May 4, 2023

Community-created memorial honoring New Yorkers lost to Covid on view at Green-Wood Cemetery

A massive new public art memorial at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery honors lives lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. Curated by Naming The Lost Memorials and City Lore, the "The Many Losses from Covid-19" memorial is made up of personalized tributes to the 79,000 New Yorkers lost to the virus, as well as those suffering from long Covid. Created by 20 local community groups, the month-long display will be located alongside the cemetery's historic wrought-iron fence near the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street.
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March 3, 2023

Little Italy’s Alleva Dairy cheese shop finds new home in New Jersey

After falling behind on rent and closing its doors due to the pandemic, Little Italy's historic cheese shop has found a new home in New Jersey. Alleva Dairy, the 130-year-old cheese shop that was forced to close in February, will move to a bigger location in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, as first reported by NBC New York. The new location is currently under construction and is expected to open to customers in August.
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October 25, 2022

NYC businesses on car-free ‘Open Streets’ prospered during the pandemic, report says

New York City businesses on streets closed to cars under the Open Streets program reported better sales than those located on streets with car traffic, according to a new study. The city's Department of Transportation on Tuesday released a report that highlights for the first time the positive economic impact of the Open Streets program, which was established at the start of the pandemic as a way for New Yorkers to remain safe and later grew into a lifeline for restaurants and bars. According to the report, Open Streets saw more new businesses open during the pandemic, stronger sales, and a higher number of restaurants and bars stay open than on similar commercial corridors not participating in the program.
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September 7, 2022

New York lifts mask mandate on public transit

Masks are no longer required on public transportation in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday. During a press conference in Harlem, the governor said masks are now optional for riders traveling on New York City's subways and buses, as well as MetroNorth and Long Island Rail Road. The state's mandate has been in place since April 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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July 13, 2022

NYC parks, pools, and rec centers will distribute free at-home Covid tests

As New York City faces a sixth Covid wave, Mayor Eric Adams is expanding the city's network of at-home test distribution sites. Starting Wednesday, New Yorkers will be able to pick up a free rapid Covid test from 57 NYC Parks locations, including parks, pools, nature centers, and recreation centers. With these new NYC Parks distribution sites, the city's at-home test distribution program includes 1,220 sites.
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July 5, 2022

NYC launches nation’s first mobile test-to-treat Covid program, with free antiviral pills at testing sites

New York City will provide antiviral medication for New Yorkers who test positive for Covid at certain mobile testing sites, Mayor Eric Adams announced last week. Clinicians at participating mobile testing units will be able to write prescriptions for those who test positive--and are eligible for-- Paxlovid, an oral antiviral treatment that reduces the chance of severe illness caused by the virus. The new test-to-treat program is the first of its kind in the United States.
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June 22, 2022

Broadway will drop mask mandate for month of July

Masks will no longer be required at all of Broadway's 41 theaters next month, the Broadway League announced Tuesday. Starting July 1, masks will be optional for audiences at shows. The League said masking protocols for August and beyond will be reviewed on a monthly basis, with an updated decision made in mid-July. While masks will not be required, audience members are still encouraged to wear them.
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June 15, 2022

NYC’s outdoor swim programs won’t return this summer due to ‘lifeguard shortage’

The New York City Parks Department on Tuesday announced that a number of the city's outdoor swim programs would not be returning for the summer season due to a "national shortage of lifeguards." Lap swim, senior swim, water aerobics, swim team and day camp, and Learn to Swim are among the programs that will not be returning for a third consecutive year.
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May 26, 2022

Subway ridership almost at 90% of pre-pandemic levels in NYC’s working-class neighborhoods

Subway ridership has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in New York City's working-class neighborhoods. During the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's monthly board meeting on Wednesday, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in most working-class neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, subway ridership has climbed back up to 70, 80, and for some, 90 percent of pre-pandemic ridership levels. But in the city's major business districts, subway ridership remains way below pre-Covid-19 levels.
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May 17, 2022

NYC recommends masks indoors again as ‘high’ alert level is reached

New York City on Tuesday officially hit a "high" Covid-19 alert level, meaning there's increased community spread of the virus and significant pressure on the health care system. The new risk level comes a day after city Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan issued an advisory recommending all New Yorkers wear masks in indoor public settings and that those at risk of severe illness avoid crowds. In response to rising cases, the city said it will distribute an additional 16.5 million at-home tests and one million high-quality masks to public schools, community organizations, cultural institutions, libraries, and houses of worship. Although hitting the "high" alert level comes with the recommendation of a mask mandate, the city is not requiring face coverings yet.
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May 10, 2022

NYC subway ridership hits highest level since start of Covid

Ridership on the New York City subway reached a new pandemic-era milestone last week, the Metropolitan Transporation Authority announced. On Thursday, 3,497,122 riders swiped into the system, surpassing the last record set during the pandemic in December 2021. While the new record is a positive sign for the city's recovery, Thursday's ridership is still well below the 2019 weekday average of 5.5 million straphangers.
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May 3, 2022

NYC’s Covid alert level moves to ‘medium’ risk

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Monday announced the rate of new Covid-19 cases had reached 200 per 100,000 people, moving the city to a medium-risk alert level. The number of new cases recorded daily citywide on a seven-day average jumped from around 600 in March to 2,600 by the end of April, according to the health department. Officials say the latest surge in Covid cases stems from the Omicron subvariant, BA.2.
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April 19, 2022

MTA keeps mask mandate for NYC subway, despite lift of federal requirement on mass transit

While mask mandates are being lifted in public transit systems around the country, New Yorkers should expect to wait a little longer to ride the subway unmasked. According to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency will require masks to be worn throughout the subway, bus, Metro-North, and Long Island Rail Road systems, despite a recent ruling from a federal judge striking down the national mask mandate for airplanes, trains, buses, and other forms of mass transit.
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March 24, 2022

NYC’s unvaccinated athletes and performers are now exempt from vaccine mandate, Adams announces

New York City's unvaccinated athletes and performers will be able to compete and perform at local venues under a new order reversing part of the city's private-sector vaccine mandate. Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday the city will expand a current exemption that has allowed unvaccinated players and entertainers who lived outside of the city to perform or play in New York to hometown athletes and performers. The decision comes just two weeks before the start of the Major League Baseball season, allowing Yankees and Mets players who have not confirmed their vaccination status to take the field at home, as well as confirmed unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play at the Barclays Center.
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March 24, 2022

New report finds neighborhoods in the Bronx lead the city in missed mortgage payments

Two years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Bronx neighborhoods are leading the city in mortgage delinquency rates, according to a new analysis by the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. Plus, the city's majority Black neighborhoods were most at risk for foreclosures, with these ZIP codes having an average of 8.48 percent of homeowners who had failed to make their mortgage payment for more than 30 days, as first reported by The City.
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March 18, 2022

New York to distribute 20M at-home Covid tests statewide to prepare for potential surges

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced New York will distribute more than 20 million over-the-counter Covid-19 tests to bolster New York's ongoing preparation efforts and as virus cases rise in other parts of the world. The tests will be sent to nursing homes, adult care facilities, and schools across the state. Over 1.7 million tests will be reserved for NYCHA tenants, according to the governor. The state will also create new distribution points for tests and partner with local officials to improve public access to kits.
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March 14, 2022

36% of New York City residents have received a Covid booster shot

Just over a third of New York City residents have received a coronavirus booster shot, according to newly published data released by the city's health department this week. While roughly 77 percent of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, just 36 percent have received an additional dose of the Covid vaccine. The data also reveals racial disparities among vaccination rates citywide, with 57 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander residents getting boosted compared to 24 percent of Black New Yorkers.
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March 7, 2022

Study says vaccines prevented 48,000+ Covid deaths in NYC

More than 48,000 deaths, 300,000 hospitalizations, and 1.9 million cases have been prevented since the city's Covid-19 vaccination campaign started in December 2020, the New York City Health Department announced on Friday.  “COVID-19 vaccines have saved so many lives and prevented an immense amount of suffering," Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Health Commissioner, said. "Nearly 48,000 New Yorkers will celebrate another birthday this year due to the power of vaccination."
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February 27, 2022

Adams to end school mask mandate, most indoor vaccine requirements on March 7

New York City will no longer require masks in public schools or proof of vaccination for indoor dining and entertainment starting March 7 if there is no spike in Covid-19 cases before then, Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday. The announcement comes after Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the indoor mask mandate statewide for schools. In addition to ending the mask mandate in schools, Adams said the "Key to NYC' initiative, which has required proof of vaccination at restaurants, bars, gyms, and indoor entertainment venues since August, will also be lifted. An official decision is expected on March 4.
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February 24, 2022

NYC reaches $2.25M settlement with notorious Crown Heights landlord duo

Mayor Eric Adams and New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday announced a $2.25 million settlement against Gennaro Brooks-Church and Loretta Gendville, who attempted to illegally evict tenants at their Brooklyn property during the pandemic in violation of the state's moratorium, and reportedly ran an illegal hotel operation over the course of several years. By terms of the settlement, the property located at 1214 Dean Street in Crown Heights will be turned over to the city and transformed into affordable housing, with the previous owners paying $250,000 in fines.
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February 14, 2022

NYC cultural landmarks and public libraries will distribute free at-home Covid testing kits

The NYC Test & Trace Corps has partnered with 14 city cultural sites and 27 branches of the city's public libraries to hand out free at-home covid-19 testing kits. Starting on February 14, libraries across the city's three branches and cultural sites will be conducting weekly walk-up distributions of the free kits, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis with a limit of one per person.
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February 9, 2022

Hochul lifts New York’s indoor mask mandate

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced New York will be following in the footsteps of New Jersey and California and dropping its indoor mask mandate. The mandate, which required all businesses to verify proof of full vaccination or require mask-wearing, was set to expire on Thursday. Masks will still be required in schools, childcare centers, health care facilities, and public spaces like subways, trains, buses, and airports.
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February 7, 2022

New Jersey will end mask mandate in schools in March

New Jersey's school mask mandate that's been in effect since September 2020 will end March 7, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday. The state mandate required all students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings while inside New Jersey school facilities. School districts can choose to keep the mandates in place, but the statewide requirement will be lifted. The mandate's removal comes as positive tests and hospitalizations have dropped significantly statewide and the rate of vaccinations continues to rise.
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