coronavirus

City Living, Policy

New York pol calls on Cuomo to reopen comedy clubs

By Devin Gannon, Today, September 22, 2020

Photo by ajay_suresh on Flickr

New York gyms, malls, museums, and restaurants, have all been given the green light from officials to reopen. Why not comedy clubs? State Sen. Michael Gianaris is proposing new measures that would allow comedy venues to immediately reopen under the same coronavirus restriction placed on other indoor activities, which would include a 25 percent capacity limit. “I challenge anyone to explain why comedy clubs would be less safe to operate than restaurants or bowling alleys,” Gianaris, who represents parts of Queens, told the New York Post.

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Policy

NYC delays in-person learning at public schools again

By Devin Gannon, Thu, September 17, 2020

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza tour New Bridges Elementary in Brooklyn to observe the school’s PPE delivery and reopening preparations; Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City schools will no longer open in-person instruction for most students on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. Just four days before city school buildings were set to physically reopen for students, the mayor delayed in-person learning for the second time after complaints from school staff over safety and staffing. In-person instruction will now start in phases, with preschool students starting on Monday, K-8th grade students on September 29, and high school and some middle-school students on October 1.

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City Living, Midtown

Photo courtesy of CV-19 ESSENTIAL

It was bound to happen–a store selling solely coronavirus-related products. CV-19 ESSENTIAL opened today in Herald Square, selling everything from masks and cell phone sanitizers to plexiglass dividers and UV lights. There’s even a “Safe Zone” Interactive Experience Center where shoppers can try out the gadgets (we’re assuming they’ll be sanitized between uses).

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More Top Stories, Policy, Transportation

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

Riders on public transit in New York who refuse to wear a face mask will now be fined $50, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday. Starting Monday, riders of the city’s subway and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North will be subject to the new penalty for not complying with the mandatory face-covering rule, put in place by executive order in April.

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Policy

Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York now has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. For four weeks straight, the percentage of positive virus tests has stayed below 1 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. At the peak of COVID-19 this spring, the state was reporting over 10,000 new cases and hundreds of deaths per day. On Monday, there were 520 new cases, with 0.88 percent of tests coming back positive, and two deaths statewide.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit

A recent rule change by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could take away funding for disinfecting subway cars and city schools, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Thursday. New guidance from the agency says states need to cover the costs of disinfectants, personal protective equipment, temperature scanners, and other cleaning-related items that have been reimbursed by FEMA since March, the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Schumer called the change a “downright dirty decision” made during a time when New York and the rest of the country continues to fight against the spread of the virus.

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Policy, Restaurants

St. Marks Place outdoor dining; Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

Indoor dining could resume in New York City only if police are able to enforce compliance of coronavirus regulations at restaurants, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. During a call with reporters, the governor said he could allow restaurants to open for indoor dining if the city creates a task force of NYPD officers designated to oversee compliance. Cuomo said he plans to discuss the issue with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who on Wednesday called for an immediate start of indoor dining, which has been allowed in every region in the state except the five boroughs.

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New Jersey, Policy, Restaurants

Photo of Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten by cogito ergo imago on Flickr

Much like his decision to open beaches ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey will allow indoor dining to resume across his state this Friday, just ahead of Labor Day weekend. In a Tweet this morning, Murphy said that restaurants and bars can begin operating indoors at 25-percent capacity with social distancing in between tables. In a later press conference, he also announced that movie theaters and other indoor performance venues can reopen on September 4.

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Policy, Restaurants

Photo by Patrick Connor Klopf on Unsplash

The New York City Council on Thursday voted to extend the cap on commissions that restaurants are charged by third-party delivery services. The legislation, first enacted in May, restricts fees services like Grubhub and Uber Eats can charge to 20 percent per order during a state of emergency. The cap will now be in effect until restaurants are able to resume indoor dining at maximum occupancy and 90 days following. There is still no plan to bring back indoor dining, despite the city meeting the state’s coronavirus metrics.

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City Living, Policy

Photo by Paulo Silva on Unsplash

A New York City Council member will introduce a bill this week that would allow cultural institutions to set up events and exhibits outdoor, the New York Daily News first reported. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens and is chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, wants the city to give nonprofit groups space to perform on parking lots, streets, and parks. “The city of New York is the cultural capital of the world and right now it’s a city that’s a little sad,” Van Bramer told the Daily News. “The city of New York without music and dance and theater is just not the same New York.”

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