Coronavirus Update: COVID fueled NYC budget deficit could lead to police, teacher layoffs

Coronavirus breaking news, updates and information for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City could end up laying off police and teachers if the city does not receive federal funding amid a massive budget deficit, made worse by the coronavirus crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

Mayor de Blasio's budget is due in four weeks.

"We now have a new estimate that we have just published and I'm very sorry to have to give you this news, but it's not shocking to me that things have gotten worse. We are now $9 billion in the hole," the mayor said.

Mayor de Blasio also said he's seriously considering blocking off streets and sidewalks to allow for outdoor dining.

"We're going to figure out how and when we could reopen bars and restaurants, how much outdoors is going to play a crucial role in that. I think it is a very, very encouraging possibility to lean into the outdoors," the mayor said.

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MAY 27, 2020

New legislation would give NYC restaurants more room to serve outside
While New York City waits for the green light to start reopening, there is a plan in place that could give restaurants more room to serve people outside when they do re-open.

The legislation that would allow more outdoor space and seating for restaurants is being introduced Thursday.

Giant memorial mural in Queens pays tribute to COVID-19 victims
There has been no shortage of tributes to front line responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, but what may be the biggest one yet is coming to life in Queens.

A 20,000-square-foot memorial to COVID-19 victims is under way as the death toll from the virus passed the 100,000 mark in the United States.

Resource navigators to help people battle COVID-19 at home
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city has a goal of testing 50,000 people per day by August 1st. He assured New Yorkers that if they are sick, the contact tracers and resource navigators will help make sure that they are well cared for at home and have access to food, medicine and are properly isolated. Mayor de Blasio said all of those services are free. The mayor also pleaded for help, saying that the city is $9 billion "in the hole" due to the coronavirus crisis. There is currently no bailout vote scheduled in the Senate. Of the three thresholds the city is watching - hospitalizations remain below and the percentage of people testing positive also remains below, but the number of ICU patients remains above the threshold of 375 at 431.

Food assistance
Five-hundred boxes of groceries were delivered in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr., with the help of community partners, distributed the necessary items to people in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights.

2nd member of Met Opera orchestra dies of COVID-19
A second member of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra died due to complications relating to COVID-19, the opera announced Wednesday. Joel Revzen was an assistant conductor with the orchestra since 1999.

Times Square goes dark for struggling businesses
Times Square's famous billboards will momentarily go dark for one minute on Wednesday at 9 p.m. in an effort to show support for restaurants, hospitality businesses and non-profits during the coronavirus crisis.

Cuomo announces 2 winners in face mask PSA contest
New York has announced a pair of winners in a contest to launch a public service commercial to encourage the wearing of face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. The two winning videos, "We Heart New York" by Bunny Lake Films and "You Can Still Smile" by Natalia Bougadellis and Emory Parker will run as PSAs.

Resource Navigators hired
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that 200 resource navigators were hired and will start next week. The resource navigators will help make sure that people who test positive are well cared for at home and have access to food, medicine, and are properly isolated. Mayor de Blasio said all of those services are free. There are also 1,200 hotel rooms to help isolate people who cannot isolate at home.

Mental Health Awareness
THRIVE NYC celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month and the mayor said it's a time to reflect and think about how we support first responders and New Yorkers dealing with grief, loss, and the stress of staying inside so much. Anyone needing help can reach out at nyc.gov/thrivenyc.

MAY 26, 2020

Magnolia Bakery installing disease-destroying UV lights
As businesses look ahead to reopening and keeping staff and customers safe from COVID-19, one of the most popular dessert shops in NYC has found a high-tech way to zap away the virus.

Pharmacist, used car salesman charged with COVID-19 fraud
A pharmacist and a used car salesman were arrested Tuesday on charges that they designed frauds to capitalize on the search for masks and other protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

7 On Your Side Investigates contact tracing and how it works
A course designed to train contact tracers, offered by John Hopkins University, describes a close contact as someone within six feet of a sick individual for 15 minutes or more.

NYPD sick report
On Tuesday, 941 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 2.6% of the Department's uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,739 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Tuesday, 5,614 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 67 uniformed members plus 15 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Alternate Side Parking Suspended
Alternate Side Parking is suspended until June 7th. Last week's "Clean Sweep" was a success. The mayor said the city would assess on the 7th to see if the city needs another "Clean Sweep."

Testing and tracing efforts
"It's easy, it's quick, and it's free," Mayor Bill de Blasio said of COVID-19 testing in New York City. He wants more people to get tested to help combat the spread of the virus in the city. There will be more than 180 testing sites available to city residents.

12 new testing sites will open over the coming weeks at Health + Hospitals locations. AdvantageCare health clinics are opening 16 more testing sites throughout the city as well.

There are now more than 1,700 contact tracers hired and being trained in New York City. They are set to complete their training and begin working by June 1st. Case investigators will call people that have been in contact with people who tested positive. Monitors will contact positive patients daily to make sure they are ok.

NYSE trading floor reopens
The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange reopened for the first time in two months with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ringing the iconic bell, but the controlled chaos was more subdued Tuesday under new pandemic rules.

Brooklyn Diocese churches start reopening
The Brooklyn Diocese says 90% of their churches will reopen Tuesday morning for private prayer, funerals, and limited celebrations including weddings and baptisms. The mayor thanked faith leaders for reopening slowly.

Brooklyn Nets reopen practice facility
The Brooklyn Nets will be New York's first professional sports team to reopen a practice facility. That's after some players including Kevin Durant tested positive for COVID-19.

MAY 25, 2020

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 935 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 2.6% of the Department's uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%.

To date, 5,739 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of tMonday, 5,607 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 71 uniformed members plus 17 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Beaches closed to swimming for unofficial start of summer
It wasn't the usual Memorial Day at Coney Island this year -- swimming is off limits and the rides were shut down because of COVID-19. And it appeared that many New Yorkers were following the rules and staying off the beach and out of the water.

Women facing more job loss than men amid pandemic, data shows
Women are more likely than men to face unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to analysis by the 7 On Your Side Investigates data team.

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing COVID-19 update
Knicks legend and Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball coach Patrick Ewing is "now home and getting better," according to his son.

NY death benefits
Gov. Cuomo announced that the state and local governments will provide death benefits for public heroes who died from COVID-19 during this emergency.

MAY 24, 2020

NYPD announces 43rd COVID-19 death in department
The NYPD announced the loss of another member of the department due to COVID-19.

School Safety Agent Doris Kirkland died on Friday night from complications related to coronavirus. Kirkland served as a school safety agent for more than 30 years.

Reopening NY
As New York continues to push forward with its reopening plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a comeback of sports, camping and veterinarian offices.

MAY 23, 2020

Cardinal Dolan tours food distribution center on Staten Island
Timothy Cardinal Dolan went to Staten Island on Saturday to visit the Catholic Charities programs helping those in need during this time of crisis.

He toured the food distribution pantry at Our Lady of Good Counsel School and met with volunteers.

Staten Island officials claim borough has met criteria to open
Leaders on Staten Island sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying they are ready to reopen the borough's economy.

Beaches open for holiday weekend, no swimming allowed
Some beaches in New York City will be open this holiday weekend, but there are major restrictions in place to encourage social distancing.

MAY 22, 2020

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing tweets he tested positive for COVID-19
Knicks legend Patrick Ewing tweeted that he tested positive for COVID-19.



Diocese of Brooklyn churches begin to reopen
The Diocese of Brooklyn announced Friday their churches can reopen for private prayer and devotion beginning Tuesday, May 26.

New York International Auto Show to resume in 2021
The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center announced it continues to be closed for all expo business due to its role as a field hospital for COVID-19 cases. Although it currently has no patients, the facility remains set-up as an active hospital and is in standby mode for the foreseeable future. Organizers of the New York International Auto Show have decided the next show will take place April 2 - 11, 2021. Press days are March 31 and April 1.

Thresholds for Indicators
Mayor de Blasio introduced indicator thresholds on Friday as a new way to measure coronavirus and the progress in the city. Levels need to stay below the indicator thresholds for 10-14 days to move to a new reopening phase.
- There needs to be less than 200 patients admitted per day to hospitals, double the seasonal rate for similar respiratory infections.
- The threshold for all ICU patients in hospitals, not just COVID-19, is set at 375.
- The threshold for the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in NYC is 15%.

Beaches in NYC not open for swimming, BBQ, sports
New York City beaches are closed and no lifeguards will be on duty. People can walk on the beaches, but they are reminded to continue social distancing. Parks workers and social distancing ambassadors will give out face coverings and have given out 6 million so far. The goal is to give away 12.5 million. 60 vehicles will canvass the city to remind people of the guidelines.

Open Streets
Mayor de Blasio announced that the city would open 13 more miles of city streets to pedestrians. 2.7 of those miles will be adjacent to city parks.

Take Out, Don't Hang Out
A new ad campaign reminds New Yorkers to maintain social distancing while picking up takeout orders. People should not loiter in front of businesses and not open alcoholic containers in public.

Yankee Stadium to host drive-in events
There may not be sports fans in the stadium, but the Yankee Stadium parking lot will be busy come summertime. A hospitality group plans on hosting a series of drive-in events in the stadium's parking lot. A stage, screens and a P.A. system will be set up for events ranging from movie screenings to karaoke.

MAY 21, 2020

Thousands of masks seized from store in Midtown
Federal officials seized a huge amount of masks from a business in Midtown on Thursday. Homeland Security investigators and NYPD officers hauled away box after box from the store Cowboy Wholesale on West 27th Street.

NYPD announces start of 'Summer All Out' program
About 300 NYPD officers will be dispatched to do neighborhood policing around the city this summer. It's part of the NYPD's yearly 'Summer All Out' program, which focuses on preventing an uptick in violence and crime in 10 precincts.

FDNY captain honored
An FDNY captain stationed in the Bronx is being honored during EMS Week for her hard work and sacrifice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MTA to receive $298M in federal funding
President Trump announced that the MTA will receive $298 million in federal funding from the CARES Act.


Surgeries resume at NYC hospitals
When non-emergency surgeries were put on hold at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, many doctors and hospitals were confronted with the balance of monitoring their patients.

Now that surgeries have resumed, one man in New Jersey was released from the hospital three days after undergoing the first cardiac surgery since the OR reopened at Mount Sinai Morningside.

College grads create cellphone case that kills germs for NYC medical workers
A group of Vanderbilt University graduates has developed a special cellphone case that kills germs -- and now they want to get them in the hands of medical workers.

What started as a fun way to pass the time while quarantined has now morphed into a full-scale operation that is helping health care workers in the tri-state area.

MTA urges New Yorkers to plan alternative travel to beaches
The MTA urged customers Thursday to plan alternative travel through Memorial Day weekend as the agency will continue to run its limited Essential Service Plan implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means commuter trains, subways and buses continue to be reserved for essential workers only. All passengers riding trains or buses are required to wear a mask or face covering and engage in appropriate social distancing.

Summer School
Summer school will be held through distance learning statewide. There will be no in-person learning this summer. A decision has not been made yet on the fall.

Staten Island Ferry increasing service
The Staten Island Ferry is increasing its service to every 30 minutes during the morning and evening commutes, between the hours of 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Summer All Out
The city will also continue fighting crime with their existing "Summer All Out" program. 300 officers will span 10 commands in neighborhoods most affected by gun violence.

Food Services
A 97-year-old woman named Sylvia in Sheepshead Bay wrote a poem thanking food service workers. New York City has served 32 million total meals across all city programs since the crisis began. By next week, over 1 million meals will be delivered per day through Emergency Food Delivery. There will also be more than 500,000 grab-and-go meals per day at 500 schools citywide.

MAY 20, 2020

Frontline workers hold vigil to honor victims of COVID-19
Frontline workers came together on Wednesday night for a special tribute to remember the victims of COVID-19.

Hundreds of health care workers at Lenox Hill marched as they held virtual candles high in silent tribute to all they have lost.

Demand for bikes skyrockets at bicycle shop in Queens amid COVID-19 crisis
A bicycle shop in Queens is working nearly around the clock to get bikes into the hands of New Yorkers who need them now more than ever.

NYC summer learning moved up a week
The Department of Education announced it has moved up the dates for some summer learning by a week after getting feedback from school employees and families. Click here for the new dates.

Coalition of small businesses in NYC fights to reopen shops
Store owners in Manhattan are fighting to reopen their doors and say their livelihoods are at stake.

One clothing store on the Upper East Side has defied orders to stay closed. While there were no customers at the Peter Elliot store on Lexington Avenue on Wednesday, the store is ready to sell some shirts -- no matter what the governor says.

Central Park musician offers hope, encouragement amid pandemic
If you've ever walked Central Park you've probably seen him. It's even more likely you've heard him. The long, smooth sounds of his saxophone offer a soundtrack of sorts to the iconic New York City park.

His music has been a constant in the park during the pandemic, even as so much else has changed, offering a sense of peace and pleasure to many a New Yorker passing by.

What beaches are open in NY, NJ and CT?
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but during the coronavirus pandemic, life at the beach in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be somewhat different this year.

NYC restaurateur reimagines post-COVID eatery experience
The coronavirus has changed the way eateries do business, and one New York City restaurateur is reimagining the future of his business as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

And moving forward, how customers do things inside the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop on the Lower East Side will resemble a 21st Century take on the automat.

Harlem food bank funded by monies seized from criminals
Food lines are popping up across the New York area during the coronavirus pandemic, helping the poorest neighborhoods. But in Manhattan, one food line is funded by monies seized from the very criminals who used to operate there. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office pays to feed Harlem residents through its Robin Hood-like Criminal Justice Investment Initiative.

Protecting nursing home residents
Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined a four-part plan to help save more lives from coronavirus at New York City's 169 nursing homes. Testing will be done in a blitz and the mayor promised as many tests and lab resources as they need. He also called for increased staffing, outbreak response teams, and a shift to home-based care.

Regular childhood vaccines down
The mayor said the vaccination rate is down 63%. Health officials are urging parents to keep up with their children's regular recommended vaccination schedule.

MAY 19, 2020

Military kicks off first-ever Virtual Fleet Week New York
Fleet Week New York is kicking off virtually for the time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will present Virtual Fleet Week New York 2020 from May 20-26, where it will be hosted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is the first time the Navy has hosted Fleet Week in a virtual environment.

Once bustling LaGuardia Airport now a ghost town
Airports in the tri-state area that were once bustling with people, long lines and planes are practically empty. They aren't shut down -- but nothing is happening. So how long until the airports come back to life?

The taxiways were once so crowded that people spent hours on planes that went nowhere. Traffic once stood still so long it made people miss their flights. But at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday night, robotic voices now call out to an audience of no one. With flights down nearly 100 percent, LaGuardia is frozen in time.

NYC teenager shares his battle with rare illness linked to COVID-19
A 14-year-old boy from New York City is sharing his story after overcoming the mysterious COVID-19 related inflammatory syndrome that's affecting children.

St. Joseph's College announces tuition freeze for the 2020-2021 academic year
St. Joseph's College has announced a tuition freeze for the 2020-2021 academic year amid financial concerns caused by COVID-19.

NYU plans to conduct in-person classes in fall semester
NYU notified its student body that the university is planning to conduct in person classes this fall, subject to NYC health rules in place at that time. A spokesman further cautioned the letter to students "was a preliminary one," with more to come in the coming weeks.

Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to reopen in mid-August
The Metropolitan Museum of Art says that it is planning to reopen to the public in mid-August or in the weeks following.

The Met also said that the 2020 Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala originally scheduled for Monday, May 4, will not take place this year.

Family, colleagues mourn death of beloved Brooklyn doctor
Family and colleagues are mourning the loss of a beloved Brooklyn doctor who died from COVID-19. University Hospital in Brooklyn has seen its share of deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, but the loss of Dr. James Mahoney has shaken the staff to its core.

WeWork asks landlord for breaks on its rent in NYC
Office space giant WeWork is now asking landlords for a break on its rent, reports say. The company had been struggling even before the crisis.

NYC will take 4 years to recover from pandemic unemployment, report says
New York officials say the state Department of Labor has now paid out more than $9 billion to the two million people who have filed for unemployment claims since the pandemic began.

It comes as a new report finds it will take the city to at least four years to reach pre-pandemic employment numbers.

Mom arrested after subway confrontation over mask wants justice
The arrest of a mother who was wrestled to the ground by NYC cops for not wearing a mask last week has apparently changed city and police procedure.

NYC cops will no longer be allowed to arrest people for not wearing masks, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and there is now an outpouring of protest over the way she was treated.

Cleaning the subway with UV technology
Starting in subways the MTA is testing 230 miniature, portable UV lamps provided by PURO Lighting, a start-up. They cost $1 million.

Summer learning for NYC students
The mayor and schools chancellor unveiled the summer learning plan for NYC students. It will take place during the following weeks:
July 1-August 13 for Students with disabilities
July 13-August 18 for Grades 3-8
July 13-August 21 for Grades 9-12

Summer activities
The mayor said that the city would have the following summer activities for kids and teens:
Virtual clubs
Virtual field trips and tours
Educational TV and radio programming
Academic prep and acceleration

Queens restaurant worker released after 53 days in hospital
A Queens restaurant worker is now back at home after spending 53 days in the hospital.

Brian Morales went from being a healthy 28-year-old to being placed on a ventilator. He had been sick at home for about two weeks with the coronavirus before he went to Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital in March.

Blood Donations
Blood donations are needed in New York City. Many organizations that normally do blood donation drives are not operating normally due to coronavirus, creating a shortage. To make a donation visit nybc.org or (800) 933-2566.

MAY 18, 2020

NYC's ZIP code map of COVID-19 clusters shows stark disparities
The coronavirus has cut an unequal path of grief through New York City, hitting hardest in a ring of predominantly poorer, nonwhite neighborhoods a long subway and bus ride from Manhattan, according to data released by the city Monday. The new accounting of fatalities by neighborhood revealed that the ZIP code with more deaths per capita than any other place in New York is the one that contains Starrett City, a huge complex of apartment towers in Brooklyn that is the largest federally subsidized housing development in the country.

Staten Island hospital marks 1st day of 0 COVID-19 admissions
A hospital on Staten Island marked its first day of zero coronavirus admissions in two months with new entrance procedures. Staten Island University Hospital announced Monday it did not admit any COVID-19 patients in 24 hours.

MTA helps distribute COVID-19 test kits to nursing homes
The MTA helped distribute more than 47,000 COVID-19 test kits to nursing homes across the five boroughs on Monday.

NYC health commissioner apologizes to NYPD over 'heated exchange'
The New York City Health Commissioner issued an apology Monday over a "heated exchange" with an NYPD top cop. The exchange took place in March when NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan requested half a million surgical masks for officers as the city was working to distribute health supplies to health care workers.

Brooklyn yeshiva ordered to shut down
Police shut down a yeshiva in Brooklyn on Monday after they say there were classes being held with as many as 60 children inside. When officers arrived at the location on 841 Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, they instructed the man operating the school to close.

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 1,035 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 2.9% of the Department's uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,650 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, 5,458 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 112 uniformed members plus 38 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Sylvia's helping Harlem community by providing meals for those in need
The legendary soul food restaurant historically held Sunday gospel brunch but has now started Sunday supper, providing meals for anyone in need.

Mural tributes health care workers
A Manhattan artist is bringing love and light to the grounds of New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center with a mural that pays tribute to health care workers.

No new DOE deaths
The NYC Department of Education was grateful to announce no reported COVID-related deaths of DOE employees between May 9 and May 15.

Wearable sensor could help safeguard against COVID-19, get people back to work
Experts agree one of the best ways to stay safe during the pandemic is to continue practicing social distancing, but sometimes it is hard to know if you are 6 feet away from someone else -- but that's where high tech can help.

What will returning to work look like during the COVID-19 pandemic? It's something everyone is trying to picture as more businesses start opening up.

Phased reopening could begin in June
New York City is not ready yet, but Mayor Bill de Blasio is optimistic that a phased reopening could begin in the first half of June.

Some NYC beach restrictions eased
On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed his expectations for city beaches as some restrictions are eased amid increased COVID-19 testing.

Alternate Side Parking
Alternate Side Parking resumes this week with the exception of Thursday due to Ascension Day. Alternate Side Parking will again be suspended next week.

Made in NYC test kits
Mayor Bill de Blasio said as of Monday, H+H testing sites will be using "Made in NYC" testing kits, and will have 60,000 test kits created per week by June 1.
The Economic Development Corporation oversaw the development of the test kits. Print Parts made the swabs, Albert Einstein College made the transport mediums, and Collab in Brooklyn provided the design.

Antibody Testing
Testing begins for 140,000 first responders and health care workers in NYC. To get tested, you can visit FirstSeroSurveyNYC.com or text NYC to 78378.

MAY 17, 2020

Not-for-profit gives away supplies outside NYC soup kitchen
A not-for-profit organization is giving away clothing and supplies in conjunction with a church in Manhattan which hosts a weekly Sunday soup kitchen. Sidewalk Samaritan handed out shoes, socks, shirts, toiletry kits and even jackets, sleeping bags and beverages which were donated by other organizations.

NYC reaches COVID testing goal; 1,000 tracers by end of month
New York City reached it's goal of 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day a week early and is on track to have 1,000 tracers in the field by the end of May, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday.

NYC partners with CityMD to provide diagnostic testing for 123 sites across all five boroughs. The new testing is said to produce 6,000 diagnostic tests daily, seven days per week. Walk-ins are welcome and there's no cost for the uninsured.

New MTA app for essential workers
The MTA announced the launching of the "Essential Connector" app to help essential workers plan their alternative travel to or from work during the overnight subway closure from 1 to 5 a.m. Essential workers can use the new app to navigate and take advantage of the MTA's dramatically enhanced bus service schedule - a 76% increase in overnight trips and 150% boost in the operational fleet - or book an eligible for-hire-vehicle where bus service is not workable at no cost.

NYC beaches update
NYC beaches will not be open for Memorial Day, Mayor de Blasio announced. He said "it's not the right thing to do." de Blasio said the beaches might open at some point during the summer, but conditions are not right yet.

TD 5 Boro Bike Tour Cancelled
Bike New York announced the cancellation of this year's TD Five Boro Bike Tour due to the impacts of COVID-19.

MAY 16, 2020

Brooklyn soundstage provides space to charity fighting hunger

A soundstage in Brooklyn is now serving as a staging area for food preparations. "Broadway Stages" is letting the "Campaign Against Hunger" use a warehouse in Canarsie that would otherwise be dark.
New York City experiencing blood shortage

New York City is running out of blood. Before the pandemic, blood drives at businesses, churches and other sites were the biggest source of donated blood in the New York area. Now, blood drives have almost completely stopped.

Dozens of dinners distributed in Bronx food drive
A food bank distribution was held to help the hungry Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.

Barclays Center hosts pop-up food bank
Barclays Center became a pop-up food bank again in Brooklyn. A line formed around the arena Friday afternoon as people sought out meat, dairy and a variety of produce.

Ferry service changes coming Monday
Service and scheduling changes are coming to New York City's ferry systems. Due to low ridership, weekday and weekend service will end at 9 p.m. Routes on the Lower East Side, South Brooklyn and Soundview in the Bronx will also be reconfigured.

NYC tourist arrested after posting Hawaii beach photos
A tourist from New York City was arrested for allegedly violating Hawaii's traveler quarantine after he posted on Instagram photos of himself sunbathing and carrying a surfboard, state officials said.

Queens community helps Muslims observing Ramadan
An interfaith event highlighted the importance of community during the pandemic. The Jackson Heights Community Church served more than 100 Iftar meals to Muslim community members.

Iftar is the traditional meal of breaking fast observed by Muslims after sundown during Ramadan.

Push to limit, educate crowds in NYC parks
New York City launched its new effort Saturday to limit crowding in parks and other areas where people gather. The city is deploying 2,260 Social Distancing Ambassadors and Supervisors to help set parameters and provide guidance.

MAY 15, 2020
Girl recovers from inflammatory syndrome
Chavely Rodriguez says it became a terrifying situation for her and her 3-year-old daughter Alany. She was admitted and treated at Hackensack University Medical Center after developing symptoms of the mystery syndrome due to COVID-19.

Limiting Park Access
With nice weather in the forecast, New York City is taking precautions to limit crowding in parks and other areas where people might gather. The NYPD will limit access to Sheep Meadow in Central Park, Hudson River Park Piers 45 and 46 this weekend.

COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan
Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the city's COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan. It has three goals:
- Keep vulnerable New Yorkers cool and safe at home
- Give New Yorkers safe positive cooling options
- Prevent power outages and be able to respond to the quickly

Under the new plan, $55 million will be used to purchase more than 74,000 air conditioners. 22,000 will go to NYCHA residents and installations start next week. $20 million in funding comes from NYSERDA. Eligible New Yorkers will be identified by NYCHA, DFTA, HRA, and HPD. The city also wants to offer a subsidy on summer utility bills and use some potential federal stimulus funding. Cooling centers will be available, but will maintain social distancing.

Free pet food available through ASPCA
The ASPCA is launching free pet food distribution centers in New York City and across the U.S. Locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx are offering free dog and cat food and supplies for struggling pet owners.
MAY 14, 2020

Legendary pizzeria reopens, struggles to stay open again
There has been some discussion from city officials and city council to allow restaurants and bars to expand onto the sidewalk and into public spaces. On Bleecker Street, there's not a lot of space to do that - so the idea is to transform the streets into a dining space.

Behind-the-scenes look at MTA bus drivers during COVID-19 pandemic
In an Eyewitness News exclusive, we're getting an in-depth look at the pivotal role city bus drivers play in getting essential workers on the front lines during the pandemic.

Church in Queens hit especially hard by COVID-19 finds way to give back
A local church has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn't stopped its members and leaders from giving back to the community.

At St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Queens, there is little that the congregation can do for the families of so many in the immigrant community who have died. There is a list of about 60 members who have died, but it is estimated there are dozens more.

Knicks' Taj Gibson distributes meals at NYCHA complex where he grew up
New York Knick Taj Gibson has a special connection with the Ingersoll Houses - he was raised there. This time he is back to salute all the NYCHA employees and police.

NYPD deaths
The NYPD announced the death of School Safety Agent Melvin Rascoe, who battled the disease for almost a month and a half. Melvin served with the NYPD for nearly 15 years and kept thousands of students in Queens safe.


NYPD sick report
On Thursday, 1,176 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 3.3% of the Department's uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,515 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Thursday, 5,265 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 155 uniformed members plus 53 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus

Disney's 'Frozen' will not reopen on Broadway after COVID-19
The big budget musical "Frozen" will not reopen when Broadway theaters restart, marking the first time an established show has been felled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Disney show opened in March 2018 and placed among the top five Broadway productions for both gross and attendance over both years it ran, often pulling in over $1 million, and even $2 million a week.

Hundreds line up for food in Corona, Queens
Hundreds of people lined up for hours in Queens for free bags of food. Lines stretched for five blocks outside the Elmcor Food Pantry in Corona. The largely immigrant community is struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

Opera singer giving nightly sidewalk concerts in Brooklyn
Concerts and shows may be canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, but music is alive and well. Every night on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights, just before the front line workers are applauded at 7 p.m., there's an intimate opera performance by a longtime resident and teacher.

Peter Kendall Clark performs solo sometimes, other times with a friend, always perched on the ledge of Mansion House.

Mom arrested after subway confrontation with NYPD over mask
A video posted on social media showing the NYPD arresting a 22-year-old mother with a child during a confrontation over wearing a mask is sparking calls for procedural changes in social distancing enforcement. The incident happened just before noon Wednesday inside the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center subway station, where police officers handing out masks encountered Kaleemah Rozier, who they say had a mask around her neck and immediately became belligerent when asked to put it on.

Expanding Testing in NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is expanding its testing efforts. The city now recommends residents get tested if:
- You have COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of age, chronic conditions, or occupation
- Come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, regardless of symptoms
- Work in a congregate residential setting (nursing home, shelter, or adult care facility), regardless of symptoms

You can visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a community testing center near you.

MAY 13, 2020

NYC tour guides offer glimpse into future post-COVID-19
As we dig deep into how to rebuild our economy after the coronavirus, New York City tour guides offer a glimpse into the future, from those who know the past.

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