Coronavirus Update: 'We are not there yet,' NYC Mayor de Blasio says, but also sees hope

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The number of people who need ventilators has decreased, "buying a few more days" of supply, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

"I am hopeful, but I am not drawing conclusions until I am 100% sure and my health team is 100% sure. But the good news is it is giving us some more time. It is giving us the opportunity to get more ventilators in and know we can get farther into the week. So that's very good news. Just the fact that we know we have bought a few more days and we can absolutely protect lives because ventilators will be there, that's crucial news. We'll have to see in the days ahead if it's something sustained and something that deepens," de Blasio said.

The death toll from coronvirus rose to 4,111 in New York City on Tuesday. Nearly 77,000 have tested positive.



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APRIL 7, 2020

Anti-Asian bias crimes increasing
There is another growing group of victims amid the coronavirus pandemic, Asian Americans who are being attacked and accused of causing the virus.

Sunday night in Dyker Heights, police say a 51-year-old resident was simply taking out her garbage when a man doused her with some kind of chemical which burned her face, neck, shoulders and back.

7 On Your Side Investigates race and coronavirus
The COVID-19 virus is hitting communities of color the hardest, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But so far, the city and state has not released the data to back it up.

It's data some say can help save lives. The mayor said the city plans to release the information sometime this week, but some say it's not soon enough.

Another NYPD death
Police Communications Technician Ava Walker, who was assigned to the NYPD's Communications Section, died on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from coronavirus-related complications. Police Communications Technician Walker became a member of the NYPD on September 24, 1999.


NYPD members out sick
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 7,060 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 19.5% of the Department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,006 uniformed members and 338 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Grim numbers
More people have now died from the coronavirus in New York City than perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. At least 3,202 people have been killed in the city by the virus, according to a new count released by city health officials Tuesday.

The deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil killed 2,753 people in the city and 2,977 overall, when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001.

Feeding the hungry
2.6 million meals delivered in the last three weeks. 435 sites around the city are available for people to get breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is now an initiative for food delivery for seniors who are home bound. "We will not let any new Yorker go hungry. We have been planning from the beginning of this crisis to address the hunger problem," Mayor de Blasio said during an appearance at the Meal Hub at P.S. 1. He thanked food service workers who have provided thousands of meals to families, children and adults. The mayor said the initial projections is that at least one half million New Yorkers are already out of work or soon will be. People in need of food assistance can visit nyc.gov/getfood for more information.

Fun at home
A free new digital platform to provide safe, fun, and entertaining virtual activities is now available for New York City's teens and young adults. This first-of-its-kind campaign combines city and community resources to engage teens who are at home during the COVID-19 crisis, and also provides tips to cope with the public and mental health challenges that may arise during this difficult time. Fun at Home can be accessed at nyc.gov/funathome or texting "Fun" to 97743 to receive the latest updates on resources and activities.

$10M Donation to help health care workers
Deborah and Leon Black have teamed up with the Mayor's Fund and donated $10 million to help get food and crucial household supplies for the families of the healthcare workers. "This initiative is called healthcare heroes," Mayor de Blasio said. "They are looking for matching donations from others who can help. If more comes in, they are ready to provide another $10 million to match up to $10 million in donations from other donors. So, an incredible, incredible effort."

APRIL 6, 2020

MTA workers killed by COVID-19
NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said 33 members of the MTA have now died from coronavirus. She said more than 1,100 members have tested positive and 5,600 are quarantined.

NYPD officer recovers
An NYPD officer is back on duty after fully recovering from coronavirus. NYPD Inspector Kathleen Walsh tweeted about the exciting return of Officer Prieto to the 19th Precinct on Monday.

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.

Helping health care heroes
Health care workers from across the country have answered the call for help and joined doctors and nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in New York City.

New York Habitat President Marie-Reine Jézéquel witnessed their acts of selfless dedication and wanted to help by providing essential workers with immediate temporary emergency housing near hospitals and crisis centers.

Inmate at Rikers dies
The NYC Dept. of Correction confirms an inmate who tested positive for coronavirus has died. It marks the first confirmed death of an infected prisoner.

Another NYPD death
NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of Auxiliary Police Officer Ramon Roman, who succumbed to COVID19 . The dad of an NYPD cop, Ramon was a 10-year member of the police family.


Temporary graves possible
As the death toll from coronavirus reached 3,128 in New York City, one councilman tweeted that temporary graves were being considered to ease an overwhelmed system.

The Mayor's Office disputed tweets by Councilman Mark Levine on Monday that suggested parks could be used.

Mayor visits Brooklyn Navy Yard
Local companies are now manufacturing thousands of protective hospital gowns at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to supply the city's health care workers. The mayor said hospitals and nursing homes used 1.9 million gowns last week and anticipated needing 2.5 million this week.

Safe Streets suspended
The mayor confirmed during his news conference that the "Safe Streets" pilot program, where four major streets are closed to traffic to give pedestrians room to walk, is being suspended because not enough people used the streets and it took too many NYPD officers to maintain the street closures.

APRIL 5, 2020

Detective laid to rest
The first uniformed member of the NYPD to die from the coronavirus was laid to rest over the weekend. Pallbearers wore masks as they held up the coffin of Det. Cedric Dixon. The 48-year-old died in March after being admitted to North Central Bronx Hospital with flu-like symptoms.

Another NYPD death
Auxiliary Police Sergeant Angel Leon, who was assigned to the 43rd Precinct, died on Saturday, April 4, 2020, from coronavirus-related complications. Auxiliary Police Sergeant Leon became a member of the NYPD on September 24, 1981.

Officers out sick
On Sunday, April 5, 2020, 6,718 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 18.6% of the Department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 1,843 uniformed members and 274 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Tiger tests positive
A tiger at Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with contagious employee. Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover.

Mount Sinai needs help
Mount Sinai posted a link on the hospital's website that allows donors to select gift amounts and medical equipment they'd like to donate. The hospital requested several items that range from ventilators and anti-body tests to an Uber car ride home for a nurse.

Help arrives
The mayor says 291 medical personnel form the military -- dedicated specifically to the public hospital system -- are arriving in NYC on Sunday.

Ventilator needs
NYC has enough to ventilators to last through Tuesday or Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. Officials thought that NYC would run out of crucial equipment as early as Sunday night. The city has distributed 2,865 ventilators. There are only 135 ventilators left in the city's stockpile. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 ventilators are needed through next Sunday to ensure adequate front-line supply.

Queens pastor death
The Diocese of Brooklyn announced the death of Father Gioacchino Basile, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, who has been ministering as Pastor of Saint Gabriel Church in the East Elmhurst section of Queens. Father Basile is the second priest serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to die as a result of the coronavirus.

No Zoom for NYC classes
NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has instructed teachers to stop using the virual meeting tool Zoom for classes due to security concerns. "There are many new components to remote learning, and we are making real-time decisions in the best interest of our staff and student. We will support staff and students in transitioning to different platforms such as Microsoft Teams that have the same capabilities with appropriate security measures in place."

Javits Center, hospitals prepare for mass surge in patients
Officials are hurrying to open up more beds for patients like the temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan, which will begin accepting patients with the virus this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio said there could be 5,000 people on ventilators in the city by the end of this week,

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

NYPD announces two more coronavirus deaths
The department says Auxiliary Police Lieutenant, Pierre Moise, assigned to the 71 Precinct, died on March 28, 2020 from complications due to coronavirus. School Safety Agent Linosee Mosley, assigned to the 111 Precinct School Safety Unit, died on April 3, 2020 from complications due to coronavirus.

6,698 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 18.5% of the Department's uniformed workforce. 1,775 uniformed members and 260 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

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.

China, Oregon send help
Cuomo reiterated the state's urgent need for ventilators, and said China will be providing a helping hand by sending 1,000 ventilators to New York that will arrive Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, while Oregon is lending 140 ventilators. Mayor Bill de Blasio also thanked Oregon for their contributions via Twitter.


Ninth Finest dies of COVID-19
School Safety Agent Linosee Mosley, a 26-year veteran of the NYPD, has died from complications of COVID-19. "Today, the entire NYPD mourns as our hearts go out to his family, friends & colleagues," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted.

Cardinal Dolan to hold virtual Palm Sunday mass
Timothy Cardinal Dolan will hold a virtual mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on Palm Sunday, April 5 at 10 a.m. He will bless several tons food that Catholic Charities of New York will distribute to food-insecure New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis on Holy Thursday, April 9. The service will be streaming online.

Prioritizing first responders, health care workers
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join PSK Supermarkets and unions representing first responders and health care workers to call on the city and state to identify dedicated testing locations for these workers. Adams will also call for all grocery stores throughout the city to prioritize first responders, health care workers and hospital personnel for checkout. PSK, which owns Foodtown and Pathmark supermarkets, has already instituted this policy in their 13 stores throughout New York State.

APRIL 3, 2020

12 deaths per hour
Amid fears of an even greater surge next week, New York City is now seeing about 12 deaths an hour from COVID-19, with 1,867 total coronavirus fatalities reported in New York City, an increase of 305 in a 24-hour period, the New York City Health Department announced Friday evening. The agency also announced a significant jump in the number of cases of COVID-19. There are now 56,289 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in New York City, a 13% increase in a 24-hour period. 11,739 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in New York City.

Siren serenade for healthcare workers
On Friday night, members of the FDNY parked in front of New York University Langone Hospital and the NYPD in front of Weill Cornell, serenading nurses and doctors with their sirens in a sign of support and appreciation for working the front-lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Another COVID-19 loss for the NYPD
School Safety Agent Luis Albino died Friday from complications of COVID-19, the NYPD announced.

"Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and colleagues," tweeted Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Alibno was a member of the Bronx School Safety Patrol.

For New York City, a race against time
Warning the city is in a race against time, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday issued a national call to arms in the fight against COVID-19, seeking thousands of more ventilators, beds and medical personnel as soon as possible.

The mayor also says the city needs 45,000 more medical personnel, with 85,000 beds required, including 20,000 ICU beds. The city was sending out a wireless emergency text alert Friday in an effort to recruit medical personnel to volunteer.

2nd Bravest dies of coronavirus
A second member of the FDNY has died from coronavirus, New York's Bravest announced Friday.

Deputy Chief Inspector Syed Rahman, 59, a 22-year veteran of the force, died of COVID-19, officials said.

According to an FDNY release, Rahman oversaw fire protection inspectors in the department's Bureau of Management Analysis and Planning, Office of Internal Audit and Control. The team conducts audits of initial inspections on potentially high-risk New York City buildings under construction, demolition or asbestos abatement (CDA).

"Deputy Chief Inspector Rahman dedicated his life to helping others through his service to the Department, and New Yorkers were safer because of his outstanding work," Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. "Every day, he helped accomplish FDNY's lifesaving mission and ensured construction, demolition, and abatement took place safely in our city. Our entire Department mourns his loss."

The FDNY also announced that 376 members of the New York City Fire Department have tested positive for coronavirus. Further, 24% of EMS and 17% of firefighters are out sick.

Dire need for healthcare workers
Warning the city is in a race against time, Mayor de Blasio issued a national call to arms in the fight against COVID-19, seeking thousands of more ventilators, beds and medical personnel as soon as possible.
The city needs 45,000 more medical personnel, with 85,000 beds required, including 20,000 ICU beds. The city was sending out a wireless emergency text alert Friday in an effort to recruit medical personnel to volunteer.

Need for ventilators
New York City is in need of 2,500-3,000 more ventilators by next week. Mayor de Blasio said Friday that a 'huge surge' is coming, but a total of 15,000 to take care of patients through April and May.

Masks to Javits
atriots owner Robert Kraft purchased more than a million n95 masks and 300-thousand will be delivered to the Javits Center on Friday.

Morgues and funeral homes overwhelmed
Morgue space is almost full in New York City, according to FEMA records reviewed by ABC News. Funeral homes in the city are dealing with more deaths than they can handle.

Free city meals expanded
Grab-and-go meals will be available to anyone who needs food including children and adults at 435 sites.

Bells of Hope
Churches in Brooklyn and Queens will ring their bells every day at 3:00 p.m. starting Friday and continuing through the pandemic.

APRIL 2, 2020

1st reported death of an NYC teacher
Sandra Santos-Vizcaino, who taught third grade at an elementary school in Brooklyn, is the first New York City school teacher reported to have died of COVID-19.

"This is a devastating tragedy," schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said Thursday. "Sandra was a beloved teacher at P.S. 9."

More deaths in the NYPD family
The New York City Police Department announced School Safety Agent Roniece Watson, assigned to the School Safety Division, died on Monday, March 30, 2020, of complications from coronavirus. Watson became a member of the NYPD on September 8, 2003.

Commissioner Dermot Shea announced later Thursday that Auxiliary Police Officer Lynford Chambers died from complications of COVID-19 earlier in the day.


NYPD considering new policy
The NYPD is considering a citywide policy that would keep officers from responding to minor automobile accidents. It would expand a pilot program launched on Staten Island last year where officers do not respond to 911 calls for non-injury, fender-benders.

NYPD members out sick
On Thursday, 6,498 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 18% of the Department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 1,354 uniformed members and 169 civilian members tested positive for coronavirus.

New Yorkers urged to cover faces
Mayor Bill de Blasio is advising all New Yorkers to wear face coverings when going outside or if in close contact with other people.

The mayor made the announcement Thursday afternoon, but was quick to clarify this does not mean a professional or surgical mask -- those should be left for first responders and healthcare workers.

Javits Center facility to treat COVID-19 patients
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the temporary hospital facility at Javits Convention Center will treat COVID-19 patients. "As we all know, the growing coronavirus cases are threatening the capacity of our hospital system," said Cuomo in a statement released late Thursday afternoon. "The state-owned Javits Center has been turned into a 2,500-bed emergency medical facility being run by the US Army. The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-COVID patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds. However, the number of COVID positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept COVID positive patients. I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York's request. I thank the President for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making."

Rapper Tekashi69 granted compassionate release
Daniel Hernandez, better known as Tekashi69, has been granted compassionate release due to coronavirus. "The COVID-19 pandemic is extraordinary and unprecedented in modern times in this nation. It presents a clear and present danger to free society for reasons that need no elaboration. COVID-19 presents a heightened risk for incarcerated defendants like Mr. Hernandez with respiratory ailments such as asthma," the judge wrote. The 23-year-old Hernandez suffers from severe asthma. He was busted by the feds in 2018 in a racketeering conspiracy case involving a New York street gang. Hernandez pleaded guilty to some charges and cooperated with the government, leading to several guilty pleas of co-defendants and convictions at trial.

De Blasio: NYC engaged in 'epic process'
Mayor de Blasio says NYC is engaged in the "epic process" of increasing hospital capacity from 20,000 beds to 65,000 beds by the end of April. He said the city needs over 5 million masks, 100,000 gowns and 400 more ventilators by Sunday just to be prepared for next week. He said the city will need up to 3,000 more ventilators during the next week. New York City now has nearly 52,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 1,300 people have died.

Mayor tells Trump NYC needs military to mobilize
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he spoke with President Trump and his COVID-19 team Thursday and stressed the need for the US military to be mobilized.
De Blasio said the only way New York City will meet the enormous healthcare challenges in the coming weeks was to have the talent and manpower of the US military called into action.
The mayor said he also stressed the need for an unprecedented mobilization of all trained healthcare personnel across the country to help with the crisis, including civilians and retired individuals.

NYPD reports 20% drop in crime
Crime in New York City was down 20% during the last two weeks of March, when the city declared a coronavirus emergency, the NYPD said Thursday.

Between March 12 and March 31, overall crime fell in every borough and within the transit system and across public housing.

APRIL 1, 2020

New guidelines for EMS in NYC show grim reality
New guidance for EMS in New York City and Long Island says that patients in cardiac arrest should not be transported to the hospital.

The hospitals in New York are overrun with coronavirus infections and emergency rooms are trying to minimize the number of difficult arrivals.

USNS Comfort treats first patients
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) announced it treated its first patients Wednesday in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.

NYPD traffic agent death
NYPD announced the death of a traffic agent as more than 6,100 uniformed members are out sick. Karisma Dargan, assigned to Brooklyn Traffic Enforcement, died on Wednesday.

Russia providing help
A Russian cargo plane arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday with 60 tons of medical equipment for New York City hospitals.


Medical needs by end of month
By May 1, Mayor de Blasio said New York City's goal is to receive 20,000 ICU beds, 65,000 medical beds and 15,000 ventilators.

Preparing for next week
April 5 is a crucial day, according to Mayor de Blasio, saying the city needs 3.3 million N95 masks, 2.1 million surgical masks, 100,000 isolation gowns and 400 ventilators by Sunday to prepare for the week ahead.

New role for ex-police commissioner
Mayor de Blasio announced former Police Commissioner James O'Neill will serve as the COVID-19 senior advisor. In introducing O'Neill, de Blasio said he would be involved in overseeing the distribution of supplies to facilities around the city.

"It's the responsibility of all New Yorkers to do their part," said O'Neill, who spent time several weeks ago observing how San Francisco was handling its shelter-in-place order. "It's important we all come together."

Playgrounds closing
Cuomo made the announcement during his daily briefing: "We're going to close down the city playgrounds and leave the open spaces available. So, use the open space in a park. Walk around, get some sun. Great. No density. No basketball games. No close contact. No violation of social distancing, period. That's the rule," he said.

Riders reporting overcrowded subway trains
Photos and videos posted on social media and shared with Eyewitness News on Wednesday showed standing room only on a 5 train at the Jackson Avenue Station. "The condition shown in the video is not acceptable," the MTA said, adding actions are being taken to try to improve social distancing.

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 NYC.gov/helpnow.
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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