Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
The city will offer 140,000 free antibody tests to “everyday New Yorkers” in the coming weeks to help understand the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. In partnership with BioReference Laboratories, the city will open initial testing sites in five neighborhoods with the goal of 1,000 tests per site per day. An additional 140,000 tests will also be available for the city’s first responders and health care workers next week.
Slide from Governor Cuomo’s 5/6/20 press presentation
New York State has been on a downward trajectory for the past couple of weeks when it comes to COVID-related deaths and ICU admissions. However, even as the number of new cases trends down, it still is a strikingly large number considering all of the shut-down measures. It was only at the very end of April that the number of new daily COVID cases entering the hospital system dropped below 1,000. Yesterday, there were 601 new cases and 659 and 717 the days prior. To understand this, Governor Cuomo asked hospitals to begin surveying these new patients. There was a lot of speculation that the data would show essential workers riding public transit or vulnerable groups such as those in nursing homes or the prison system. However, the reality is that most of the recent new COVID cases are non-essential workers who are at home and not riding public transit.
See the data ahead
When it comes to virtual events, the biggest news this week is the Met Gala. Vogue’s Anna Wintour is hosting a star-studded live event tonight where she’ll be joined by the likes of Stella McCartney and Florence + the Machine. It’s also Cinco de Mayo, so we’ve got a list of spots for taco takeout. For more foodie fun, the Billion Oyster Project is hosting a Zoom “oyster hour.” You can also check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Esplanade online, join a virtual animal meet and greet with the Staten Island Zoo, watch Ballet Hispánico, learn about the history of Hospital Ships, and more.
12 virtual things to do this week
An 1859 Harper’s illustration of Moving Day, via Wikimedia Commons
Moving is certainly stressful right now, but imagine dealing with that headache along with every other New Yorker moving on the same day? Believe it or not, this is how it used to be. From colonial times up until WWII, May 1st was Moving Day, the one day a year when people in New York City moved. It’s said that the tradition came from the Dutch, who set out for Manhattan on May 1st and therefore celebrated each year by swapping homes on this day. Later, landlords had to notify their tenants of rent increases on February 1st, which would take effect three months later at 9am. Tenants waited until May 1st to move, and the streets would be filled with “moving vans,” Long Island farmers’ wagons led by horses, clogging up the city streets and creating complete pandemonium.
More on this curious history here
Photo by Krisztian Tabori on Unsplash
While you can’t support your favorite Mexican restaurant in-person on Cinco de Mayo this year, many eateries remain open for take-out and delivery orders to keep the party going at home. And with the holiday landing on Taco Tuesday, restaurants are especially stepping up their game, offering everything from margarita pitchers and frozen cocktails to DIY taco kits and fiesta boxes.
See the list
Photo by Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit via MTA/Flickr
After Governor Cuomo asked the MTA to step up its subway disinfecting schedule from every 72 to 24 hours, the agency came back with what it’s calling the “Essential Connector Program.” This initiative will stop service from 1:00am to 5:00am every night during the pandemic, starting Wednesday, May 6. New York City is one of the few cities in the entire world (and the only one in the U.S.) that has a public transit system that runs 24/7, but the governor has said that it is the city and state’s responsibility to disinfect more frequently in order to keep our essential workers safe and ensure that they feel comfortable riding the subway.
Photo credit: Rise Media, Courtesy of Compass
It’s been more than six years since this stately home at 29 Beekman Place first listed for $37.5 million, and it’s now back on the market for less than a third of that price. Built in 1934 as the largest of all the mansions along the exclusive enclave, the home is eight stories and has 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, two terraces, and amazing East River views. It’s only had three owners in its lifetime, starting with its first resident, CBS founder William S. Paley.
Take the tour
Photo of nearby Baisley Pond Park by Rich Mitchell via Flickr cc
A lottery launched on Thursday for 110 affordable senior apartments in the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica. The 10-story building located at 161-11 132nd Avenue sits next to existing low-income senior apartments and contains 100 one-bedrooms and 58 studios. To apply, New Yorkers must be–or have at least one household member who is– 62 years of age or older, qualify for Section 8 benefits, and earn $51, 200 or less, annually.
Find out if you qualify
Image by Scientific Animations via Wikimedia Commons
In his press conference today, Governor Cuomo revealed the preliminary results of a first-phase antibody test that surveyed 3,000 New Yorkers over two days in 19 counties at 40 locations that included grocery and big-box stores. The sample suggests that 13.9% of New York State residents have the antibodies, meaning they had the virus at one point and recovered. Of the regions tested–Long Island, NYC, Westchester/Rockland, and the rest of the State–New York City had the highest positive rate at 21.2%. The potential good news to come to light is that the death rate may be far lower than some estimates, at 0.5%.
Photo of the Alfred E. Smith Houses by Ken Lund on Flickr
Six new coronavirus testing sites with a priority for residents of the city’s public housing system will open starting this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday. Community testing sites will open on Friday in Fort Greene, Mott Haven, and on the Lower East Side, with three additional sites opening next week at New York City Housing Authority buildings, including Jonathan Williams Houses, Woodside Houses, and St. Nicholas Houses. The news comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week a pilot program to bring on-site health services and more testing to NYCHA residents, beginning with eight developments across the five boroughs.