Coronavirus Update: Mayor de Blasio says, ‘We cannot let up now’

New York News
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Mayor Bill de Blasio cautioned New Yorkers, “We cannot let up now” on social distancing with the warm weather this weekend. “We have not beaten it and we need to take it seriously,” he said. Hospitalizations were up a tick but relatively flat and more than 2,000 people tested positive in the five boroughs. Mayor de Blasio said 202 city residents died from COVID-19 on Thursday.

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PHOTOS:Coronavirus in New York City


MAY 1, 2020

Penn Station to start sanitizing overnight
Amtrak and NJ Transit have announced they are modifying their hours for New York Penn Station to allow for daily deeper cleaning of the station and trains. Starting Sunday, May 3 until further notice, Amtrak will close its concourse — which resides on the upper level of the station by 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street — at 12:00 a.m., and NJ TRANSIT will close its concourse at 1:00 a.m. The station will reopen in full at 5:00 a.m.

Central Park field hospital to stop accepting patients
Mount Sinai will stop transporting patients to the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in Central Park on Monday, the hospital announced Friday. The hospital will remain operational for the existing patients (approximately eight are left) until they are all discharged, which has no timetable.

Investigation sought into nursing home’s alleged under-reporting
Elected officials called for an investigation into a nursing home in Manhattan Friday after a news report claimed the facility drastically under reported the number of deaths related to COVID-19 that occurred at the home.

FEMA volunteer paramedic death
A volunteer paramedic from Colorado, who volunteered for assignment at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, has died of coronavirus.

Mayor de Blasio examines month-long statistics
The mayor said that hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus in the city have made a steady decline, but ICU’s are still strained. Mayor de Blasio said more than 700 medical military members will continue to help in public hospitals for the month of May. Through testing and tracing the mayor says he hopes the city will move into low-level transmission this month.

City streets open on Monday
The first open streets in the city to help ease congestion and allow for more social distancing will open on Monday.
4.5 miles are located inside parks to ease crowding and 2.7 miles are on streets adjacent to parks. Read the full list HERE.

Free overnight bus service
Bus service will be free during the overnight hours the subway system is shut down for cleaning, with the MTA promising “robust nighttime bus service, essential bus service” that they are prepared to “supplement as we go.” The buses will be free from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and will be “rear-door boarding only,” MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said.

Javits Center field hospital closing
Friday is closing day for the temporary field hospital set up at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The final few dozen patients are scheduled to be released by the end of the day. A little more than 1000 patients were treated at the massive facility over the last month.

Food distribution in Elmhurst, Queens
A food distribution event gets underway in Queens Friday. Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens will hand out 11,000 bags of food in Elmhurst.

The area is one of the hardest hit communities from COVID-19.

UES hospital releases 1000th COVID-19 patient
Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side discharged its one thousandth COVID-19 patient Thursday.

The 61-year-old man was in the hospital for ten days and doing poorly until he started receiving plasma treatments just a few days ago.

APRIL 30, 2020

NYC to give out free face coverings in parks
New York City will start distributing free face coverings at parks.

Mayor de Blasio announced plans on Thursday to supply 100 thousand masks and other face guards so everyone can remain safe.

Broadway actor sings from apartment window for his neighbors
A Broadway actor is using his talents to show his appreciation for New York City’s health care workers.

Brian Stokes Mitchell was recovering from coronavirus when he started going to his window to clap at 7 p.m. like many New Yorkers. Then Stokes decided to sing for them too.

NYPD sick report
On Thursday, 2,667 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 7.4% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,049 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Thursday, 4,043 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 753 uniformed members plus 216 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Pregnant nurse caring for COVID-19 patients contracts virus
A pregnant nurse was taking care of coronavirus patients in Brooklyn – until she got the virus herself. She then went on a ventilator and had a heart attack. Now, the woman who spent a career caring for patients is now a patient who needs caring for full-time.

Urgent cares now offer antibody testing
This week, antibody testing became more widespread and available throughout the Tri-State area to find out if you’ve been possibly exposed to COVID-19.

Some doctors offices, labs and urgent care centers are now offering the testing. CityMD urgent care centers started making the testing available on Tuesday.

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

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

NYPD issuing summonses in Brooklyn for violations of social distancing
The NYPD issued summonses in Brooklyn on Thursday for violations of social distancing rules.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it was almost as if COVID-19 didn’t exist. On Thursday, officers were summonsing pedestrians they observed walking without masks and those who were failing to maintain social distance.

Need fresh produce? Local farms begin home deliveries
A partnership born out of the coronavirus pandemic is bringing farm fresh produce to New Yorkers’ kitchens on demand along with access to some of the city’s top chefs.

Norwich Meadows Farm, a staple at the Union Square Market, launched the new service just after COVID-19 shut down the city.

NYC subway service to halt overnight so trains can be cleaned
A new subway cleaning plan was unveiled Thursday that involves a complete suspension of overnight service after Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered officials to figure out how to “disinfect every train every night.”

Starting next Wednesday, May 6, the MTA will stop ridership from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily to complete the cleaning. To fill the gaps, the MTA will provide buses, for-hire-vehicles, and dollar vans at no cost to essential workers.

Police bust illegal social club operating out of closed Brooklyn deli
An illegal social club offering gambling and drugs, operating out of a closed deli in Brooklyn, was busted by police officers enforcing social distancing.

Police discovered the club on Classon Avenue while investigating a possible burglary in the area on Wednesday morning. our people were arrested and charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of marijuana above 16 ounces, criminal possession of controlled substance (cocaine,) promoting gambling, criminal nuisance, and local law violations.

Mayor comments on Trump statements on social distancing
When asked about the president’s comments on “loosening up” social distancing guidelines, the city says they have not gotten any direction on specific guidelines.

“We have not gotten direction from The White House, we have gotten the biggest moving target,” Mayor de Blasio said. “It’s the magical mystery tour, it’s sad, it’s incoherent.”

The mayor added the city still has a long road ahead. “We know we have not beaten this disease yet and we are going to hold the line and take a tough line,” he said in regard to continuing social distancing and wearing masks.

Cleaning the subways
Mayor de Blasio repeated his support for the idea of shutting down 10 key subway stations for several hours a night, moving homeless individuals out of the cars, and disinfecting them.

The mayor said it is important to disrupt the homeless’ routine, convince them once and for all to get out of the subways and accept help.

Gown supply stable
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that thanks to a factory in Vietnam and the city’s own production, New York City will have enough surgical gowns until mid-May.
One million gowns are on their way to the U.S. from Vietnam with more ordered. 125,000 gowns a week are also being made at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

More testing sites open
Three NYCHA testing sites are open in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. There are two new H+H testing sites opening this weekend in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Next week, all 11 H+H hospitals will open for community testing. By May 18, 30 locations will be open in the city.

Face masks in public places
“No one goes into a grocery store, a drug store, or a pharmacy without a face mask on,” Mayor de Blasio said. He added that city agencies, including the NYPD, would back store owners up on this mandate. City workers will be handing out 275,000 face masks in across the city and 100,000 in public parks for free this week.

APRIL 29, 2020

MTA conductor in need of plasma dies of COVID-19
An MTA conductor who was in need of plasma after contracting COVID-19 has died.

Union officials put out a desperate call for help earlier this month to get plasma donations for Ben Schaeffer while he was hospitalized in Brooklyn. The appeal from TWU Local 100 encouraged fellow union members and friends to donate plasma. Members of other unions also stepped up to help.

Hotel industry decimated by COVID-19 pandemic, owners say it’s worse than 9/11
More than 60 hotels are closed in New York City due to the pandemic, and some of them aren’t expected to reopen. Those that do are changing the way they do business.

NYPD sick report
On Wednesday, 2,767 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 7.7% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,959 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Wednesday, 3,958 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 745 uniformed members plus 219 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

COVID-19 fears take toll on Chinatown restaurants, farms that supply them
Acres of fields on one New Jersey farm lie empty, with no one to harvest the produce as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

One particular farm in Jobstown grows specific ingredients used for cooking Chinese food.

Funeral home complaints
The NYPD has closed the street in front of a Brooklyn funeral home after neighbors complained about a stench from bodies being stored in trailers.

There is no evidence of a crime so far at Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services on Utica Avenue in the Flatlands section. The health department was called to make sure remains were handled appropriately.

Testing begins at homeless services sites
DHS is moving 1,000 more people from shelters into commercial hotels, prioritizing large shelters this week. The city has a goal of 1,000 more client move-outs each week as the city moves toward wide-scale testing. The city is launching a COVID-19 testing program at homeless services sites in NYC this week, and expects to expand throughout the whole system by mid-May.

Expanded antibody testing
NYC to offer antibody tests for more than 150,000 healthcare workers and first responders.
The tests will be offered at hospitals, firehouses, police stations, and corrections facilities. The mayor hopes to have everyone in those groups tested within a month. It’s part of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC. However the mayor was careful to note that having antibodies does not necessarily mean immunity or full protection from COVID-19.

Mental health help from Department of Defense
The Department of Defense Mental Health unit will provide military trauma specialists to assess the entire system. The unit will train 1,000 NYC H+H personnel as well as private hospital staff in combat stress management. They will also assess frontline personnel individuals and connect them to programs and support.

While that will go into effect in May, some programs are already available.
– NYC H+H Helping Healers Heal Program has a 24/7 behavioral health helpline at 646-815-4150.
– The FDNY Gold Standard Counseling Services Unit is also available 24/7 at 212-570-1693.
– Anyone can find more on these services and others at THRIVE NYC – (888) NYC-WELL.

Mayor announces Project Cupid
For the first time, New York City is making marriage licenses available online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city is calling this transition to online licensing “Project Cupid,” and it will allow couples to virtually schedule an appointment with the City Clerk’s office.

New action taken to get homeless off the subways
Eyewitness News got an exclusive look at that plan being put into action early Wednesday morning. The NYPD and social workers started going into stations late night this week, removing homeless people from the trains and offering them shelter. MTA workers then clean and disinfect the cars.

APRIL 28, 2020

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

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

Hundreds gather for funeral in Brooklyn
Mayor Bill de Blasio described the chaotic scene during a crowded funeral in Brooklyn as “absolutely unacceptable.”

Hundreds of people were seen ignoring social distancing guidelines in Williamsburg on Tuesday night.

FDNY mourns loss of an EMT
The FDNY is mourning the loss of a fellow EMT from COVID-19. Emergency Medical Technician Richard Seaberry, 63, was a 30-year veteran of EMS, and a responder to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. He was most recently assigned to Station 53 at Fort Totten in Queens.

Javits Center field hospital to close down
The temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan will be ending operations between May 3-May 5, according to FEMA information obtained by ABC News.

NYPD sick report
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 2,891 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 8.0% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,895 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of today, Tuesday, April 28th, 3,772 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 805 uniformed members plus 281 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus. And let’s remember and pray for the 37 members of the service that have died due to coronavirus-related illness.

NYC DOT death
The New York City Department of Transportation announced the loss of a fifth employee to the COVID-19 pandemic. Harry Labissiere, a fuel truck operator in DOT’s Roadway Repair and Maintenance (RRM) division, passed on April 21, 2020.

Brooklyn teachers create drive-by parade during the COVID-19 pandemic
A New York City public school coordinated a special parade route to thank their students for working remotely from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Horns blared, balloons flew, and signs waved in the wind as a caravan of teachers and staff made its way around Canarsie Tuesday with messages of gratitude.

USNS Comfort to depart NYC
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is scheduled to depart New York City Thursday, April 30, after supporting the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 response efforts to New York and New Jersey residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

NYC launches COVID-19 pet hotline
The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare announced Tuesday the launch of the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline, which will serve as an information, planning, referral and service coordination hub for residents who need support for their pets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet Hotline operators can be reached directly at 877-204-8821, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

New NYC Schools grading policy
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new grading policy for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor vowed that schools will help kids with summer and fall programs and will focus on promoting 8th graders and graduating high school seniors.

Also, 247,000 iPads will be given to students who requested them by April 30. Families who have not received a device can do so by requesting them at or by calling 311.

Federal Payment Protection Program for Small Businesses
Apply at, first come, first serve. it’s money available from the federal government’s Stimulus 3.5 funding – $310 billion in additional funding.

Blue Angels flyover
The Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will honor those on the frontline of COVID-19 with a formation flight over New York City and New Jersey Tuesday.

APRIL 27, 2020

Emergency director at NYC hospital dies by suicide: Police
The medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital who worked with COVID-19 patients died by suicide this week. Police in Virginia say Dr. Lorna Breen died Sunday. Her father told the New York Times that the 49-year-old had contracted the virus but recovered.

Photojournalist documents emotion of NYC under lockdown
A photographer wakes up every day of this pandemic and takes to the streets of New York City to capture — in black and white photos — the crisis of our lives. Over the past four decades, Peter Turnley has covered wars around the world. The things Turnley has seen would astonish anyone, but when the lockdown started, he was the one who was stunned.

NYC funeral director describes difficulties caused by COVID-19
As New York prepares for the possibility of slowly re-opening the state and city, funeral homes continue to be overwhelmed by coronavirus victims and grieving families. Lilly Sage is the Funeral Director at the International Funeral Chapel in Harlem, where files pile up on the desk and the phone doesn’t stop ringing.

Mobile barbershop offers free haircuts to NYC health care workers
The country’s largest mobile haircutting company set up shop outside an NYC hospital to offer free cuts to hospital staff. While salons and barbershops are closed right now, many are in need of a haircut — and health care workers are no exception.

JetBlue requires all customers to wear face coverings
JetBlue is the first major U.S. airline to require all customers to wear face coverings during travel to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The company announced Monday that the new policy goes into effect on May 4.

Free subway rides for essential workers?
There’s a new push to make subway rides free for essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic. While many people are riding for free on buses during this crisis, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for free subway rides on Monday in Brooklyn.

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

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 3,123 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 8.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,849 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, 3,557 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 934 uniformed members plus 321 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

NYC doctor describes death and despair of fight against COVID-19
The words from a front line doctor battling the coronavirus are shedding light on the death and despair health care workers must deal with, even as they look for signs of hope amid the pandemic.

SOMOS health care provides food, supplies during COVID-19
Health care workers from SOMOS Community Care packaged up and gave away thousands of bags of food to those in need in Manhattan Monday. People lined up 6 feet apart along 207th Street in Inwood to receive two days’ worth of food, juices, cleaning materials, cooking oil, and in some cases, face masks. The recipients say the free handouts make a big difference.

NYC social workers stepping up to serve communities
New York City social workers have stepped up to serve communities in need despite the lockdown surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The CEO of Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA), Ron Richter, proudly touted the way his team has pivoted to working virtually in the midst of COVID-19.

28 NYC teachers have died of COVID-19
The NYC Department of Education announced Monday that 68 school employees have died of COVID-19, including 28 teachers. Officials said eight employees have died since last week.

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

Self-swab testing in NYC
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the city is implementing self-swab testing at community testing sites, allowing people to administer samples themselves at testing sites supervised by medical personnel. He says this will eliminate direct exposure between health care worker and patient, which put both at higher risk.

City hiring 1,000 contact tracers
New York City is hiring 1,000 contact tracers immediately, and interested people with health care backgrounds can apply at Once someone has a positive test they will find their contacts, test them, and isolate positive people.

City opening more streets
Mayor de Blasio announced that the city is immediately opening 40 miles of streets to pedestrians, closing them off to traffic. They will focus on hardest-hit areas and streets located around public parks. The goal is to have up to 100 miles of open streets.

Alternate Side Parking rules suspended 2 more weeks
New York City announced Monday that the suspension of Alternate Side Parking rules has been extended for the next two weeks, through Tuesday, May 12

FDNY antibody testing begins Monday
COVID-19 antibody testing begins for members of the FDNY Monday as part of a pilot program announced Saturday by Governor Andrew Cuomo to determine what percentage of first responders have contracted the virus already and potentially have immunity. Firefighters have been urging state and city officials to provide testing for their personnel. Over 2,000 FDNY Firefighters have been diagnosed with the virus.

APRIL 26, 2020

2 more NYPD deaths announced
Complications of the coronavirus have claimed two additional members of the Transportation Bureau, both in the past 24 hours: Principal Administrative Associate Josephine Hill dedicated 33 years to the NYPD, the last 19 assigned to the Manhattan Tow Pound Unit; Associate Traffic Enforcement Agent Mohammad Ahsan served 15 years with the police department, most recently assigned to the Bronx Traffic Enforcement Unit.

NYPD sick report
On Sunday, 3,166 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 8.8% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,837 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of today, Sunday, 3,530 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 953 uniformed members plus 317 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Demand for fostering pets in NYC at all-time high
There is a new shortage in the New York City Area due to the coronavirus pandemic – pets to foster or adopt.

Foster Dogs Incorporated says demand is at an all-time high. Last year at this time, they received about 140 applications per month – that has risen to about 3,000.

Brooklyn accordionist entertains neighborhood from stoop
Paul Stein felt useless — stuck in his Brooklyn brownstone apartment, watching his neighbors suffer deprivations as COVID-19 swept the city.

Then, on television, the retired public-sector lawyer and political activist saw people around the world rallying: “I saw people in France and Italy banging pots and pans out their windows, clapping and singing from balconies. I wanted to do this in my neighborhood.” He knew what he had to do. He took out his accordion. And he played.

L train tunnel completed
The L train tunnel project is complete almost a year to the day it started, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his coronavirus briefing on Sunday and explained why that matters as we come back from the pandemic.

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

“Another good day”
Mayor de Blasio said the key indicators continue to move in a positive direction on Friday. One indicator remained flat, but the mayor said that was better than going the other way. The number of people in the city’s hospital intensive care units had dropped from 785 to 768. De Blasio said the city can’t begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. “The health indicators have to give us the all clear,” de Blasio said. “We restart when we have evidence. There’s no on-off switch here. It’s a series of careful, smart moves.”

Detective remembered
Funeral services were held for a New York City police detective Robert Cardona, weakened by 9/11 related cancer and killed by the coronavirus. He was the fifth detective killed by the virus.

APRIL 25, 2020

MTA expands temperature testing locations
The MTA says they have significantly expanded the locations where employee temperatures are being checked, at over 70 strategic, rotating locations — up from seven at program inception in March. More than 3,500 employee temperatures are being checked per day.

Uptick in disinfectant exposures
NYC Poison Control Center saw an increase of exposure to household cleaners after President Trump suggested that disinfectants could be used to treat COVID-19.

Friends team up to bring free food to New Yorkers
A truck carrying 43,000 pounds of potatoes from a farm in Idaho arrived in the Bronx Saturday.

It’s the first shipment of food to arrive as part of quick-thinking efforts by a team of friends to get food that would otherwise go to waste to people in need.

APRIL 24, 2020

What it’s like for NYPD, first responders protecting homeless
“Stay at home” – that is the mantra for most of us these days, but what does that mean for the homeless, and the first responders who are on the streets looking to help the homeless?

There are record numbers of homeless in shelters and on the streets of New York at a time when being on the streets can expose you to a deadly virus. The NYPD’s Homeless Outreach and Shelter Security Division is trying to protect the homeless from COVID-19.

More New Yorkers probably exposed to virus
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday morning that he believes 15% to 20% of New Yorkers have probably been exposed to the coronavirus, in the “ballpark” of the first results from the state’s antibody testing.

“It’s a relatively small sample, obviously, but it is interesting that it kind of directionally points where we have been thinking and seeing as well,” he said.

He said the city is trending in the right direction, but that we need 10 days to two weeks of continued lower indicators before social distancing guidelines can be loosened.

2 more NYPD deaths
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced two additional deaths within the NYPD family Friday due to COVID-19, Traffic Enforcement Agent Yves Sajous and School Safety Agent Gloria Sosa.

Mayor calls for rent freeze
Rent Guidelines Board put out their yearly report and the mayor found it to be centered on landlords, and not tenants. He said that, “It’s abundantly clear that we need a rent freeze,” Mayor de Blasio said. “I never thought as your mayor that I’d be telling you that we’re going through anything that could compare to The Great Depression.”

The mayor called on the state to let renters use their security deposits to pay for their rent now. “Free up those security deposits,” de Blsaio said. “There’s no reason not to authorize that right now.” He’s asking for a 12-month rent payback program, and a 60-day moratorium on evictions after the crisis.

NYCHA testing sites opening
New COVID-19 testing sites are opening near several New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) sites. Gouverneur Health Center is one of three locations that will begin testing Friday.

The sites opened by the city are at health centers in communities hit hardest by the coronavirus. Those who are most vulnerable will be able to walk in for testing 6 days a week.

Council subcommittee considers street closures
A New York City Council city subcommittee will meet Friday to consider closing 75 miles of streets in and effort to encourage continued social distancing.

The city had a pilot program shutting streets in four boroughs last month. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he is against the plan.

UWS residents serenade front line workers
Upper West Side residents serenaded front line coronavirus heroes with a rendition of “Lean On Me.” The New Yorkers broke into a rendition of Bill Withers’ classic Thursday evening after their daily “Clap Because We Care” ritual.

Organizers of “New York Sings Along” say their goal is to boost morale, honor all workers on the front lines battling the pandemic, and to let everyone experience the healing power of communal singing.

APRIL 23, 2020

Navy commander from California joins battle against COVID-19 in NYC
In the battle against COVID-19, many people across the country have answered the call to help patients in the Tri-State area including a Navy reservist from California.

Cecilia Mendoza may look like any other nurse at Bellevue Hospital, but she’s a commander in the U.S. Navy, who left her 12-year-old daughter and her husband back home in Los Angeles so she could help New Yorkers at their darkest hour.

Brooklyn brands create PPE
The fashion industry is coming together in NYC to make hospital gowns for those working on the COVID-19 front lines.

Malia Mills is one of dozens of Brooklyn-based brands working together in the effort to make 65,000 gowns each week.

NYPD sick report
On Thursday, 4,200 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 11.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,693 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Thursday, 2,890 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 1,409 uniformed members plus 363 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Bike company donates e-bikes and thousands of masks to Queens hospital
A company that makes bicycles for a living is now making a huge donation to a hospital in Queens.

The Founder and CEO of Aventon Bicycles, JW Zhang, decided to give back to the community during this coronavirus crisis by donating a pair of e-bikes and more than 7,000 surgical and N95 masks to Elmhurst Hospital.

7 On Your Side Investigates 311 complaints amid COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has effected how New Yorkers live their lives, and nothing shows that more than information from the city’s 311 system.

7 On Your Side Investigates crunched the complaint information since the pandemic started in March and compared it to complaints filed during the same time period last year. The information suggests a majority of people are keeping their distance, but it also shows some negative consequences of the crisis as well.

Infant death
The infant daughter of FDNY firefighter Jerel La Santa has died of coronavirus, according to the FDNY Hispanic Society. The girl was 5 months old.

The FDNY said La Santa was appointed to the title of firefighter less than a year ago in November of 2019.

311 Complaints
7 On Your Side Investigates crunched the complaint information since the pandemic started in March and compared it to complaints filed during the same time period last year. The information suggests a majority of people are keeping their distance, but it also shows some negative consequences of the crisis as well.

1 in 5 NYC residents tested for antibodies is positive, Cuomo says
The first phase of results from a statewide New York COVID-19 antibody study are in, and New York City was found to have the highest percentage of positive results at 21.2%. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the study collected approximately 3,000 antibody samples from 40 locations in 19 counties to try to determine the infection rate.

Feeding residents during Ramadan
Mayor de Blasio said that he is making sure that members of the Muslim community have access to meals during Ramadan. The city is prepared to serve over half a million meals during Ramadan via DOE grab-and-go sites and partnerships with CBOs. He also announced halal meal expansion at over 32 DOE sites in neighborhoods with high need during Ramadan. The city is also adding 25% capacity at these sites for the month of Ramadan.

Extra staff, PPE for nursing homes in NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will surge supplies and staff to nursing homes citywide this week. “Our city’s nursing homes are home to some of those most at risk for COVID-19,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “They need our support more than ever, which is why we are stepping in and sending more staff and support to assist those who protect and care for our most vulnerable.” Nursing homes have been among the hardest hit since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Hip Hop Loves New York concert streaming tonight
Naughty by Nature, Kurtis Blow, and Ice-T are just some of the performers who will be taking the virtual stage tonight. Hip Hop Loves New York proceeds will be donated to the Bronx Community Relief Effort.

Red Cross to provide antibody tests
The American Red Cross will begin offering antibody tests for people who suspect they’ve had the virus, and are interested in donating plasma.

APRIL 22, 2020

Overwhelmed funeral homes in NYC get a helping hand
The number of deaths in New York is staggering and funeral homes are overwhelmed – so one man is coming to NYC’s rescue from Upstate.

Dr. David Penepent is a mortuary science professor from SUNY Canton who has built a team he calls “Hands with a Heart” to transport bodies from funeral homes in New York City to crematoriums in Vermont and Pennsylvania, where fewer people are dying from the virus.

NYPD urges COVID-19 bias attack victims to call 911
The NYPD is asking victims of COVID-19 bias attacks to come forward. The department tweeted out a video on Wednesday night encouraging people to call 911.

Med students step up to help
A group of medical students is selflessly volunteering their time to help those on the front lines by providing services like child care and pet care for health care workers.

FDNY veteran dies
FDNY EMT Idris Bey, a 27 year veteran, has died of COVID-19, becoming the eighth active FDNY member to die. The 60-year-old responded to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and responded to countless calls for help in Brooklyn before becoming an instructor at the FDNY EMS Bureau of training.

Nurses help family say goodbye
A nurse on Staten Island who cared for a woman dying from coronavirus made sure her patient was surrounded with love as she passed. Carole Ocera, who died from COVID-19 on April 13, was an 80-year-old patient in the ICU at Staten Island University Hospital.

Total of 8 animals test positive for COVID-19 at Bronx Zoo
After a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo earlier in April, other animals were tested out of an abundance of caution. The tests resulted in positive cases in four more tigers and three lions.

NYPD sick report
On Wednesday, 4,549 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 12.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,586 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 2,763 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 1,425 uniformed members plus 367 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Mayor outlines widespread testing plan
The city’s goal is testing in every community. Then, immediate assessment, isolation, and support at home, hospital or a hotel. Lastly, contacts of the infected person would be rapidly traced, assessed, quarantined and supported at home or a hotel.

This chart outlines “contact tracing.”

More testing sites for NYCHA residents
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced additional help for NYCHA residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, including new testing sites and PPE distribution. De Blasio said the city is increasing access to testing for residents, with six new sites opening Friday or next week for city housing residents and others nearby with increased risk factors.

4th of July in NYC
It appears the show will go on this 4th of July, but it’s unclear what that show will look like in NYC. All non-essential events are canceled in the city through June, but Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Wednesday morning that he is working with Macy’s on a way to celebrate a safe 4th of July. “We’re going to find a way to honor America on that beautiful day,” de Blasio said.

Heroes Salute
The NYPD gave visiting doctors and nurses a hero’s salute as they left a Midtown hotel for their final shift with a police escort.

Plexiglass installed at MTA bus and subway locations
A vinyl shield pilot program has also been set in place to further separate operators and customers. Employees are getting their temperature checked at dozens of locations.

UCB shuts doors for good in Hell’s Kitchen
Another victim of this crisis is the improv and sketch comedy organization The Upright Citizens Brigade.

The group co-founded by Amy Poehler says it’s shutting down its theater in Hell’s Kitchen and its training center on Eighth Avenue for good.

APRIL 21, 2020

Mom meets baby weeks after giving birth via emergency C-section
A New York City woman finally got to meet her newborn daughter weeks after giving birth via emergency C-section due to COVID-19.

Isabella Michelle made her debut Tuesday to the world outside the NICU at Maimonides Medical Center and to her own mom. Her mother, Iris Nolasco, had not been able to see her or hold her since she was hospitalized for coronavirus.

Woman dies after teacher special education 40 years
A teacher from Long Island who recently passed away from coronavirus taught in Queens for four decades.

Valerie Fata, a Floral Park, Long Island, resident, retired but missed teaching so much that she went back to it. Fata was teaching students from home when she became ill.

DOC protection
Employees with the New York City Department of Correction have repeatedly complained the city is not doing enough to protect them amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Future of NYC slaughterhouses under debate
Activists saturated live animal markets in New York City with demands they close Tuesday, staging protests at six different markets in Brooklyn, Astoria, Flushing, The Bronx and Harlem.

In all, New York City has roughly 80 live animal markets, also called slaughterhouses and wet markets.

Queens sisters raise money through online challenge
Two young sisters from Queens who have competed internationally in golf are now looking to unite the world through music by bringing back a 1985 hit on social media.

Teen successfully treated for COVID-19 with blood cleaning therapy
A 16-year-old girl who tested positive for COVID-19 and whose condition was deteriorating was successfully treated with a blood-cleaning procedure and is now recovering at home.

NYPD sick report
On Tuesday, 4,707 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 13% of the department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,518 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, 2,617 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 1,482 uniformed members plus 381 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

FDNY mourns EMT
The FDNY announced Tuesday that it is mourning the loss of Emergency Medical Technician John Redd, 63, from COVID-19. EMT Redd was a 26-year veteran of EMS, a responder to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, and was assigned to the FDNY Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD).

NYPD death
Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of School Safety Agent Sharon Williams, who served for the NYPD for nearly 4 years. The department now has 31 total fatalities due to COVID-19.

Ticker tape parade for health care workers and first responders
Mayor de Blasio promised that the city would hold a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes once the pandemic is over in honor of health care workers and first responders.

NYC plans to stockpile medical equipment
New York City is planning to stockpile medical equipment and supplies to meet its own needs in any potential future coronavirus surge, rather than looking to federal authorities or global markets, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

He said the new “strategic reserve” would include ventilators, face shields, surgical gowns and test kits, and the initiative also includes developing local suppliers who could quickly make more if needed.

NYC purchases ‘bridge” ventilators
The city is purchasing 3,000 units of “bridge” ventilators for $10 million made by Boyce Technologies in Long Island City. They can help patients with less severe respiratory symptoms. That allows the full-service ventilators to be reserved for the most serious patients. The new ventilators are FDA approved.

“Weed party” leads to social distancing arrests
Officers issued 38 summonses after responding to a tip about a lack of mandatory social distancing Monday afternoon. They found the marijuana party, organized to celebrate April 20, on the third floor of a vacant commercial building on West 23rd Street at around 4:20 p.m. Dozens of people were allegedly smoking marijuana and failing to maintain social distancing.

NYCHA coronavirus testing
The George Washington Houses is one of eight NYCHA complexes that are now getting testing, hand sanitizer, and masks. Governor Cuomo announced Monday the state will distribute a half million masks in NYCHA buildings citywide starting with a pilot program of eight complexes.

APRIL 20, 2020

Honoring a fallen nurse
Food donations are pouring into Bellevue Hospital in honor of a nurse who died after a battle with COVID-19.

Ernesto DeLeon was a nurse at Bellevue for 33 years.

DOT mourns employees
The New York City Department of Transportation announced the loss of two additional employees to the COVID-19 pandemic: Paul McElearney from the Roadway Repair and Maintenance (RRM) division and Saquan C. Bush from the Staten Island Ferry.

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 4,981 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report, which accounts for 13.8% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,435 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, 2,342 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 1,695 uniformed members, plus 368 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Helping hand
7 On Your Side Investigates helped a Brooklyn family left without food stamps during the coronavirus pandemic.

NYPD death
The NYPD announced the death of Traffic Section Commander Mohammed Chowdhury from complications related to coronavirus. He was on the force for 30 years. Chowdhury is the 30th member of the NYPD to die from the virus.

Teacher, DOE deaths climb
Coronavirus has now claimed 63 Department of Education employees, including 25 teachers, DOE said Monday.

Staten Island funeral home provides free funerals during pandemic
A Staten Island funeral home is stepping up during the coronavirus pandemic, offering free funerals to those with no families or those who are struggling financially. John Vincent Scalia, 76, opened the John Vincent Home for Funerals in 1971, and he says he felt compelled to give back.

NYC suspends curbside composting program until June 2021
The New York City Department of Sanitation announced Monday that it is suspending its curbside composting pickup until June of 2021 due to budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, May 4, residents who use their brown bins for curbside composting should discard food scraps and yard waste with their trash.

Non-essential events canceled for June in NYC
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all non-essential events, including the Pride March, Salute to Israel, and Puerto Rican Day Parade, are canceled in June. The mayor said he’s working with the organizers to reschedule the events for later in the year.

Mayor de Blasio calls for feds to help with surgical gowns
“Compared to a few weeks ago we definitely are in a better position,” the mayor said. “We are far from out of the woods, but we are just in better shape than we were at the worst point.”

The mayor says we have enough PPE for hospitals, health care workers, and nursing homes for the next week. The city also has enough ventilators. Where they are falling short, is gowns. Mayor de Blasio said the city is using fallback items like coveralls, “but even with the fallbacks we’re not sure we’ll have enough to get to Sunday of this week.” He asked the federal government for help with surgical gowns. The city plans to make 400,000 of its own gowns by May 23rd.

New testing sites open
New diagnostic testing sites open on Monday some of the hardest-hit areas in New York City. The two new locations are Harlem and Queens. A bilingual walk-thru testing site also opened in Washington Heights.

APRIL 19, 2020

Dog rescued
Animal care officers came to the rescue of a dog left alone in a New York City apartment after her owner went to the hospital with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

When the dog’s owner was admitted to the hospital, she was so worried about her pup that she threatened to leave.

NYPD members out sick
On Sunday, 5,055 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 14% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%.

To date, 4,371 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Sunday, 2,270 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 1,706 uniformed members plus 367 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Harlem church loses 9 members to COVID-19 in last 30 days
Mount Neboh Baptist Church, a fixture in its Harlem community, has lost 11 parishioners in the last month — including nine from COVID-19.

The quickly mounting death toll has left little time for proper grieving.

Meals handed out in Bronx community
More than 7,500 meals were handed out in Co-op City in the Bronx in partnership with City Meals on Wheels. The community has one of the highest populations of senior citizens in the country.

NYPD death
Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the death of NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Jason Lewis, who died yesterday of complications from COVID-19.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice death
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear has died following a battle with coronavirus, his family said in a statement Sunday.

de Blasio to Trump: “Where are you?”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated his call for the federal help on Sunday, telling President Trump that he is “failing to protect” his hometown.

Enforcing social distancing
As the weather gets warmer, continue to keep your distance. Mayor de Blasio noted that anyone who does not follow the proper social distancing protocol, they can face fines as high as $1000 per incident. The NYPD and Parks department will be stepping up enforcement citywide.

Medical staff support
Mayor Bill de Blasio said 1,400 volunteers from around the country are being deployed to more than 40 hospitals and nursing homes where staff support is needed. Six hundred of the paid volunteers will be used at 11 independent hospitals. In addition, 535 military nurses, respiratory therapists, physician assistants and others have been deployed to hospitals to support front-line medical staff.

Donate Plasma
NYBC is now increasing the nation’s supply of convalescent plasma by collecting donations from those who have recovered from COVID-19. If you can help, please visit

Social distancing arrests in Brooklyn
Police in Brooklyn say they broke up a large gathering at a barbershop, arresting 2 people and issuing 60 summons on Saturday night.

APRIL 18, 2020

Mayor tours food distribution center in Bronx
On Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio toured the Kingsbridge Armory, which is being used as a temporary food distribution center during the COVID-19 crisis, and where TLC licensed drivers pick up meals to deliver to New Yorkers in need. Earlier this week, the mayor discussed in detail the need for food security, announcing a $170 million imitative to feed every New Yorker during the pandemic.

APRIL 17, 2020

Brooklyn nursing home ravaged by deaths
At the Cobble Hill Health Center, 55 people have already died from coronavirus. That’s one in every six residents. Including the Brooklyn nursing home, New York State announced more than 14 nursing homes have lost at least 25 residents each to the coronavirus.

TWU Local 100 worker dies
Alaa Khalil, 60-year-old car inspector for TWU Local 100, has died of the coronavirus. The public transit union said Khali was a hard worker who did “the toughest job in the shop” and was a mentor to new workers at Pelham Barn. Khalil worked the midnight shift, power washing air conditioning units on the subway cars’ undercarriages. He has been on the job since 2013 and worked at the Corona Barn before picking into Pelham.

Whole Foods store delivery-only
A Whole Foods store in Bryant Park has been closed off to customers and temporarily converted to an online-only store, focusing 100% on deliveries. It’s the company’s first store to go online-only.

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

NYPD member death
The NYPD announced their department’s 28th death due to COVID-19 as School Safety Agent Suzette Facey died early Friday morning. Facey served with the NYPD for more than 14 years, keeping thousands of Queens students safe.

Mayor de Blasio on citywide testing
Mayor de Blasio talked about the new city walk-thru testing sites for residents in the heaviest coronavirus-affected areas. The testing sites are initially focusing on residents that are age 65 and older with preexisting conditions. People can call 311 for an appointment.

The mayor also announced One Medical and 1199 SEIU are opening five additional test sites, one for borough, for frontline workers. Brooklyn and Queens locations are open now, and Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan will open Monday. Adult care employees can also get tested at those locations. Workers can call 1-888-OMEMED1 or visit and use code NYCCARE30 to set up an appointment.

3 new testing sites open
Three new testing sites that are by appointment but allow people to walk up rather than drive-thru opened in East New York, Staten Island and in Morrisania, Bronx. Sites will also open in Jamaica and Harlem in the coming days.

APRIL 16, 2020

Families demand answers in Queens
Dozens of residents inside a nursing home in Queens have died from COVID-19 and some fear there could be even more victims.

Families are desperate for answers about their loved ones and say Sapphire Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing of Central Queens is stonewalling and refusing to tell them anything.

Broadway On Demand
As Broadway theaters are shut down through at least June due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans of the Great White Way will soon be able to enjoy musicals from home.

Broadway On Demand, a new streaming service, will launch in mid-May, officials announced on Thursday.

Mister Softee trucks going rogue
Usually a welcome harbinger of spring and summer, Mister Softee’s signature jingle has made a startling juxtaposition to the piercing wails of ambulances on Brooklyn’s otherwise quiet streets. Not the image the soft-serve ice cream truck company’s management wants at the moment, but a few desperate franchise owners are out selling swirls anyway.

About 10 Mister Softee truck franchisees have gone rogue, disregarding requests from headquarters by peddling popsicles even as officials restrict business operations and tell people to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer NYPD members out sick
On Thursday, 6,052 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 16.7% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 4,190 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Thursday, 1,450 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 2,104 uniformed members plus 609 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Permitted events in May are canceled
NYC is canceling all permitted events in May and officials say they are in the process of reviewing June events. A decision on June permitting will be announced later in the week.

NYPD wears mourning bands
The NYPD is directing all personnel to wear authorized black mourning bands across their shields for the duration of the pandemic “in quiet commemoration of our 27 fallen brothers and sisters.”

Famed Brooklyn suit-maker shifts focus to PPE
A famed Brooklyn suit maker is shifting gears during the coronavirus pandemic, making vital reusable masks for frontline healthcare workers.

MTA asks feds for $3.9 billion in emergency funding
The MTA says it will need billions of dollars in federal money if it is going to keep operating after ridership was decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials are requesting the next federal aid package to include $3.9 billion in emergency funding, as Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said COVID-19 is creating a significant hardship on the agency.

Immigrants hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic
Immigrants are among the hardest hit groups by the coronavirus pandemic, as they often live in large households where social distancing is difficult.

Additionally, experts say many face economic challenges made even harder by COVID-19.

Trains, buses ‘Sound the Horn’ to support frontline workers
Amtrak is honoring all essential workers across the country.

Every Amtrak train in service nationwide along with several thousand trains and buses gave two one-second horn blasts at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Mayor details budget cuts amid tax revenue shortfall
Facing a $7.4 billion loss in tax revenue, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday that New York City will need federal assistance to meet the basic needs of its citizens while detailing what he called necessary budget cuts. The causalities include all outdoor public pools, which will be closed for the summer of 2020.
CLICK HERE here for the full story and full details of the budget cuts.

Inmates in NYPD detectives death not granted early release
A judge has denied the release of two inmates charged in connection with the death of a NYPD officer because of COVID-19 concerns. A Queens Supreme Court Justice says Christopher Ransom and Jagger Freeman must remain at Rikers.

Doctors, nurses transfer from Javits Center to NYC hospitals
Health care workers at the convention center in Manhattan have been ready to treat a flood of COVID-19 patients, but there has only been a trickle and hospitals need help.

NYC doctor returns to work after defeating COVID-19
Dr. Chia-Ling Nhan-Cheng is now back on the job at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. That’s after sitting out for three weeks while she fought back against the virus. She says it’s bittersweet relief to be able to get back to work.

APRIL 15, 2020

SNL’s Michael Che to pay rent for all apartments in late grandmother’s NYCHA building
“Saturday Night Live” comedian Michael Che announced he will pay one month’s rent for all 160 apartments in his late grandmother’s NYCHA building. Che announced earlier this month that his grandmother died from COVID-19.

High school helps feed health care workers
A high school in Manhattan gifted with a $20,000 donation is using that money to help feed workers on the front lines at a New York City hospital. Loyala School, a Jesuit high school in Midtown, started a fundraiser called ‘Lunch 4 Life’ to provide hot meals for the staff at Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem. An anonymous donor stepped forward and gave a $20,000 gift for the program to help feed those working at local hospitals.

Chris Cuomo’s wife tests positive
Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor and brother to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced that his wife has now tested positive for COVID-19: “Families all over know the reality our family faces: few are one case and done. Sure enough, Cristina has covid now. Kids are still healthy but this shook us at our literal core. All are stepping up. Can’t wait to shake this fever so I can help her as she helped me. Sucks.”

NYPD members out sick
On Wednesday, 6,274 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 17.3% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. Currently, 2,161 uniformed members and 588 civilian members are diagnosed with coronavirus. To date, 4,080 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 1,306 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus.

2 more members of NYPD die of COVID-19
Detective Robert Cardona & Traffic Enforcement Agent Carol Ryer lost their battles with COVID-19 on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced.

NYC hospital workers test positive
More than 900 people who work in New York City public hospitals have tested positive for coronavirus, according to data released Wednesday by the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. The numbers are the first to reveal how the virus is affecting doctors, nurses and technicians in the city’s 11 public hospitals, including Elmhurst in Queens, that have been among the nation’s busiest hospitals since the pandemic began.

Borough president hands out PPE to NYCHA residents after 12 deaths
After more than 12 elderly residents in two Brownsville NYCHA complexes died, one local official is taking action. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams distributed PPE to tenants on Wednesday. He also held a news conference to urge NYCHA and New York City Department For the Aging to formulate comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and intervention plan.

Mounting calls to close live animal markets amid COVID-19
A growing number of people are calling for an end to live animal markets in urban areas amid the coronavirus pandemic after early cases of the virus were traced to a wet market in Wuhan, China. In New York City, there are roughly 80 licensed live animal markets, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets which regulates the facilities.

Art exhibit raises money for NYC restaurant, hospital workers
The owner of an art gallery in Manhattan is hosting a benefit exhibition to raise money for an initiative that supports local restaurants, their employees, and New York City healthcare workers. Monica King owns Monica King Contemporary, an art gallery in Tribeca, which, like many other local businesses, is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

25th NYPD death
Police Communications Technician Denise Prince served nearly 21 years as a member of the NYPD.

Feeding the hungry
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city government is preparing to “feed everyone.” He assured city residents that “we will not let anyone go without food.” He appointed a new food czar, Kathryn Garcia. Garcia also serves as the Commissioner of the Sanitation Department.

NYC urging grocery stores to require shoppers to cover their faces
Mayor de Blasio also asked grocery stores to put up signs requiring customers to wear face coverings and/or masks while inside. He said, “The City of New York will back you up.”

APRIL 14, 2020
Brooklyn group feeds health care workers whose cafeterias shut down
A group called Operation Feed Brooklyn is coming to the rescue to help feed local hospital workers whose cafeterias have been shut down.

Michelle Zassenhaus lost her consulting business during the coronavirus pandemic, but not her talent for problem solving. She saw hospital workers overstretched and restaurants drowning. So she put the two together.

Nurses hold candlelight vigil to honor workers on the front lines
Nurses who say they’re being stretched too thin gathered Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil outside Lincoln Hospital.

The vigil was held to honor the workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and to call for more measures to keep them safe. The health care workers held signs with sayings like “We are nurses, not martyrs.”

NYPD patrols subways
NYPD officers are now out patrolling subway stations across the city to look for overcrowding conditions.

Police say they are making sure people are practicing social distancing while waiting for trains and riding on them.

Pediatric patient who beat COVID-19 gets joyous sendoff
Hospital staff cheered and applauded as a young man was released from a hospital in Staten Island on Tuesday after recovering from COVID-19.

The newly discharged patient was sent home to the loving arms of his family after a joyous sendoff from the hospital staff at Richmond University Medical Center.

NYPD members out sick
On Tuesday, April 14, 6,372 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 17.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,232 uniformed members and 568 civilian members are diagnosed with coronavirus.

NYC death toll surpasses 10,000
The NYC Health Department is ready to attribute thousands more deaths to coronavirus. These are deaths of people — at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private homes — who never received a test but are likely to have died of coronavirus in the last month.

While the state is attributing 7,905 deaths in New York City to coronavirus, this additional number – 3,778 – pushes NYC’s death toll over 10,000 and puts the statewide toll at about 15,000.

Mourning Bronx teachers
Friends, family students and communities are mourning the loss of two teachers from the Bronx who died of COVID-19.

Chris Mondal worked at PS 46 and for more than 15 years, PS 55 was David Behrbom’s second home where he was a PE teacher.

NYPD death
NYPD Supervising Police Communications Technician Irving Cruz passed away Monday evening from COVID-19, the police department announced. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and an 18-year member of the NYPD family. “We are keeping Irving and his loved ones in our prayers today and every day,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted.

Demand for Disaster Funeral Assistance
Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez held a briefing in Corona, Queens demanding the federal government to use its authority to immediately grant approval for “Disaster Funeral Assistance” across New York. They asked for FEMA to cover and find adequate places for funerals, especially those families impacted in hot spots in the city.

NYC becoming self-sufficient in producing PPE, mayor says
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York City is becoming self-sufficient in producing PPE critical to battling COVID-19. He said the city is now self-sufficient in producing face shields, announcing that eight companies citywide are producing 240,000 face shields per week with the goal of eventually producing 620,000 per week.

Additionally, de Blasio said that five New York City-based companies are producing 30,000 surgical gowns per week with the goal of eventually producing 250,000 per week and that the city is a building a new supply chain to produce up to 50,000 tests per week.

APRIL 13, 2020

NYPD gives thanks
Bad weather did not stop NYPD first responders from showing their appreciation for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than two dozen NYPD vehicles from the 71 Precinct sounded their sirens and gave applause as they drove by NYC Health and Hospitals Kings County in Brooklyn.

Bronx price hikes, shortages
The impact of coronavirus on the availability of fresh and reasonably priced food at local grocery stores is disproportionately affecting low-income neighborhoods in New York City.

NYPD members out sick
On Monday, 6,380 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 17.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,334 uniformed members and 503 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

For the fourth-consecutive day more officers have returned to work than have gone sick resulting in our total sick rate to decrease during the same time period. Since March 24, 837 uniformed members and 90 civilian members have returned to full duty after testing positive for coronavirus.

Racial disparity action
New York City leaders are coming together to call for change as the coronavirus is sickening and killing far more minorities.

Bronx man loses brother, mother to coronavirus with 24 hours
Lloyd Torres says it was two weekends ago when he took his mother groceries, so she could make her favorite Pilipino soup. He didn’t know it would be their last meal. It was days after that dinner, when his 73-year-old mother Lolita and his younger brother, 47-year-old Louis, who live together in Briarwood, Queens would fall ill.

That was April 1. By the time Torres woke up on April 7, he received the call that his mother had passed. Less than 24 hours later, came the second call about his brother.

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

50 education employee deaths
21 New York City public school teachers are among the 50 Department of Education employees who have died of coronavirus, DOE said Monday.

3 more NYPD members lost
NYPD has lost 3 more members due to complications from coronavirus: New York City Detectives Raymod Abear and Jeffrey Scalf and Auxiliary Captain Mohamed Rahaman.

“A good day”
Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared positive and optimistic during his daily media briefing, praising New Yorkers for practicing social distancing and “shelter-in-place ” as he credited residents for new drops in key COVID-19 figures.

Other announcements
The city unveiled a new $10 million ad campaign to get information to minority communities, 88 zip codes being hardest hit by the coronavirus. Mayor de Blasio said the city is also launching a tenant helpline through 311, urge the state to move the eviction moratorium to 60 days past the end of the crisis, and urge the state to allow people who lost income to defer their rent payments and then repay it over a 12-month period. The mayor also announced alternate side parking is suspended through April 28.

Coronavirus Deaths
The NYPD lost its 20th member to the coronavirus, Traffic Enforcement Agent William Hayes.
The FDNY lost another member to COVID-19 with EMT Gregory Hodge, who had worked on the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort after September 11th.

Testing sites
A new state site opens at the Aqueduct racetrack on Monday. New York City is also launching a plan to open 5 testing sites in the communities that have been hit the hardest.

APRIL 12, 2020

NYPD officers out sick
On Sunday, April 12, 6,522 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 18% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,344 uniformed members and 489 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.
NYC Schools
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down Sunday on his plan to close schools in the nation’s largest district for the remainder of the academic year, but Governor Andrew Cuomo says ultimately the decision lies with him.

New testing sites
Mayor de Blasio says the city will expand testing centers in targeted communities including East New York, Brooklyn; Morrisania, Bronx; Harlem; Manhattan; Jamaica, Queens; and Clifton, Staten Island.

Jobs fighting COVID-19
NYC is hiring 500 people to fill temporary positions including patient transport, clerical and cleaning staff. More info:

Essential City Workers must wear face coverings
Starting Monday, April 13, all essential city workers must wear face coverings while interacting with the public while on duty.

APRIL 11, 2020

NYC Schools
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday the closing of New York City public schools for the rest of the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the move must be a Metropolitan-wide based decision. “That’s his opinion, but he didn’t close them and he can’t open them,” Cuomo said.

The governor said he understands the mayor’s position on closing New York City schools until June, but said the decision must be regional.

“We’re going to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities,” Cuomo said. “It makes no sense for one locality to take an action that’s not coordinated with the others.”

Elmhurst donation
Apollo Global Management and Co-Founder Josh Harris donated 100,000 N95 masks to Elmhurst Hospital.

Ex-Knick kind gesture
Ex-Knick and retired NBA player John Starks donated 3,000 sets of scrubs to the city’s hospitals.

Protecting homeless
6,000 homeless single adults who are positive for coronavirus will be placed in hotels by April 20, Mayor de Blasio announced — this will be prioritizing seniors, those who are symptomatic and have difficulty achieving social distancing. The city is opening 230 new safe haven/low-barrier beds starting next week and prioritizing people over 60.

IBM donation
The International Business Machines Corporation is donating $500,000 to the New York City Department of Health and $1 million to the NYC Department of Education.

APRIL 10, 2020

NYC latest numbers
On Friday, the death toll from coronavirus rose to 5,820 in New York City. Borough by borough, the deaths were reported as follows: Bronx 1,216; Brooklyn 1,781; Manhattan 731; Queens 1,819; Staten Island 273. More than 87,028 people have tested positive.

Temporary hospital accepts first patients at US Open tennis site
The temporary hospital set up at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center accepted its first patients Friday. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the facility to thank the team responsible for setting it up. Initial plans called for 350 beds and no intensive care facilities. Officials now say they will now be able to accommodate 470 beds, including 20 ICU beds.

Mayor calls for rent freeze
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for a rent freeze in New York City in an effort to help residents impacted by COVID-19 closures.

MTA death toll hits 50, nearly 1,900 positive COVID-19 cases
The number of MTA employees who have died of coronavirus is now 50, according to MTA Chairman Pat Foye. Nearly 1,900 out of the MTA’s 72,000 workers have tested positive, Foye said.

More than 600 NYPD officers back on the job
More than 600 uniformed NYPD officers who had previously tested positive for coronavirus have recovered and returned to work, Commissioner Dermot Shea said Friday. And for the first time since the crisis began, more officers have returned to work than are out sick.

APRIL 9, 2020

NYC lights up blue
Some famous landmarks in New York were lit up blue on Thursday night in recognition of the nationwide effort against COVID-19.

FDNY gives thanks
New York City’s Bravest offered a rousing round of thanks to health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens of firefighters greeted healthcare workers with lights, sirens, and applause outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Morningside on Thursday night.

Staten Island nurse dies from COVID-19
A nurse who worked at Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island has died due to coronavirus.

Funeral homes overwhelmed
One of the grim realities of the coronavirus pandemic is that hospital morgues are overflowing with victims. Funeral homes are also feeling the weight of the outbreak as families struggle to find final resting places for their loved ones.
MTA ‘temperature brigade’
The MTA is deploying what it is calling a “temperature brigade” to strategic locations system-wide. The transit agency plans to take the temperatures of thousands of employees each day at 22 locations — including Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. The MTA says medically trained safety personnel will work 24/7 to check people as they report to work. Click here for a list of locations.

NYC doctor returns to work
A doctor stricken with coronavirus returned to work in NYC to the kind of applause reserved especially for our front-line heroes. Dr. Paul Saunders was greeted with love and support as he returned to making rounds Thursday at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Decision on NYC schools coming soon
The state has already shut down schools through the end of April. A decision about whether the New York City public schools will reopen at all this academic year is expected in the next few days, the mayor said.

Lincoln Center cancels summer programming
Lincoln Center has canceled all of its summer programming, including Midsummer Night Swing, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The Met Opera, meanwhile, is expanding its streaming service for educational accessibility. Every week, a different opera will be available along with educational resources including background information, activities and coloring pages.

More NYPD deaths
NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the passing of Traffic Enforcement Agent Richard Austin, from COVID-19 complications. A member of the Transportation Bureau, he served New Yorkers for nearly 35 years.

The NYPD also announced the death of Police Officer Eric Murray from the 25th Precinct.

NYPD officers out sick
On Thursday, April 9, 2020, 7,155 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 19.8% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,204 uniformed members and 408 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Catholic Charities marks Holy Thursday by distributing meals
Catholic Charities of New York marked Holy Thursday by distributing 1,600 meals to food insecure New Yorkers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The 400 boxes of food and bags of produce were handed out outside the Betances Community Center in the Bronx.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says social distancing working
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he wanted to lay out a plan for how we could proceed in the weeks and months ahead. He noted that it’s hard to do social distancing and sheltering in place, but that it needs to continue.

Starting Monday, the city will release ongoing data on three key virus indicators: the number of people admitted to hospitals and suspected of having COVID-19; the number of intensive care unit admissions for the disease; and the percentage of coronavirus tests that come back positive, de Blasio said. All three numbers would have to go down in unison for 10 days to two weeks before the city could consider loosening social distancing restrictions, he said. But in order to contemplate returning to anything approaching normalcy, he said, the city would also need to be able to test more people for the virus. “We need some greater capacity,” he said. “I think the federal government is still the most important part of this equation when it comes to testing.”

NY cases came from Europe, scientists find
New research found that the coronavirus COVID-19 arrived in New York weeks before the first confirmed case and likely came from Europe, not China.
Iconic cathedral will not be used as a hospital
Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine partnered with Mount Sinai Health System to create a field hospital to handle overflow patients amid the pandemic, but the plan was scrapped on Thursday afternoon. Mount Sinai decided not to pursue the plan, a statement said.

APRIL 8, 2020

NY Assembly woman returns to nursing
An Assemblywoman from the Bronx has returned to work as a nurse on the front lines to help fight COVID-19 in New York City.

NYC doctor dies at home
As the coronavirus bore down on New York, Dr. Doug Bass’ family begged him to work from home. He refused, pointing to his patients at Phoenix House, a drug and alcohol treatment center where he served as medical director.

Bass, 64, died suddenly last month after suffering symptoms commonly caused by coronavirus, including coughing, a fever and severe stomach cramping. That made him possibly the first physician still treating patients in New York City to die from the disease caused by the coronavirus. But he wasn’t counted.

NYPD death
City Custodial Assistant Deidre Edwards, who was assigned to the NYPD’s Facility Maintenance Section, died on Monday, April 6, 2020, from complications associated with coronavirus. City Custodial Assistant Edwards became a member of the NYPD on August 26, 2005.

NYPD sick report
On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 7,130 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 19.7% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. Currently, 2,103 uniformed members and 373 civilian members tested positive for the coronavirus.

First responders recovering
Mayor Bill de Blasio says 276 NYPD personnel have recovered from coronavirus and returned to work. More than 1,300 FDNY employees are back on the job after recovering.

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

Need for food
Michelle Charlesworth found people waiting in a line 5 blocks long to get food.

Broadway extends suspension
Broadway shows in New York City will extend the current suspension of all performances through June 7, 2020.

Queens hospital worker dies
A 34-year-old mother of twin boys who worked the overnight shift at Long Island Jewish Hospital Forest Hills in Queens is among those who have died from COVID-19 related complications in New York City.

Minorities being hit harder in NYC
New York released new data on Wednesday showing the largest percentage of deaths in New York City is among Hispanics with African-Americans accounting for the second largest percentage. In the rest of the state, the largest percentage of deaths is among the whites.

NYC Deaths
Hispanic: 34% of deaths (29% of population)
Black: 28% of deaths (22% of population)
White: 27% of deaths (32% of population)
Asian: 7% of deaths (14% of population)

Outside NYC
Hispanic: 14% of deaths (11% of population)
Black: 18% of deaths (9% of population)
White: 62% of deaths (75% of population)
Asian: 4% of deaths (4% of population)

“We are going to double down on the strategies that reach people who are the most vulnerable now because we are seeing these very troubling facts,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.

MTA death toll rises
MTA officials say 41 employees have now died of coronavirus, and another 1,500 have tested positive. The staffing crunch has posed a challenge for the MTA to keep even diminished subway, bus and commuter rail service going. Overall subway ridership is down 92%, the MTA said.

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 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 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.

MORE: Coverage from March 2020


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