NYC Coronavirus news from March 2020

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City coronavirus news and updates from March 2020.

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MARCH 31, 2020

Help for NYC first responders

Doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters and police officers are all on the front lines of the war against the coronavirus pandemic and now their ranks are being hit hard.

Local first responders are getting help. On Tuesday, the first of 250 ambulances pulled in from across the country -- staffed with 500 medics to help pick up the slack.

Congressman Max Rose deployed

Congressman Max Rose will deploy with the National Guard on Wednesday to help battle the coronavirus pandemic. Rose, a combat veteran who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, is a captain in the Army National Guard.

MTA Chairman speaks after testing positive

MTA Chairman Pat Foye spoke for the first time on Tuesday since testing positive for coronavirus. Foye, who is recovering at home after testing positive for COVID-19, is one of 582 confirmed cases among MTA employees.

Doctor tests positive

Dr. Colleen Smith, the Elmhurst Hospital ER physician who spoke with ABC News last week about the situation inside the Queens hospital, has tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Smith tells ABC News she is experiencing mild symptoms and is fine.

Spirit Airlines stops flying to NYC area

Spirit Airlines has announced it is temporarily suspending flights starting Wednesday through May 4 to and from NYC-area airports including LaGuardia, Newark and Bradley airports.

Playgrounds closed

10 New York City playgrounds are being closed due to overcrowding, the mayor said. In Queens, the Mauro Playground and two Staten Island playgrounds at Clove Lakes Park will shut down. In Brooklyn, the Middleton Playground, Fort Greene Park (two playgrounds) and Brighton Playground will close. In the Bronx, Watson Gleason and in Manhattan, Fort Tryon - Jacob Javits and Raoul Wallenberg Playground were ordered to shut down by de Blasio.

Tax lien sales postponed

All tax lien sales will be postponed from May until at least August.

Inmates released

As of the end of Monday, 900 inmates released from jail system. The mayor said there will be more ahead.

Alternate side parking suspended

Alternate side parking is being suspended for the next two weeks through April 14.

Construction work

Non-essential construction work must end immediately, while essential construction is still a go. Those in non-essential construction who don't cooperate will be fined and closed down immediately.

NYC masks

New York City is distributing three million masks to hospitals, including 800,000 n95 masks, 600,000 pairs of gloves, 120,000 face shields and 40,000 surgical gowns, Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday.

Hospital beds

Mayor de Blasio said the city needs triple the 20,000 hospital beds already in place.

NYPD has 5,600 sick calls, 5 deaths

The NYPD reported Tuesday that roughly 15% of uniformed officers, about 5,600, are currently out sick amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called it "a good thing quite frankly" because he said he doesn't want anyone coming to work sick.

MARCH 30, 2020

First minor to die in NYC

For the first time, someone under the age of 18 in the city has died from the virus. The health department says that the child between the ages of 0-17 had an underlying medical condition. NYC Health Department has announced that 914 people have died in the city as a result of COVID-19. There are 38,087 cases in the city.

World-renowned neurosurgeon dies

A world-renowned neurosurgeon in New York City has died from complications related to coronavirus. Dr. James Goodrich, a pediatric neurosurgeon and director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at New York City's Montefiore Medical Center, died of COVID-19 complications on Monday, according to the medical center.

US Open tennis site to house temporary hospital

The site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York is going to be used for 350 temporary hospital beds and to prepare food packages during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says an area that houses indoor courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows will begin to be converted into a medical facility starting Tuesday.

NYC man arrested after coughing on agents

A Brooklyn man was arrested Monday for allegedly coughing on FBI agents and telling them he had coronavirus after they confronted him over his supposed hoarding and sale of medical equipment. The suspect lied to authorities about his accumulation and sale of surgical masks, medical gowns and other medical supplies, according to the United States Department of Justice.

2 more members of NYPD die

The NYPD announced the death of two members. School Safety Agent Sabrina Jefferson, assigned to Patrol Borough Queens South School Safety (113 Precinct), died on Sunday, March 29, 2020, of complications from Coronavirus. School Safety Agent Jefferson became a member of the NYPD on February 9, 1994. Senior Police Administrative Aide Gwendolyn King, assigned to Police Service Area #3, died on Monday, March 30, 2020. The department is awaiting test results. SPAA King became a member of the NYPD on July 25, 1994.

NYPD members out sick

On Monday, March 30, 2020, 5,199 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 14.4% of the Department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 824 uniformed members and 106 civilian members tested positive for the Coronavirus.

MTA announces 5 deaths

Five MTA workers have died due to complications from the novel coronavirus.

New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg and Acting MTA Bus Company President Craig Cipriano released a statement Monday on the tragic passing of Scott Elijah, Caridad Santiago, Ernesto Hernandez, Victor Zapana and Warren Tucker.

USNS Comfort arrives in NYC

Mayor de Blasio said that 750 of the 1,000 hospital beds aboard the USNS Comfort would immediately be put into operation. "This is such a crucial part of the plan we are putting into place," de Blasio said. "We need to triple our hospital bed capacity in New York City by May."

Macys' to furlough workforce

Despite efforts to avoid cutting employees. Macy's says most of its workforce will be furloughed beginning this week due to the COVID-19 crisis.

More health care workers die of coronavirus

Two more New York City health care workers have died of the coronavirus, days after the first confirmed death. De Blasio announced Sunday the deaths of Freda Ocran, a psych educator at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, and Theresa Lococo, a pediatric nurse at Kings County Hospital. Ocran was previously the head nurse of the psych unit at Jacobi and was working, in part, to support her mother in Africa, de Blasio said. Last week, Mount Sinai West emergency room nurse Kious Kelly died Tuesday after a 10-day bout with the virus.

MARCH 29, 2020

3rd MTA worker dies

TWU Local 100 announced that beloved Track Worker Scott Elijah died as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Scott, who joined NYC Transit 15 years ago, worked for the Combined Action/Emergency Response unit (CAT/ERT) out of Parsons/Archer in Queens. Scott also was Pastor of the Bethany AME Church in Yonkers.

Amazon workers to walk off the job

Workers at the Amazon warehouse on Staten Island are planning to walk off the job Monday.

The union representing workers at Amazon's JFK8 facility says they are walking out due to the company's lack of safety protocols in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Death toll increases

The death toll in NYC increased by nearly 100 over the day on Sunday and now stands at 776. That is up 98 from the figures released earlier Sunday morning.

FDNY mechanic dies

The FDNY announced the loss of one of their own. Auto Mechanic James Villecco, 55, died Sunday due to COVID-19. He joined the FDNY Bureau of Fleet Services in 2014, assigned to the Coney Island repair facility and later, the Review Avenue facility, where he worked in the ambulance repair shop.

Queens DA has coronavirus

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz tested positive. She is feeling well and working from home.

Social distancing fines

Mayor Bill de Blasio said if people do not follow social distancing guidelines, and disobey officer orders to do so, there could be a fine given out between $250 and $500.

NYPD officers out sick

Nearly 5000 members of the NYPD are out sick. Nearly 900 have tested positive, Police Commissioner Shea said Sunday. In the last two days, Shea said recovered coronavirus patients have returned to work.

Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry will move to hourly service due to a drop in usage. The changes go into effect Sunday at midnight.

Field hospital

Samaritan's Purse staff members are quickly setting up an Emergency Field Hospital in East Meadow in Central Park, New York City, to provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19. A large Disaster Assistance Response Team, including doctors, nurse, and other medical personnel will soon be on the ground as well. The 68-bed hospital will be ready by Tuesday.

Ventilators sent out

There were 1,400 ventilators sent out to hospitals around NYC on Saturday, but the mayor says we still need 15,000. He called on the federal government to do more and says the military must be involved. He would like 400 more ventilators by April 1 when the upturn is expected to intensify.

Helping hospitals

The mayor says more staffing reinforcements will be sent to Elmhurst Hospital and other hospitals in need to give relief to those front-line workers a work.

911 calls

The mayor says more ambulances and personnel are needed and that will be done immediately to make sure New Yorkers get the help they need.

Cases still rising in NYC

The number of coronavirus cases has reached 33,768 in New York City. Figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city.

New testing site

A pop-up coronavirus drive-up testing site is coming to Co-Op City in the Bronx starting Monday.

Mount Sinai updates visitor policies

Mount Sinai Health System announced Sunday they are permitting only one health partner to join an expectant mother for labor and delivery.

MARCH 28, 2020

More than 30,000 cases in NYC

New York City has seen 672 deaths from coronavirus, a grim, mounting toll that is up 155 from the last count. The total number of positive cases in the city is now 30,765. Of those deaths, 527 of them were people with underlying conditions.

Knicks, Rangers owner James Dolan tests positive for COVID-19

Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan has tested positive for Coronavirus, Knicks representatives said in a statement. Dolan has been in self-isolation, and has been experiencing little to no symptoms.

President Trump says federally enforced quarantine in NY, NJ, CT 'not necessary'

President Trump said in a Tweet Saturday night that a federally enforced quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is not necessary. Instead he asked the CDC to issue a strong Travel Advisory.

MTA chief has COVID-19

MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye has tested positive for COVID-19.

Quarantine for NYC area?

President Donald Trump said he's considering an "enforceable quarantine" of two weeks for New York City and the surrounding area, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has no idea what that means nor how it could be enforced. Story here.

NYPD's first death

The 48-year-old NYPD detective is the first uniformed member of service to die from coronavirus.

Ventilators shipped to hospitals

Mayor de Blasio announced on Twitter the city is shipping another 1,400 ventilators to the NYC hospitals in need of more equipment.

MARCH 27, 2020

NYPD announces second coronavirus-related death

The NYPD announced Friday the death of another member stemming from, the coronavirus pandemic. Giacomina Barr-Brown, who was a Civilian Member of the Service died Thursday night in her home. Barr-Brown was a seven-year veteran of the NYPD and was assigned to the 49 Precinct Roll Call Office, where she helped to ensure patrol and administrative assignments were adequately covered on a daily basis.

Social distancing noncompliance remains major concern

Mayor de Blasio said Friday officials are very concerned about the number of people who appear to be ignoring social distancing rules as COVID-19 cases soar. He said the city will decide soon whether to start imposing $500 fines on people caught violating those rules. He also said officials will make a decision Saturday on whether to close city playgrounds.

NYC needs more ventilators, supplies

New York City estimates it will need 15,000 more ventilators to handle the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases at the city's hospitals in the coming weeks. Mayor de Blasio says officials believe the city has enough supplies to last through the coming week. However the picture after Sunday, April 5th is not clear. Any company that can offer assistance in supplying things like ventilators, surgical masks, etc. is asked to call 833-NYC-0040.

Mayor calls for rent freeze

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he will ask the state to work with the city to suspend rent guidelines for calendar year 2020, effectively freezing rent prices for millions of New Yorkers as the city copes with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fleet Week canceled

The Navy has canceled Fleet Week at the end of May. The Navy is now refocusing its efforts to quickly prepare hospital ship USNS Comfort for deployment to New York City on Monday to help support non-COVID-19 medical needs in the area.

First temp hospital in NYC opens Monday

The temporary hospital in the Javits Center will fully open on Monday, according to Governor Cuomo said.

Update on number of cases

Governor Cuomo announced that there were now 25,398 positive cases of the coronavirus in the city, with 4,005 new cases.

FDNY handled more than 6,000 calls in a day

On Thursday, the FDNY handled more than 6,000 911 calls, on what was the busiest day ever for FDNY paramedics in terms of individual medical incidents. The number is nearly double the normal amount of 911 calls and far in excess of the busiest days for medical incidents, which are New Year's Eve and July 4th during a heat wave.

Mayor speaks on GMA about city closures

Mayor de Blasio spoke to George Stephanopolous on "Good Morning America" Friday about the coronavirus and how the city is handling it. He thinks the pandemic could keep the city shut down into May.

When asked if New York City Schools could be closed through May, the mayor responded, "I think we have to be ready for that."

NYC streets closed so residents can enjoy outdoor time

To give people more space, four streets across New York City are being closed to traffic through the weekend to promote social distancing and give people more walking space.

MARCH 26, 2020

Bus operator dies

TWU Local 100 announced 61-year-old bus operator Oliver Cyrus has died from coronavirus, the second in the union. It was announced earlier that an MTA transit conductor has died.

1st member of NYPD dies

The NYPD said Custodial Assistant Dennis Dickson is the first member of the department to die of coronavirus. He faithfully served the department for 14 years.

Deputy NYC Police Commissioner hospitalized

Deputy New York City Police Commissioner John Miller has been hospitalized with symptoms indicative of coronavirus, a well-placed source told ABC News.

Miller has been tested for coronavirus but the results were not back, the source said. Miller is deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence and a former ABC News correspondent.

Cases rise

Mayor Bill de Blasio said there are now 23,112 COVI-19 cases in NYC and 365 deaths.

USNS Comfort arriving soon

US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort will arrive in New York on Monday - three weeks ahead of schedule.

Possible additional hospital sites

Gov. Cuomo announced he will be touring four additional sites that could be temporary hospitals as coronavirus continues to spread: the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island, and the NY Expo Center in the Bronx.

Inmates released

Older inmates with pre-existing conditions are under consideration to be released. As of Wednesday night, 200 inmates from the NYC jail system have been released so far and another 175 are set to be released soon. This is the first time NYC's jail population has fallen below 5,000 for first time since 1949.

More ventilators

The city will have 2,500 more ventilators than we did a few days ago -- but the mayor warned that is only 1/6 of what the city actually needs.

Triple hospital beds

Mayor de Blasio says the city currently has 20,000 hospital beds in the city, but the goal is to triple that number by May. He said that is where the federal government will be crucial, especially when it comes to personnel.

Transit worker dies

The MTA announced the death of a transit conductor due to coronavirus. Peter Petrassi worked most recently in transit operations in Long Island City.

Governors Ball canceled

Officials have canceled Governors Ball 2020 originally scheduled for June. After working to find a postponement date that works for all parties involved, it was determined there were no sufficient options available. Planning is already underway for the music festival in 2021.

de Blasio says Elmhurst hospital is priority

The mayor tweeted the hospital where 13 people died in 24 hours received 40 more ventilators and added more staff to increase capacity. He pleaded for more federal help as Elmhurst and other city hospitals are being overwhelmed with patients. He said 40 ventilators have been sent to Elmhurst and 56 additional staff members have been added.

Nurse dies

A nurse from Mount Sinai has died from coronavirus, officials with the hospital announced Wednesday. The nurse was remembered as a "hero - a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver."

13 deaths in a day at Queens hospital

Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens has been overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. 13 of them died in just 24 hours, according to a statement provided to ABC News by the city's health department.

MARCH 25, 2020

MetroCard Exchange

A woman in Brooklyn has a solution for all those MetroCards that aren't being used right now: Donate them to essential workers.

NYPD delivers food

New York's Finest are living up to that name during the city's time of need amid the coronavirus pandemic. Officers from 'Patrol Borough Brooklyn North' are delivering food to senior citizens who are stuck home.

NYU med students graduate early

New York University is allowing medical students who have met all their requirements to graduate early and get to work fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Four Seasons helps health care workers

The Four Seasons Hotel in New York announced on Wednesday that it will house nurses, doctors and other medical personnel free of charge.

Is Elmhurst Hospital the epicenter?

In the last 24 hours, 13 people have died of coronavirus at Elmhurst Hospital, a public hospital in Queens near LaGuardia Airport, which now puts itself "at the center of this crisis," according to a statement provided to ABC News by the city's health department.

International House cases

After three confirmed positive cases and one death, officials are now pushing to contain the spread of coronavirus at the International House in New York City before forcing students to vacate the building and disperse around the city and world. The International House is hoping to "fully vacate" their south building by Friday, March 27, encouraging residents to leave before that date, if possible.

Cause of outbreak in NY

The outbreak in New York is likely a combination of its size, how crowded it is, its international popularity and other factors. New York accounted for roughly half the U.S. cases, as of Wednesday. Federal officials say the rate of people being sickened is four to five times greater in New York than other parts of the country.

Inmates released

By Wednesday night, 200 inmates will have been released. Officials say more inmates will be released Thursday.

Park density

Any kind of basketball game between people who do not live under the same roof is prohibited. Our of 1,700 courts, 80 locations will have basketball hoops removed where it has been found that New Yorkers are not complying with social distancing laws.

Childcare help

Children of essential staff, including groceries and pharmacies, will qualify for regional enrichment centers starting Friday. This is in addition to first responders, transit workers and health care workers.

Appeal to Trump

The mayor questioned how elected officials "could live with themselves" after the stimulus package in Washington granted New York less than 1% of the money given out to cities and states when the city has a third of all cases. "That is just immoral," de Blasio said, adding that he would ask President Trump to intervene.

First homeless death

New York officials have confirmed the first homeless death from the novel coronavirus.

Famed NYC chef dies of coronavirus

Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on "Top Chef," won "Top Chef Masters" and operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, died Wednesday of complications from the coronavirus, his company said in a statement. He was 59

Tony Awards postponed

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled on Sunday, June 7th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date.

NYC sets up temporary morgue

The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has set up a tented temporary morgue on the East Side of Manhattan. The tents and refrigeration trucks are part of a plan to add capacity during a pandemic or disaster. At this point, per a source familiar, the city is not foreseeing that this extra morgue space will be needed. It's there just in case, as was done previously on Sept. 11 and during Superstorm Sandy.

More first responders members sick, crime down, 911 calls up

236 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus and 3,200 members of the force are sick, triple the normal sick rate. At the same time, police statistics show a 25% drop in serious crime. 84 members of FDNY have been diagnosed with coronavirus. 911 call volume has increased dramatically and on Tuesday alone, there were 5,700 calls for medical incidents, a 60% increase.

Brooklyn principal's COVID-19 death elevates concerns for school staff

The COVID-19 pandemic is now personal for the students and staff at Brooklyn's Democracy Academy, after New York City officials confirmed that principal Dezann Romain died due to complications of the corononavirus. But some, now say this first known death of a city public school staffer should be a wake-up call.

MARCH 24, 2020

White House warning

The White House is calling on those in the NYC metropolitan area who have traveled anywhere else in the country to self-isolate for 14 days.

Early graduation

Senior medical students at NYU were informed if they have met all requirements and credits, they will be granted early graduation in an effort to add more doctors to the medical field amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

More officers test positive

Officials announced as of Tuesday, there are 211 members of the NYPD who have COVID-19, and of those, 177 are uniformed officers. Around 2,800 members are currently out sick.

Death toll increases

Citywide, there are now 15,597 positive cases of COVID-19 and 192 fatalities. Currently there are 4,667 cases in Queens, 3,013 in Manhattan, 4,407 in Brooklyn, 2,505 in the Bronx, and 999 in Staten Island. There are at least 2,850 people hospitalized. Of those individuals, at least 660 were in the ICU.

MTA service changes

With MTA ridership dropping precipitously amid the coronavirus crisis, the MTA announced an "Essential Service Plan," to reduce service across the system. This means starting March 25, some subway lines will not run. The B, W and Z will not run on weekdays and other lines will run local.

The number of buses will be reduced on March 26 and a new schedule for LIRR and Metro-North will start on March 27.

More inmates released

The mayor says he is not prepared to release individuals with domestic violence or sexual assault charges, but the remainder of inmates in the city who have been convicted of misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies with less than a year left on their sentence, which is approximately 300 inmates, will be released immediately.

Birth policy update

Any partner in the room during birth must wear a mask. If a partner is symptomatic or has tested positive for coronavirus, they will not be allowed in the room.

Parking updates

Alternate side parking will be suspended for another seven days through Tuesday, March 31.

Savings program

City agencies have been instructed to figure out a plan to save at least $1.3 billion.

Streets opening

As part of a pilot program, at least two streets will open in each borough to allow for better social distancing while exercising. Details will be announced at a later date. Every site will be enforced by NYPD and other agencies.

Decision to close playgrounds

The mayor says if it is not clear by Saturday that New Yorkers are following social distancing rules in parks, playgrounds will be shut down.

More ventilators

Officials announced that 4,000 ventilators will arrive in New York state in the next 48 hours, and of those, 2,000 will go straight to NYC.

Ongoing battle

Mayor Bill de Blasio believes the month of May could be worse for New York City than April as coronavirus cases increase throughout the city.

NYC gets 400 ventilators

The federal government has sent 400 desperately needed ventilators to New York City, a 20% increase over the 2,000 ventilators available as of last week, as FEMA works to set up a 1,000 bed hospital at the Javits Center. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the New York City Emergency Management warehouse, where the ventilators arrived before being distributed to New York City hospitals.

NYPD patrolling parks, streets

The NYPD has begun patrolling New York City parks and streets to ensure residents are practicing appropriate social distancing to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

They are also taking aim at playgrounds to make sure there are no gatherings or large groups.

Enforcing social distancing

NYPD has begun patrolling the parks and streets to ensure residents are practicing appropriate social distancing.

MARCH 23, 2020

Helping TLC drivers

New York City is looking to put out-of-work driver back behind the wheel as the coronavirus pandemic continues to put NYC on pause. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is hiring licensed drivers for jobs like delivering food to senior citizens who can't leave home.

Cases continue to rise

There are 13,119 positive cases of coronavirus in NYC and 125 fatalities. Currently there are 3,848 cases in Queens, 2,646 in Manhattan, 3,742 in Brooklyn, 1,999 in the Bronx and 877 in Staten Island.

There are at least 2,213 people are hospitalized. Of those individuals, at least 525 are in the ICU.

School principal dies

The principal of a school in Brooklyn has died from coronavirus. NYC Councilmember Mark Treyger said Dezann Romain, the principal of Brooklyn Democracy Academy, has died.

New rules at some NYC hospitals during COVID-19 crisis

As some New York City hospitals are getting overrun with COVID-19 patients, they are now instituting strict rules that deny both birth parents inside the delivery room.

NYPD members test positive

Officials say 129 members of the NYPD have tested positive as of Monday afternoon.

Inmates released

At least 75 inmates have been released from city jails. Officials will determine Monday evening how many more inmates out of a group of 200 will also be released as coronavirus continues to spread. The mayor is working to determine the right number of people to release and the right inmates.

City agencies required to cut spending

Mayor de Blasio announced spending needs to be prioritized for agencies that are helping the coronavirus pandemic. Other agencies are required to cut spending.

Enforcing density in parks

Mayor de Blasio says this is the week to test different approaches to enforcing social distancing in city parks. He said if it can't be done, officials will come up with new rules.

The NYPD will make it a high priority to be present around parks and playgrounds. There will also be officials from the FDNY, the DOB, sanitation workers and more present to encourage social distancing.

More ventilators

Mayor de Blasio announced 400 ventilators from the federal stockpile are arriving to help NYC. The mayor said they will make a huge difference, but the need is in the thousands.

FDNY members test positive

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro says 46 members have tested positive. Two are hospitalized. None are believed to have caught the virus while working, but the investigation continues.

Positive cases continue to rise

The number of cases of COVID-19 in New York City have increased to 12,339. That includes 3,621 cases in Queens 2,572 in Manhattan, 3,494 in Brooklyn 1,829 in the Bronx, and 817 in Staten Island.

Work begins on converting Javits Center into a hospital

Governor Cuomo visited Javits Center on Monday afternoon, saying in about a week to 10 days it will house 1000 federal emergency hospital beds that will act as a backfill to New York hospitals.

MTA announces new numbers

MTA officials say the agency now has 30 workers who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Remote learning begins, meal sites open

More than one million New York City students begin remote learning on Monday, while 400 meal sites for students open across the city.

MARCH 22, 2020

Coronavirus deaths in New York City soar to 99

Citywide, there are 10,764 positive cases of COVID-19 and 99 fatalities.

Currently there are 3,050 cases in Queens 2,324 in Manhattan, 3,154 in Brooklyn 1,564 in the Bronx, and 666 in Staten Island.

There are at least 1,800 people are hospitalized. Of those individuals, at least 450 are in the ICU.

More NYPD officers test positive

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said 98 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. He said three of those cases are still hospitalized. Of the 98 cases, Shea says that includes 70 officers from the uniform side and 28 on the civilian side. It is not believed that all of the cases were spread at work.

Parking permits for healthcare workers

It hasn't been done before, but Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that parking permits will be granted to healthcare workers. To start, 10,000 permits will be distributed to the "heroic workers" starting Monday.

Inmates released

Officials say 23 low-risk inmates will be released from the NYC prison system on Sunday due to coronavirus. All are over the age of 55. Another group of 200 low-risk inmates are being considered for early release who may be more susceptible to COVID-19. A decision on that group is expected to come this week.

Density in parks

While it is normal to want or need to get exercise while the city is on pause, Mayor Bill de Blasio is in agreement with the governor that groups, picnics and team sports must come to an end. Social distancing must be practiced, even while in the parks, and the city will do its best to monitor and enforce it.

He said it is a parent's responsibility to keep children away from others on the playground. Playgrounds will be open and monitored and enforced, but parents will have to make their own choices for what they feel is appropriate. The mayor said he will see how this week goes, but if it doesn't work out, the parks could be shut down.

Organizing production in NYC

The mayor announced a new leader for the city's production efforts in NYC. The mayor said this does not let the federal government off the hook, but "if we can produce something in NYC, we will produce it here."

NYC is at epicenter of crisis

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City is at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. He said cases in the city represent one-third of the cases in the United States of America and two-thirds of the cases in the state of New York.

As cases continue to climb in NYC, the mayor announced that no deaths have been reported among people between the ages of newborn to 44 years old.

Another TSA officer tests positive

Another TSA officer has tested positive at JFK Airport, bringing the total number to five.

Density still a problem in NYC

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says density in New York City is still a problem, especially in parks. He is calling on the city to develop a plan to correct the problem within 24 hours.

Cases top 9,000 in New York City

Officials announced NYC now has 9,654 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 63 fatalities. More than 15,000 cases have been reported statewide with 114 deaths.

Currently there are 2,715 cases in Queens, 2,072 in Manhattan, 2,857 in Brooklyn, 1,411 in the Bronx, and 593 in Staten Island.

38 test positive for coronavirus in NYC jails

New York City was hit by the nation's largest coronavirus jail outbreak to date this week, with at least 38 people testing positive at the notorious Rikers Island complex and nearby facilities - more than half of them incarcerated men, the board that oversees the city's jail system said.

'Worst is yet to come'

Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that NYC has not seen the worst of the coronavirus crisis yet.

"April is going to be a lot worse than March and I fear May can be worse than April. The honest truth. In terms of out hospital system, bluntly, we are about 10 days from seeing widespread shortages of fundamental supplies - ventilators surgical masks, the things that absolutely necessary to keep a hospital system running and we have seen next to nothing from the Federal Govt," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN on Sunday.

MARCH 21, 2020

Cases top 8,000

New York City reports there are 8,115 positive cases. 60 people have died. Currently, there are 2,254 cases in Queens 1,868 in Manhattan, 2,484 in Brooklyn, 1,071 in the Bronx, and 437 in Staten Island.

At least 1,450 people are hospitalized. Of those individuals, at least 370 are in the ICU.

NYC urges limits on virus tests, citing equipment shortage

New York City health officials have directed medical providers to stop giving patients tests for the coronavirus, except for people sick enough to require hospitalization. They say wider testing is exhausting supplies of protective equipment. In an advisory issued Friday, the health department said outpatient testing should stop unless results would impact treatment for the patient.

Positive case at Columbia University gives students one week to evacuate

Columbia University's South International House has one week to pack up their things and leave the building, after an employee has new tested positive for COVID-19. It leaves those students who've called the I-House home - many coming from all around the world - scrambling to find another place to stay, or a plane ticket home.

MARCH 20, 2020

43 COVID-19 fatalities reported in NYC

As of 6:00 PM Friday, citywide, there 5,683 positive cases of COVID-19 and 43 fatalities. Currently there are 1,514 cases in Queens 1,402 in Manhattan, 1,740 in Brooklyn,736 in the Bronx, and 285 in Staten Island.

Coronavirus in New York: The overview

Brooklyn continues to have the most cases of coronavirus in New York City, with 1,518. The borough of Queens reports 1,406, followed by Manhattan with 1,314. There are 667 in the Bronx and 242 on Staten Island, de Blasio revealed Friday evening. Other key details: A third of all coronavirus cases in the United States are in New York City, and two-thirds of all coronavirus cases in the state of New York are in the city.

De Blasio said that while medical supplies will dwindle in the coming weeks, "it will get worse" later in April and into May.

Gerber Group turns shuttered restaurant into food pantry for laid-off employees

A New York City Hospitality Group converted one of its shuttered bars and restaurants into a food pantry of sorts for its employees on Friday.

Brooklyn Diocese closes churches

The Brooklyn Diocese closed its churches after two priests tested positive for COVID-19. There will be no more funerals, weddings, and baptisms, which were previously limited to 10 people. The diocese says that continuing these services "is proving not to be feasible."

TSA updates number of cases

The TSA now says 14 of its officers have tested positive for COVID-19, including four at New York area airports. There are three cases at John F. Kennedy International Airport and one at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Latest number of positive coronavirus cases in NYC

There are 5,151 positive cases of coronavirus in New York City. 29 people have died. Currently, there are 1,406 cases in Queens, 1,314 in Manhattan, 1,518 in Brooklyn, 667 in the Bronx, and 242 in Staten Island.

JFK control tower closed for cleaning

Kennedy Airport's control tower was closed for cleaning Thursday after a worker who had previously been in the facility tested positive. During the cleaning, controllers have been operating "from an alternate location on airport property." As air traffic is currently diminished, the shift in operations to a secondary location went largely unnoticed Thursday afternoon.

Shelter-in-place debate intensifies between de Blasio, Cuomo

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is two to three weeks away from hospitals running out of critical supplies and he's once again recommending Governor Cuomo order New Yorkers to shelter in place. Mayor de Blasio says it's time New York followed California's lead, but Cuomo disagrees.

MARCH 19, 2020

Worker at Columbus Circle Whole Foods tests positive for COVID-19

A worker at Columbus Circle Whole Foods tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in a statement. The store was closed early Wednesday to perform an additional cleaning and disinfection. The worker is currently in quarantine.

Blood Center needs to maintain supply

The New York Blood Center is extending open hours at its donor centers and urging healthy donors to make appointments to help maintain the region's blood supply.

NYC students wait in long lines to pick up laptops

More than a million public school students in New York City are entering a brave new world starting on Monday. Schools were closed this week, but on Thursday, there were long lines in Long Island City, where more than a hundred students were picking up their laptops from the DOE to prepare for remote learning.

Prisoners could be released

To ensure the health and safety of the City's jail population, Mayor de Blasio, in partnership with the NYPD and the Mayor's Office of Criminal justice, has compiled a list of 40 detainees for release who are high risk for COVID-19 related complications and low risk for re-offending. The list is currently pending the approval of the five City District Attorneys.

More NYPD officers test positive

NYPD officials announced they now have 20 positive cases throughout the department. The NYPD had previously announced three coronavirus cases, including two high-ranking officials.

More meals served to students

Almost 200,000 meals were served to New York City students across the city on Thursday. That number is a significant increase from the 14,000 meals served on Monday.

Growing crisis at hospitals

Hospitals are two to three weeks from running out of crucial materials, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. He called on President Donald Trump to speed up help and called him to the "Herbert Hoover of his generation" because of his handling of this crisis.

"For some reason you continue to hesitate," de Blasio said of Trump and the promised aid the mayor says is not on its way.

MTA employees test positive

The MTA announced 23 employees across New York City Transit (19) and the Long Island Rail Road (4) have tested positive for the virus.

NYCFC staff member tests positive

The New York Red Bulls announced they are aware of New York City FC's announcement that a member of the NYCFC sporting department has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Staff members who worked the New York City FC - Tigres UANL Concacaf Champions League match at Red Bull Arena last Wednesday have been contacted. In consultation with club medical officials, officials say it has been determined that staff working the match were at low risk for exposure, given the limited interaction with NYCFC personnel and the time between the match and beginning of symptoms.

More testing sites in NYC

The city announced that "expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing capacity across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers, and 4 drive-thru test sites."

According to the city: Eight of the ten acute care "assessment and testing" centers at NYC Health + Hospitals are now open on an appointment-only basis, including H+H/Bellevue, H+H/Elmhurst, H+H/Harlem, H+H/Metropolitan, H+H/Kings County, H+H/Lincoln, H+H/Woodhull, and H+H/Queens. Assessment and testing centers at H+H/Coney Island and H+H/Jacobi will be live early next week. These tents are similar to those utilized during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. One drive thru testing site, H+H/Jacobi, is currently operational; H+H/Coney Island becomes operational this Friday. Two remaining sites - H+H/Jacobi and H+H/Kings County - will be coming online next week. Patients with appointments will receive an expedited consultation with a primary care physician to capture their medical history before their sample is collected for testing. This will ensure that the appropriate medical treatment is provided should a test come back positive. Samples collected by NYC Health + Hospitals will be sent to BioReference Laboratory for testing.

Greater restrictions on workforce

Governor Cuomo announced on Thursday that no more than 25% of employees can be in the workforce in office. Exempt from that order are places that provide essential services like food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, ect. There is still a voluntary for businesses to have everyone stay at home.

Amazon employee tests positive

An employee at Amazon's Queens Delivery Station has tested positive for COVID-19.

New York City's 1st drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility opens

The drive-thru mobile testing facility is located in the parking lot of the South Beach Behavioral Health Center off Seaview Avenue on Staten Island. If you want to make an appointment at this new Staten Island drive thru you need to call the state department of health at 888-364-3065.

MARCH 18, 2020

De Blasio seeks to clarify NYC shelter-in-place views, praises San Francisco's order

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday sought to clarify comments he made about the possibility of a "shelter-in-place" order in New York City, insisting he was not envisioning a Draconian shutdown of bridges and borders in a desperate bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

His comments on Tuesday, in which he said New Yorkers should prepare for a shelter-in-place order to be handed down within 48 hours, put the mayor in opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who repeatedly knocked down talk of a quarantine and said that only the state has the power to issue one, and that none was forthcoming. In his new comments on Wednesday, de Blasio expressed praise for what he called the "San Francisco model," in which residents of several counties in the Bay Area have been ordered to stay at their homes, but are not forbidden to leave them. It is not a full lockdown.

New York COVID-19 case believed to be contagious while at JFK Airport, health officials say

An individual from Monroe County who tested positive for COVID-19 was believed to be contagious while at John F. Kennedy International Airport, health officials say. Officials say the individual was en route from JFK to Rochester on Delta Flight 4824 on Saturday, March 14. The flight departed at 4:05 p.m. from JFK and arrived at 5:55 p.m. in ROC.

The individual has been under isolation since arrival, and officials say close household contacts have be under self-quarantine.

Organizations helping restaurant workers with loans amid COVID-19 crisis

Restaurant employees are taking a hard hit as businesses in New York City shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several organizations are helping restaurant workers get loans.

Inmate diagnosed with COVID-19 inside of Rikers Island first case among detainee population

A Rikers Island inmate tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the New York City Department of Correction announced Wednesday. It is the first case among the detainee population.

NYSE suspends floor trading

The New York Stock Exchange will move temporarily to fully electronic trading on Monday, March 23. Floor trading will be suspended because of the coronavirus.

"NYSE's trading floors provide unique value to issuers and investors, but our markets are fully capable of operating in an all-electronic fashion to serve all participants, and we will proceed in that manner until we can re-open our trading floors to our members," said Stacey Cunningham, president of the New York Stock Exchange, in a statement. "While we are taking the precautionary step of closing the trading floors, we continue to firmly believe the markets should remain open and accessible to investors. All NYSE markets will continue to operate under normal trading hours despite the closure of the trading floors."

A cluster in Borough Park?

The state is examining reports of a cluster in that part of Brooklyn. It is unclear if there is simply a lot of testing there, or if there is a cluster.

Restaurants issued summonses

The NYPD issued two summonses to restaurants after visiting thousands last night. The NYPD says they found "virtual complete compliance." Officers visited 6,344 locations and 4,015 of them were closed.

Officers were instructed they have the power to close any restaurant violating the gathering ban, and can summons the owner. But they have the leeway to issue a warning and only write a summons after numerous requests for compliance.

Rikers Island Coronavirus

A correction officer who works at Rikers Island tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the union. An investigator from the Correction Department died on Monday, but he had minimal contact with inmates. The sickened officer works at gate one on the Rikers Island side. He takes people's identification from them and then gives it back.

He learned of his diagnosis sometime over the past week. His condition is not yet known. The Correction Benevolent Association is calling for more masks, more gloves, and more hand sanitizer.

NYC's 1st drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility being built on Staten Island

New York City's first coronavirus testing facility is being constructed in Staten Island's South Beach section.

MARCH 17, 2020

New York City cases rise to 923 and 10 deaths

Mayor de Blasio announced three additional coronavirus deaths and 109 more cases, bringing the death total to 10 and 923 cases.

NYPD officer diagnosed with coronavirus

An NYPD officer has tested positive for COVID-19, and 17 colleagues have called out, officials said. Sources tell Eyewitness News that a total of 31 officers have called out sick in the 1st precinct - the other 14 are sick but NOT in relation to coronavirus.

ConEd worker tests positive for coronavirus after whistle blowers speak out

A ConEd worker tested positive for coronavirus after whistle blowers spoke out about safety concerns to Eyewitness News.

Another Brooklyn College student tests positive for COVID-19

Brooklyn College announced Tuesday another student tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

School officials say the college will be closed on Wednesday, March 18.

What a shelter in place could look like, and when could it come?

The mayor conceded such an order would pose "tremendously substantial challenges." The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City is 814, and seven people have died. The mayor's office said there isn't a definition yet on what a shelter in place might look like, but it is not expected to be a quarantine. It could more resemble the order now in place in the Bay Area.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning said a quarantine would not be happening, and that only the state has the power to order one.

Concerns over panic-buying

Asked whether even raising the possibility would trigger panic buying de Blasio said "I am course am concerned" but he said it was better to be transparent and honest about what's going on. The mayor said there would be "leeway" for going to the grocery store and the pharmacy but he noted "We would have to create that from scratch."

Mayor issues call for medical helpers

The mayor also put out a call for anyone with health care skills to step forward and offer their services. They can visit

City hospitals will also soon be able to administer up to 5,000 tests per day, with results delivered in one to two days.

Other key developments in NYC:

* People arrested with flu-like symptoms will not be taken into central booking or a precinct

* Alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended through March 24.

* All ride hailing pools (such as Uber and Lyft) are banned. People who are a couple can ride together.

Alert sent to phones for COVID-19 awareness

An alert sent to all NYC-area cell phones, similar to an Amber Alert, went out Tuesday evening encouraging residents to sign up for proactive info by texting COVID to 692-692 (COVIDESP for Spanish).

MTA asks for $3.7 billion federal bailout

The MTA says ridership is down amid the coronavirus outbreak, and officials are asking the federal government for a $3.7 billion bailout.

Business slows to a crawl across the city

It's the new reality for many here in New York City: as businesses shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19.

4 Brooklyn Nets players test positive for COVID-19

The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that four players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, though they declined to identify them.

Councilman tests positive

Councilman Ritchie Torres announced he has tested positive for COVID-19. He said he will be under quarantine in his Bronx apartment for the next few weeks.

Watch Met performances live

The Metropolitan Opera has canceled performances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Met will stream a title from its Live in HD series each night through the duration of the closure. The performances, originally captured as live broadcasts in movie theatres worldwide, will begin at 7:30 PM from the company's homepage.

Another Yankees minor leaguer tests positive

The New York Yankees have informed their minor league players that another minor leaguer in the organization has tested positive for coronavirus, sources familiar with the message distributed to players told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Tuesday. The Yankees have now had two minor league players test positive for coronavirus. The previous player had only spent time in the minor league portion of the Yankees' spring training facility.

Michael Bloomberg pledges $40M to fight COVID-19

Former New York City mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg announced on Tuesday a $40 million commitment to support "immediate action" to fight the spread of the coronavirus in low and middle-income countries.

Small group keeps NYC's St. Patrick's Parade alive amid COVID-19

A small group kept the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade tradition alive by marching up Fifth Avenue Tuesday morning.

Flight returns to JFK Airport over COVID-19 concerns

A flight was forced to return to a terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after concern that a passenger might have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

MARCH 16, 2020

New York City restaurants, bars limited to takeout, delivery only

All New York City bars and restaurants are now limited to takeout and delivery only in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

New York City schools closed at least until April 20

New York City schools are now closed and will remain shuttered through at least Monday, April 20, leaving more than 1.1 million children home in hopes of curbing the spread of coronavirus.



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