks because of the COVID-19 crisis.

APRIL 4, 2020

More ventilators secured
The state got 1,000 ventilators after the Chinese government facilitated a donation from billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, the co-founders of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Cuomo said. He added that the state of Oregon had volunteered to send 140 more breathing machines.

Westchester honors COVID-19 victims
Westchester County Executive George Latimer is directing flags at all County facilities to be flown at half-staff in honor of Westchester residents who have died from coronavirus. "These are not just numbers on a growing chart, these are our neighbors," Latimer said. "As we continue to show strength and resilience as we fight this virus, we must remember the importance of grieving the ones we have lost. My condolences go out to the families and friends of those who have left us too soon."

MTA distributes N95 masks to essential workers
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Saturday it will be distributing N95 masks to essential operating employees across New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Bridges and Tunnels. "We continue to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of the 74,000 of hardworking men and women who are keeping New York moving through this difficult time," said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO in a statement. The masks were scheduled to be distributed beginning Saturday as follows: New York City Transit - 159,000; Long Island Rail Road - 40,429; Metro-North - 36,357; Bridges and Tunnels - 12,429.

APRIL 3, 2020

Governor Cuomo update on cases in state
Governor Cuomo announced that as of Friday morning, there were 102,863 positive cases of coronavirus in the state. There are 14,810 hospitalized and 2,935 deaths in New York. The number of deaths surged by more than 600 in a day. 57,159 of the cases are in New York City, while more than 22,000 are on Long Island.

Javits to treat COVID-19 cases
The governor thanked the president for allowing the state to convert the Javits Center into a COVID-19 hospital, instead of an overflow hospital for non-COVID cases. "He did it despite the fact that the federal agencies were not eager to do that, and he did it quickly, and I thank him for that," Cuomo said.

Ventilators
He also signed an executive order that hospitals not keep ventilators they aren't yet using. The governor said he didn't want someone to die because hospitals weren't sharing their ventilators. "The burn rate is about 300 ventilators a day," Cuomo said. Hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and officials fear they will soon run out of breathing machines for intensive care patients. Cuomo said his executive order will allow the state to redeploy excess ventilators and protective equipment from hospitals and other institutions. National Guard members will pick up ventilators across the state. Institutions that give up equipment will get it back or be reimbursed, he said.

Other notes
The governor says he added "E Pluribus Unum" to the state seal of New York. "Out of many, one." Cuomo said it's representative of the challenge the state is facing and the help residents need from the rest of the country. A reporter asked the governor what his late-father Governor Mario Cuomo taught him that he's using in governing through this crisis.

"Never give up, never give up, never give up, that's where we are," Cuomo said, and he added, "'Trust in love and loves triumph over hate and selfishness,' and we need love now as a people."

As for his brother Chris Cuomo, the governor said that his recovery from coronavirus is tough, but that he's doing well.

APRIL 2, 2020

Decision to keep golf courses open draws criticism
New York's decision to keep golf courses open during the coronavirus pandemic is drawing criticism from some who say it sends a mixed message.

While the overall directive has been to stay home, the area's public links have been crowded.

Death toll, cases still rising quickly
New York State now has 92,381 positive COVID-19 cases with 51,809 of those in New York City. 2,373 people have died. 13,282 people are hospitalized with 3,396 in the ICU.

New hospital space
Brooklyn Cruise Terminal temporary hospital is set to open next week and a COVID-19 only hospital at Staten Island Psychology Center is also due to open. The governor said he feels good about the number of hospital beds in the state, but said staff and supplies remain a concern.

Medical supplies needed!
Governor Cuomo announced a number for companies to help with supplies:
212-803-3100
covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov

He added that the state would pay a premium and help convert their factory. "It's a state need, it's a national need."

Governor Cuomo also encouraged residents to sign up for the New York Health Exchange as the enrollment period has been extended through May 15.

Chris Cuomo update
"New Yorkers are very compassionate and many people ask me about Chris and how he's doing," Cuomo said. He called his brother live and asked him how he's doing.

"Let's get after it!" Chris Cuomo said. "I'm doing pretty well all things considered. This is very tough. I get it now. I have now become part of this group of people who have this. You have this 5, 8, 10 days constant fever," he said.

Record Unemployment
Unemployment claims surged by more than 1,000% in New York last week to nearly 370,000 initial claims. 6,648,000 people applied for unemployment in one week. This is now the largest ever documented by the weekly jobless claims report by the Labor Department. More people have filed for unemployment over the last 2 weeks than live in New York City.

https://abc7ny.com/careers/record-unemployment-again-in-new-york-state/6071347/



APRIL 1, 2020

Yonkers mom who tested positive has warning
A woman was shocked to learn she tested positive for coronavirus three weeks after the onset of symptoms.

Recovered New Rochelle COVID-19 patients donating plasma
Some of the first residents in the Tri-State Area infected with coronavirus are now stepping up to be the first to help treat others. Dozens of members of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue have signed up to donate plasma as part of an experimental COVID-19 treatment. The screenings took place in a mobile facility parked outside of the temple.

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