Coronavirus in N.Y.: Live Updates


Masks become mandatory in New York as governor’s order takes effect.

From surgeon-quality personal protection to the home-stitched square and the bandit’s bandanna, New Yorkers pulled on a newly essential accessory and ventured into a landscape that changed yet again on Friday with the mandated wearing of masks in public.

The new rule, which took effect at 8 p.m. Friday night, would be striking anywhere, but more so in New York City, where teeming crowds and if-I-can-make-it-there chutzpah are baked into the national imagination.

“This is just the next step,” said a retired corrections officer, Stanley Woo, 63, sitting down to play chess in a park in Forest Hills, Queens, with his old friends and his new mask.

“Nobody likes it, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” said Amanda Neville, 43, inside her wine store, Tipsy, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

The measure was intended to further flatten the curve of new coronavirus infections in New York, which has had more than 12,000 deaths because of the virus and more than 200,000 confirmed cases.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offered some encouraging signs on that effort at his daily briefing on Friday: the three-day average number of hospitalized virus patients, considered one of the most reliable measures of the fight against the virus, dropped for the third straight day, by its biggest margin yet — almost 3 percent.

Still, the number of virus patients newly admitted to hospitals had remained high, at nearly 2,000 per day, and the governor announced 630 new deaths in the state.

Mr. Cuomo said the state’s economy could not fully reopen without more widespread testing, which would require both supplies and an operational capacity that the health system does not currently have.

“We cannot do it without federal help,” the governor said.

New York is not the only state to make face coverings mandatory: Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are requiring that masks be worn in stores; likewise in Los Angeles and some surrounding California counties. New York’s order is the most expansive, requiring face coverings anywhere in the state where two people might come within two yards of each other, though for now there is no fine for disobeying.

N.Y.C. schools report 84 percent attendance rate for virtual learning.

New York City’s abrupt switch to remote learning last month created myriad challenges for the nation’s largest school system. One of the thorniest issues was how to take attendance for 1.1 million public school students who were suddenly at home.

On Friday, the Department of Education provided initial data indicating that most students are still interacting with school in some way: About 84 percent of students signed on in some way during the first week of April. Average daily attendance before the coronavirus pandemic was around 92 percent.

Each of the city’s 1,800 schools have created their own attendance plans, meaning that being marked “present” could include participating at live instruction at one school, and answering a brief question every morning at another school. Attendance during remote learning was higher for younger children, who are typically supervised by parents during the day, and lower for high school students.

About 20 percent of city schools, including some large high schools, have not yet reported their attendance data. The city will release attendance weekly.

They filed for unemployment last month. They haven’t seen a dime.

Unemployment systems, some of which rely on an antiquated computer programming language, were not built for such a rush of claimants. They also were not built for a new class of workers — independent contractors and the self-employed — who are now eligible for assistance during the pandemic.

In New York, the results have been maddening. Many people have had their online applications crash before they could hit submit, requiring them to start from scratch.

They have endured hourslong wait times only to get randomly disconnected, or be connected with representatives who say they cannot fix their issues.

Carly Keohane, who lost her waitressing job in Rochester, N.Y., has been waiting a month to receive $2,124 in unemployment payments as a direct deposit into her bank account.

But the state instead told her that the money had been deposited on a state-issued debit card, which she never received. Ms. Keohane, 31, said she could not get anyone on the phone to find out where it is.

Speaking on Thursday, the secretary to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, said the state had been staggering under the weight of the claims for unemployment insurance.

“We are going to continue doing everything we can to bring the system up to deal with this scale,” she said.

Are you a health care worker in the New York area? Tell us what you’re seeing.

As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers. Even if you haven’t seen anything yet, we want to connect now so we can stay in touch in the future.

A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.

Reporting was contributed by Matthew Haag, Eliza Shapiro and Michael Wilson.



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