Coronavirus Update: NYC turns focus on health providers in hardest-hit communities

New York News
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized the focus on strengthening New York City’s hardest-hit communities Monday at his daily coronavirus briefing, saying the city will fortify 1,000-plus community health providers by restoring access to primary care and focus on high-risk patients and increase staffing.

“Community clinics, think about what they mean to so many people,” de Blasio said. “There’s a place that people turn to healthcare who don’t have a lot of options. They are a place for folks who don’t have a lot of resources, aren’t sure where else to turn, don’t have a long-term relationship with a private doctor. The community clinics are the place they can depend on.”

The mayor also touched on creating two new positions in New York City’s Department of Small Business Services to help the financial struggle of small businesses.

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PHOTOS:Coronavirus in New York City


MAY 11, 2020

30 teachers among 74 DOE employees to die of COVID-19
The New York City Department of Education said it has now lost 74 employees to COVID-19.

On Monday, official announced the two new deaths. All but four of the 74 DOE employees who died were based in schools across the city.

Couple accused of hate crimes after pulling mask off Hasidic man in Brooklyn
A husband and wife are facing hate crime charges for allegedly snatching the face mask off a Hasidic man and making anti-Semitic comments related to COVID-19. The incident was reported Sunday night at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Ross Street.

ABC News reports Paul Pinho allegedly called 911 to report a large crowd gathering, according to police. He and his wife allegedly got out of their car, accosted the men, shouting out slurs and attempted to take away their face coverings, according to the NYPD.

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 1,236 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 3.4% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,422 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of Monday, 5,084 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 225 uniformed members plus 72 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus

Queens mother discharged from hospital after battling COVID-19 while pregnant
A Queens mother was discharged from the hospital Monday after battling COVID-19 while pregnant. Doctors and nurses at Jamaica Hospital delivered the baby prematurely to save Tasnim Shaheen’s life.

On March 24th, when Shaheen was pregnant with her third child, she was taken to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She initially was admitted to the labor unit for coronavirus, but within two days, her symptoms got worse, and she was sent to the intensive care unit and was placed on a ventilator. Doctors then performed a C-section after Shaheen developed acute kidney injuries as well as pneumonia.

How dining experiences will change as restaurants reopen
Restaurants make up the fabric, look and feel of New York City, and as many of them plan to reopen in the weeks ahead, they’re making big changes.

The dining experience as we know it will be altered for the near future.

Rethink Food NYC launches new effort to save Chinatown
Community advocates are stepping in to makes sure that the residents of Chinatown are fed and its businesses supported so that it can continue to exist past the COVID-19 pandemic.

The social and economic effects of the outbreak have walloped Chinatown, and overall business has plummeted since February. Now, months later, it’s the residents who are suffering.

Equinox unveils reopening plan, including weekly visit limits and increased cleaning
Equinox has unveiled its reopening plan, which comes with ramped up cleaning and sanitation, health checks, limited club capacity, PPE, contactless features, and changes in etiquette.

Club officials said they had established a task force including medical and infectious disease experts to develop the reopening strategy.

Study says virus death toll in NYC worse than official tally
New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus may be thousands of fatalities worse than the official tally kept by the city and state, according to an analysis released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between mid-March and early May, about 24,000 more people died in the city than researchers would ordinarily expect, based on the season, the report said. That’s about 5,300 more deaths that had been previously attributed to the coronavirus during that time period.

Strengthening community healthcare providers
De Blasio said the city will fortify 1,000-plus community health providers serving NYC’s hardest hit neighborhoods across all five boroughs. De Blasio said the city is working to:

– Supply clinics in these areas with PPE to restore essential primary care (120,000 surgical masks per week and 115,000 gloves per week)
– Provide access to hundreds of volunteers through the medical Reserve Corps to help providers serve high-risks patients.
– Expand tele-health services at 150 community providers, host weekly webinars
– Partner with providers to expand and implement test and trace, enlist more to refer patients to isolation hotels
– Help providers access federal COVID-19 funding, maximize reimbursement

Saving small businesses
De Blasio announced he’s created a new position and naming Greg Bishop as Senior Advisor for Small Business COVID-19 Recovery. Bishop is in charge with finding whole new sources of capital for small businesses. De Blasio also named Jonnel Doris as commissioner of small business services.

Protecting homeless New Yorkers
De Blasio said 8,000 single adults-nearly half of adult single shelter population-are now in hotel rooms. Additionally, de Blasio said 261 people who are homeless were “engaged” last night.
139 of them accepted services (116 placed in shelters, 23 sent to the hospital).

Alternate Side Parking resumes
The city will resume Alternate Side Parking for the week of May 18-24 for a “clean sweep” citywide.

MAY 10, 2020

How Manhattan street corner erupts into outdoor dance party at 7 p.m.
A street corner in Murray Hill has been erupting into an outdoor dance party on most nights at 7 p.m. all because of a neighbor.

Mathias Jorge has been blasting upbeat music from his fourth-floor window for several minutes after the nightly applause for frontline workers.

Protecting homeless New Yorkers
As NYC continues its efforts of closing down the subway overnight for cleaning, homeless outreach workers engaged 416 homeless individuals, and 212 of those accepted services. On Saturday night, 384 people were engaged and 198 people accepted services.

The mayor said these numbers are amazing and such numbers have not been seen before.

Social distancing education
The city will increase civilian Social Distancing Ambassadors from 1,000 to 2,000. The city will increase face covering distribution and ensure all front-line staff, including NYPD, wear face coverings when in contact with the public.

Pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome
There are now 38 cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome detected and nine more cases are pending investigation. Of those, 47% tested positive for COVID-19 and 81% had antibodies. One fatality has been reported.

Actions taken by NYC: Hospitals will test all children with symptoms for antibodies, convene a citywide conference with H+H and DOHMH, alert parents of more than one million children and direct Regional Enrichment Centers to increase enforcement of masks and the use of sanitizer.

Health insurance for public servants’ families
At least 260 public servants have lost their lives fighting COVID-19. The city will extend health insurance for surviving family members of municipal employees for 45 days.

The city is fighting for benefits to the families in the next stimulus bill.

Need for Remdesivir
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a message for the federal government: NYC needs Remdesivir. Initial trials show it decreased hospital stays from 15 to 11 days in severely ill COVID-19 patients.

There are more than half a million doses in federal control, and de Blasio is asking the feds for 39,000 doses for May.

Queens food giveaway
NY Sen. Jessica Ramos is working with farmers upstate to supply dairy and produce to anyone who needs it. Most of the food would have been thrown out because of disruptions in the supply chain.

MAY 9, 2020

Network of 24 COVID testing sites to open at NYC churches in hard-hit minority communities
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that New York is partnering with Northwell Health to open 24 temporary COVID testing sites at churches in predominantly low-income communities of color.

Infection rate among transit workers below NYC average
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that tests show the infection rate among public transit workers is below the average of all of New York City. The governor said 1,300 transit workers have been given antibody tests and 14.2% of them tested positive. The average for New York City overall is 19.9%.

MAY 8, 2020

5-year-old boy dies of COVID-related complications
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a 5-year-old boy in New York City had died from COVID-related complications, but it was not immediately clear if the child was also being treated for the inflammatory syndrome. Cuomo says there are now 73 reported cases of severe illness in children.

Homeless on MTA bus in Brooklyn
20 homeless people took shelter on an MTA shuttle bus in Coney Island.

Rent freeze vote
The Rent Guidelines Board took a preliminary vote and decided to freeze rents on one-year leases in New York City.

New entry rules possible for some NYC parks

Mayor Bill de Blasio may unveil new entry rules Friday to cut down on crowds at some New York City parks. The new guidelines are expected to target places like Domino Park in Williamsburg, where there has been overcrowding on warm days.

MAY 7, 2020

More than 20 clergy die of COVID-19
They are the people who help their congregations cop during times of loss and crisis — and now their congregations are trying to figure out how to cope without them.

Members of the clergy are considered essential workers who know their job is to be close to people, but for some, it cost them their lives.

NYC small businesses taking first steps in reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic
As the number of COVID-19 cases appear to be on the decline in New York City, many small businesses that have been shuttered for months are now slowly reopening.

It’s not quite business as usual in Manhattan, but for store owners, it’s a first step out of a nightmare.

‘Caravan for Justice’ protests violent social distancing arrests in NYC
Despite mounting pressure to stop using police to enforce social distancing and data showing that such arrests disproportionately affect people of color, Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by the practice on Thursday, saying: “We’re not going to sideline the NYPD.”

There was a bumper-to-bumper Black Lives Matter protest later Thursday night on streets that have been silent for weeks — the “Caravan for Justice” was a deafening chorus of car horns protesting in the age of COVID-19.

Homeless flock to buses meant for essential workers during subway shutdown
Every night, with the subway shut down for cleaning during the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of homeless New Yorkers are herded out of the subways. It is the first time in history the entire system is shut down, with train halted between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Homeless advocates are providing services to the people being moved off the trains at 29 terminus stations, including the Stillwell Avenue station in Coney Island, where the homeless were offered shelter by teams of outreach workers. But many refused, demanding to board shuttle buses so they could spend the night riding with the essential workers the system is intended to transport.

Staten Island nurse accused of stealing credit card from patient dying of COVID-19
Danielle Conti, 43, a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital, is facing several charges — including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

Police say she used the dying patient’s credit card to buy gas and groceries. She allegedly stole the card while making her rounds at the hospital.

NYC school cafeterias averaging nearly 500,000 meals per day amid pandemic
Throughout the country, schools have transformed into food hubs for families who might otherwise go hungry during this pandemic.

In New York City, The Department of Education has committed to providing meals to anyone in need across all five boroughs Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 475 schools. Recipients do not have to have school-aged children and do not have to sign up in advance. The meals are provided no questions asked.

Iconic store closes
Gem Spa, an East Village landmark, announced it has closed its doors for good amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The store, famous for its legendary egg creams, initially closed when COVID-19 restrictions were first put in place.

TV, movie production looks ahead to restart after production halted
Film and TV production across the country shut down almost two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, but before that, Hollywood on the Hudson had never been busier. New York state and city tax incentives led to a boom in production, and the proliferation of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ meant there were barely enough qualified people to fill all the jobs.

Almost all of those 76,000 people are now unemployed, and the total payroll for all these workers soared past $5 billion per year before the outbreak. But the city is looking forward to restarting production.

NYC to expand antibody testing to 140,000 residents
New York City will expand its antibody testing program to 140,000 residents beginning next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday. The 140,000 tests, available to all residents, will be in addition to the 140,000 antibody tests announced earlier specifically for health care workers and first responders.

The tests announced Thursday will be available by appointment only at testing sites around the city. The city will start making appointments Friday.

NYC to convene COVID-19 domestic violence work group
NYC is stepping up its efforts to prevent domestic and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 crisis. The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence will convene a COVID-19 Response Work Group made up of 20 citywide service providers. The 24/7 hotline to report cases of domestic and gender-based violence is 1-800-621-4673.

Tele-medicine expansion
NYC Health and Hospitals is expanding its ability to offer health care to patients at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor de Blasio announced a new Phone-a-Clinician Hotline. NYC residents with health concerns can call 844-NYC-4NYC.

H+H is moving toward a goal of 80% of all ambulatory visits handled via Tele-Health for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, the mayor said. That’s about 16,000 tele-medicine visits per week.

2 more miles of streets open to pedestrians & cyclists
Eleven blocks of Broadway are part of the two more miles of city streets that close to cars and open to pedestrians and cyclists Thursday morning as part of an expansion of the city’s “open streets” plan to make more room for socially distance amid the coronavirus crisis.

MAY 6, 2020

NYC doctor separated from 14-month-old son to fight COVID-19
A doctor at Mount Sinai has saved people dying from COVID-19, but it has also cost her precious time with her 14-month-old baby.

No matter how much progress New York is making in reducing the curve, people are still dying. All the time. If that truth wasn’t hard enough, Dr. Angela Chen, of Mount Sinai Hospital, has also had to make the terrible sacrifice of spending the past seven weeks apart from her 14-month-old son, Theo, in order to fight the coronavirus.

NYU Langone among first to enroll patients in vaccine trial
NYU Langone is becoming one of the first centers to enroll patients in a U.S. clinical trial for a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. In cooperation with Pfizer and BioNTech, the first patients were dosed to test whether four experimental mRNA vaccine candidates can prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

3 NYPD deaths
The NYPD announced three more department deaths in one day: School Safety Agent George Santiago, assigned to the School Safety Division, served New York City for nearly 19 years; Traffic Enforcement Agent Pat Nicholls, assigned to the Traffic Special Operations Section, had more than 22 years on the job; and Supervisor of School Security Kevin Bostic, assigned to Patrol Borough Queens South School Safety, dedicated more than 28 years.

NYPD sick report

On Wednesday, 1,666 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 4.6% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,300 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Wednesday, 4,779 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 373 uniformed members plus 108 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

How Brooklyn kindergarten teacher makes learning special
So anxious to learn, the kindergarten students in Zenzile Dabreo’s class can’t wait for their lessons.
Now, with the COVID-19 virus, Dabreo’s classroom is her kitchen. Normally any other time, Dabreo’s kindergarten class would be a beehive of activity, with all sorts of teaching moments, but lesson plans have now changed.

Lines at Queens food pantry stretch for 8 blocks
The loss of jobs and income is showing up in the economy in so many ways. A line at a Queens food pantry stretched for 8 blocks on Wednesday.

At one of the hardest-hit communities, in Corona, a food pantry at Elmcor, located on Northern Boulevard opens at noon on Wednesdays and goes until 4 p.m., or until they run out of food. Last week, they served at least 540 families.

Brooklyn Borough President hands out food to residents
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is making sure the people he represents are getting the help they need.

Adams handed out food Tuesday at a senior center in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He also went around the neighborhood and handed out masks.

JetBlue to flyover NYC Thursday evening
JetBlue will flyover New York City to salute healthcare workers and first responders on Thursday. The flyover is set to happen at 7 p.m. as part of the Clap Because We Care movement.

The flyover will include the airline’s three New York-themed special liveries honoring the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), New York Police Department (NYPD) and all who live in and love New York (I LOVE NY/Empire State Development).

More City Streets Opening
The city is opening 1.5 more miles of streets to pedestrians in working with the Business Improvement District.

Homeless services to individuals on subways
139 homeless individuals out of 252 agreed to accept services and come in off the streets and out of the subways during the overnight shutdown. “That number is extraordinary,” Mayor de Blasio said. “We have to sustain it in many, many ways, we have a lot of work to do.” The mayor then thanked the NYPD and other services for their roles in helping that happen.

Sector Advisory Councils announced
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the creation of several Sector Advisory Councils to help the city reopen when that time comes.
They include:
Small Business
Large Business
Labor and Workforce Development
Arts, Culture and Tourism
Faith-Based Organizations
Construction and Real Estate
Nonprofits and Social Services
Public Health and Healthcare
Education and Vocational Training
Surface Transportation

Overnight subway shutdown begins
Subway trains, which had been running on a reduced schedule since late March, are now going to be stopped from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day for coronavirus cleaning.

Twins go home
A pair of twins have now been discharged from Flushing Hospital in Queens after their mother tested positive for COVID-19.

Sushi restaurant feeds medical workers
The owner of Kissaki, Mark Garcia, prepared 50 meals for workers at Mount Sinai Hospital Tuesday.

MAY 5, 2020

Woman thrilled to see daughter after 1 month in rehab in Brooklyn
A woman was grateful to be discharged following one month in rehabilitation after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Hospital staff at Atrium Rehabilitation Center Facility in Brooklyn gave Alice a rousing sendoff through the halls to meet her daughter at the entrance of the building on Tuesday.

Officer punched in face during violent arrest in Brooklyn, police say
The NYPD is investigating a violent arrest in Brooklyn that was caught on camera.

The incident happened on Sunday in East New York, where police approached a group of people who were not properly social distancing in front of a building.

NYPD sick report
On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 1,813 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 5.0% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,271 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus. As of today, Tuesday, May 5th, 4,652 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 452 uniformed members plus 129 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

NYC subway overnight shutdown begins tonight
The MTA’s plan to shut down subway service to clean trains and stations during the coronavirus pandemic takes effect overnight Wednesday.

FDNY adds ambulances to its fleet
The FDNY announced on their Instagram that they have added 100 ambulances to its fleet by leasing 81 ambulances from Florida. The ambulances have arrived in New York City, and will be deployed into service as EMTs and paramedics continue to respond to New Yorkers in need.

Amazon warehouse employee dies
An Amazon warehouse employee on Staten Island has died of COVID-19. The employee was last onsite April 5 and tested positive for the virus on April 11.

Doctors in NYC flag mysterious illness in children, many had COVID-19
Doctors in New York City are now sounding the alarm on a mysterious illness being seen in children.

The syndrome was first reported in Europe and is believed to be linked to COVID-19. Doctors say 15 children have been hospitalized with symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki Disease.

Hunts Point market trying to meet new demands during pandemic
Hunts Point is a busy place in the middle of the night with thousands of essential workers getting food to the places where people can purchase it.

Every night they load and unload trucks full of produce to get to restaurants and grocery stores. They’ve had to adapt since the pandemic hit.

Vintage Skytyper planes honor NY health care workers, first responders
A fleet of vintage WWII planes honored New York hospital workers, first responders, essential workers and all others affected by COVID-19 Tuesday by writing giant messages of thanks and hope in the sky.

The airplanes flew over the five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island and Westchester County, just before noon.

Professional musician uses virtual music classes to entertain kids
When Ryan Rickenbach moved to New York City to chase his dream of being a professional musician, he never imagined his mobs of screaming fans would be 2-year-olds on a virtual call.

But this children’s entertainer by day, singer-songwriter by night wouldn’t trade his path for anything.

Mayor de Blasio compares Trump to Herbert Hoover, says ‘have a heart’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio started his daily briefing by calling out President Donald Trump for his refusal to give New York a federal bailout.

Mayor de Blasio called Trump, ‘A former New Yorker who seems to enjoy stabbing his hometown in the back.” Then, he went on to compare the president to Depression-Era President Herbert Hoover.

Path stations closing overnight
PATH announced they will be closing the 9th Street and 23rd Street stations overnight from midnight to 5 a.m. starting Wednesday, May 6. The temporary station closures will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency orders. PATH riders on the Journal Square – 33rd Street line can access PATH via the Christopher Street, 14th Street, or 33rd Street stations, which will continue to operate 24 hours a day unless otherwise noted.

Health alert for children
Mayor de Blasio commented on the new health alert concerning an inflammatory syndrome detected in children. Four of the 15 patients, ages 2-15, tested positive for COVID-19, and six others had antibodies. “This is something that is causing concern and we wanted to let all New Yorkers know about it,” the mayor said.

311 new call centers
Mayor de Blasio announced that the city hired 286 new call takers and opened 4 new call centers. They also enlisted some FDNY and NYPD leadership positions. There are call “express lanes” for COVID-19 and food issues.
Typical peak volume wait times have dropped 75%.

MAY 4, 2020

Hate crimes against Asian Americans on the rise
Bias attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise according to the NYPD’s latest crimes report for April.

The narrow streets of Chinatown felt like a hauntingly, empty movie set on Monday night. As if the once vibrant community has not suffered enough, officials announced on Monday that hate crimes and bias incidents against Asian Americans are on the rise.

72 DOE deaths
The New York City Department of Education said it has now lost 72 employees to COVID-19.

On Monday, official announced the four new deaths. All but three of the 72 DOE employees who died were based in schools across the city.

NYPD sick report
On Monday, 1,855 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 5.2% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,237 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Monday, 4,538 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 535 uniformed members plus 126 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

MTA details overnight subway shutdown, travel alternatives
With subway service set to halt for overnight cleaning beginning at 1 a.m. Wednesday, the MTA elaborated Monday on the plan they hope will help stop the spread of the coronavirus among riders and workers.

Domestic violence up during pandemic, as WomanKind aims to help victims
Domestic violence is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, as victims are often quarantined with their abusers and can’t get away.

New NYCFC soccer player uniting with team through music
One of the newest faces on NYCFC’s soccer club is already making an impact without even playing a match amid the coronavirus pandemic — Gudmundur Thorarinsson is uniting with his teammates through song.

Soup kitchen answers the call amid pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the need for and strain on food banks, the state’s largest soup kitchen continues to answer the call.

The line stretches around the block at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in Chelsea, not due to the social distancing gaps but because of the need.

New Yorkers leave city during COVID-19 pandemic, unsure of return

Many New Yorkers are deciding to flee city dwellings, opting for suburban areas with more space for their families in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bereavement Task Force convened after bodies found at NYC funeral home
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Monday convened the Bereavement Task Force, created after 100 bodies were found in unrefrigerated trucks outside a Brooklyn funeral home last week.

The task force includes funeral home directors, faith leaders, morgue operators, cemeteries, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and other stakeholders and seeks to find policy solutions that “ensure decedents are being treated in a dignified manner and allow their loved ones to lay their bodies to rest peacefully.”

Homeless New Yorker describes struggles amid pandemic
One man, who lives in a tent city under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway says he’s seen a huge difference in crowds since the pandemic began.

He says he could usually make more than $100 a day panhandling, but now that everyone is staying home, he’s struggling to make enough to eat.

City handing out 7.5 million face coverings for free
New York City will distribute 7.5 million face coverings for free. 5 million will be 3-ply non-medical masks and 2.5 million will be cloth face coverings. They will be given out at NYCHA, DOE Grab & Go meal sites, parks, Mitchell-Lama buildings, grocery stores, during social distancing enforcement and more. Locations listed HERE.

1 Week Supply of PPE
The mayor touted the production of PPE in New York City, saying that there is now enough to supply the city for the week. This is the first time the city has had enough to last that length of time since March. There are also deliveries of PPE planned for nursing homes including nearly 2 million masks, 170,000 face shields, 173,000 gowns, 767,000 gloves, along with thousands of coveralls and shoe coverings.

MAY 3, 2020

NYPD death
Traffic Enforcement Agent Stanley Heneson died from complications related to COVID-19. Stanley, who was assigned to the Brooklyn Traffic Enforcement Unit, dutifully served the NYPD and the people of New York City for more than six years.

NYPD sick report
On Sunday, 1,899 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report which accounts for 5.3% of the Department’s uniformed workforce. That is down from a high of 19.8%. To date, 5,230 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Sunday, 4,491 members of the NYPD have returned to work full duty after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus and 563 uniformed members plus 138 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus.

Video of NYPD arrest during social distancing enforcement sparks outrage
There is an outcry over a video of an NYPD officer taking down a bystander who was watching officers make an arrest for an apparent social distancing violation this weekend.

As a couple was being arrested, video shows one of the officers break away from that arrest to walk up to a bystander with his taser drawn — swearing and telling him to move back. He then tackles the bystander to the ground and repeatedly hits him.

Online loan sharks targeting desperate businesses in cash crisis
Greedy online loan sharks are targeting desperate consumers and small businesses that are running out of cash amid the coronavirus crisis.

Barber gives haircuts on Brooklyn street
With many New Yorkers in desperate need of a haircut, a barber took to the streets of Brooklyn Sunday. An Eyewitness News viewer posted video to social media showing the barber set up on the sidewalk along Ocean Parkway between Brighton Beach Avenue and Ovean View Avenue in Brighton Beach.

NYC hires out of work taxi drivers to deliver food to people in need
Many yellow-taxi drivers are now making ends meet by bringing food from point A to point B for the families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city’s cab drivers pick up boxes at nine distribution sites and make drop-offs to people on a list compiled by the city.

Cuomo calls out residents who refuse to wear face masks
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday those who do not wear masks are “disrespecting” frontline workers putting their lives in danger to help put a stop to the deadly coronavirus.

NYC producing test kits
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City is actively producing test kits, a first in the city’s history, after cautioning the risk of a “boomerang effect” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor: NYC ‘cannot afford a boomerang’ of COVID-19 cases
New York City “cannot afford a boomerang” of COVID-19 cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday. During his daily briefing on the coronavirus, the Mayor warned that if stay-at-home orders and other restrictions are lifted too quickly, the highly contagious disease could make a comeback.

GetFood help
Mayor de Blasio announced the GetFood Delivery Assistance Program is seeking nonprofit providers to increase capacity in their distribution staff, meal prep and neighborhood zones in their goal to deliver one million meals a day.

Penn Station gets a cleaning
At midnight, Penn Station had an unprecedented shutdown to make sure every handrail and inch of the station had been disinfected. NJ Transit will close Newark’s Penn Station will shut down overnights for cleaning until further notice.

MAY 2, 2020

Central Park field hospital to close
The Central Park field hospital will stop admitting new patients on May 4 now that COVID-19 hospital admissions in New York City is reaching manageable levels.

NYPD enforcing social distancing
As warmer weather tempted New Yorkers to come out of quarantine, police dispatched 1,000 officers this weekend to enforce social distancing and a ban on congregating in public spaces.

Cuomo: closing, cleaning subways ‘monumental undertaking’
Closing the New York City subways and disinfecting every train car will be a “monumental undertaking,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday in Queens. The Governor and transit officials got a first-hand look at how the cleaning will be done at the MTA’s maintenance facility in Corona.

First ‘social distancing’ streets open in NYC
The first part of New York City’s “Open Streets” initiative went into effect Saturday morning, two days ahead of schedule. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the early start Friday night via his Twitter account, crediting the city’s parks, transportation and police departments.

The closure of more than seven miles of city streets is designed to help ease congestion and allow for more social distancing.

Free face coverings available in select parks
Representatives from the New York City Parks Department will be distributing over 100,000 face coverings in parks across the city for free beginning Saturday until Tuesday, May 5th.

All New Yorkers are required to wear face masks when out in public. Times and dates of the face-covering distributions vary by park.

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.

MORE: Coverage from April 2020


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