More Top Stories, Policy, Washington Heights

Map courtesy of the Governor’s Office

Since last week, many New Yorkers have been anticipating an announcement that the entire city will become an orange zone. This has been avoided at least for another day, but Governor Cuomo did announce that Washington Heights will become a precautionary yellow zone, hitting a 3.30% positivity rate. This is the first micro-cluster zone in Manhattan and the fifth and final borough to join this map. The governor also announced a dire situation on Staten Island in which an emergency overflow facility for COVID patients will open at South Beach.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo credit: Billie Grace Ward via Flickr

Subway and bus service could be cut by 40 percent, thousands of workers laid off, unlimited MetroCards eliminated, and fares increased under a budget proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation on Wednesday as the agency faces the worst financial crisis in its history. The grim 2021 budget comes as the MTA faces a tremendous deficit amplified by the coronavirus pandemic, with no federal relief in sight. The agency on Wednesday projected a deficit of $15.9 billion through 2024.

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Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

In his press conference this afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that all of New York City would become an orange zone if its city-wide positivity rate hits 3 percent. Under this micro-cluster strategy, indoor dining and high-risk non-essential businesses like gyms and personal care services would close. Schools would also close, but during the governor’s press conference, New York City Chancellor Richard A. Carranza sent an email to principals that schools would close and go to virtual learning as of tomorrow, as the New York Times first reported.

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Chelsea, Manhattan, Restaurants

Photo of the main venue by Adam Pass

Entertainment venue and restaurant City Winery will launch next week a coronavirus testing pilot program for guests who want to dine indoors. The Pier 57 establishment, which just opened its new flagship location last month, will require all patrons and staff to take a rapid COVID-19 test before entering on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings only. Those visiting City Winery on those two days will make a reservation via Resy online and make a payment of $50 per person for the test. It’s the first restaurant to create a COVID testing program for indoor dining, according to City Winery.

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City Living

Photo by Billie Grace Ward via Wikimedia Commons

In an email to its customers today, CityMD acknowledged that “long lines are a daily fact at nearly every CityMD as we see a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the region.” They go on to say that their staff and doctors have been seeing patients well after closing time for months now, reaching “the point where they are sacrificing their own safety and health.” Therefore, all locations will begin closing 90 minutes earlier. These long lines have become a grim reminder for New Yorkers that a second wave seems imminent.

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Policy, Top Stories

NYC releases map of positive COVID cases by ZIP code

By Devin Gannon, Fri, November 13, 2020

Courtesy of the NYC Department of Health

New York City’s health department this week released real-time data on new coronavirus cases by ZIP code and borough for the first time. An interactive map and a table show the percent of people who tested positive by ZIP code for the most recent seven days of available data and the rate of people tested during the last week. The detailed data comes as the city faces a surge of new cases of the virus in every borough, with an 89 percent increase in cases citywide compared to two weeks prior.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci honored as ‘Brooklyn COVID Hero’

By Devin Gannon, Thu, November 12, 2020

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour on Flickr

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, was honored by his hometown borough this week for his work throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Tuesday named Fauci, who grew up in Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights, a “COVID-19 Hero,” for helping others amid the health crisis.

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Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr cc

With the COVID positivity rate rising across the state, and with neighboring states of Connecticut and New Jersey seeing major spikes, Governor Cuomo today put in place new restrictions to curb the spread. Restaurants and bars will have to close at 10pm; after that time they can offer curbside takeout and delivery for food only. Gyms will also have to close at 1opm. And both indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people. These are the three main spreaders that were identified by state contact-tracers. The rules go into effect at 1opm this Friday, November 13th.

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City Living, Policy

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

For the sixth straight day, New York City’s COVID positivity rate has been above 2 percent, today hitting 2.88 percent. Though this is lower than surrounding states (New Jersey has recently hit 8 percent), Mayor de Blasio’s education plan has set a threshold of 3 percent for keeping schools open. And according to the city’s data, the number of new daily infections has nearly doubled since August from roughly 300 to a whopping 976 last Wednesday. Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said the city was “getting dangerously close” to a second wave, setting off an alarm among New Yorkers, and today he said, “this is our last chance to stop [it].”

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New Jersey, Policy

View of Jersey City, photo by Gautam Krishnan on Unsplash

With infection rates throughout the Garden State continuing to climb, Governor Phil Murphy has been hinting for the past week at new restrictions, and today they came. Aside from prohibiting all indoor interstate games for youth and high school sports, the rules focus on indoor dining, including stopping restaurants, bars, and casinos from serving food or drink between 10pm and 5am and prohibiting barside seating. Murphy’s announcement came as New Jersey saw its fifth-straight day of 2,000+ cases, with 3,207 cases reported on Saturday, the highest since the height of the pandemic on April 27.

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