We are now living through — in the words of Mayor Bill de Blasio — a “wartime” scenario where the city, state and federal governments are readying hospital facilities and supplies to treat the anticipated flood of sick patients infected with the coronavirus, as five drive through testing facilities are being prepared. in NYC.
The coronavirus situation continues to evolve, here are the latest developments:
As of 4pm on Monday, there were approximately 460 cases of Coronavirus in NYC, along with nine deaths in the state related to the virus that include an investigator from the Department of Correction.
Work for many people in creative fields has ground to a halt; freelance or contract workers and artists can use this aggregated list of resources to begin to weather the COVID-19 lockdown.
Following an outcry from parents and teachers, schools in NYC are now closed through April 20th as of Sunday night, with the chance of not reopening this school year.
A slight scare was caused on Sunday when people wearing hazmat suits were spotted outside of PS 132 in Greenpoint following reports of a PS 132 staff member allegedly testing positive for coronavirus.
To keep contact between students at a minimum, breakfast and lunch will be available for students in a “grab-and-go” setup at all public schools from 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and remote learning for grades K-12 begins next week.
.@DOEChancellor is helping out right now to ensure our students stay healthy and full during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can pick up food from any @NYCSchools location this week from 7:30 am — 1:30 pm. pic.twitter.com/qjXyLfTY18
— City of New York (@nycgov) March 16, 2020
The New York Public Library has also temporarily closed all branches through March 31st.
Restaurants, music venues, bars, theaters and casinos will all be required to close tonight in order to contain the spread of the virus, as Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday night.
Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 16, 2020
Joint closures of all nightlife venues between the states of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York were announced on Monday, effectively creating a curfew across the tri-state region.
Effective 8PM TONIGHT:
-Crowd capacity reduced to 50
-Restaurants/bars will be takeout/delivery ONLY
-Movie theaters closed
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 16, 2020
This comes as the Center For Disease Control has recommended the suspension of all large gatherings of more than 50 people. Later on Monday, the federal government upped the restrictions recommending to avoid groups of more than 10 people.
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 16, 2020
Speaking of large groups, the brunch crowds continued to swarm Greenpoint last weekend despite state directives for hospitality establishments to operate at a maximum of 50% of capacity, causing a greater call for mandated closures.
— Serena Dai (@ssdai) March 16, 2020
Local restaurants and small businesses will continue to face dire circumstances during the containment period of social distancing, but to help offset the decline in sales many dine-in establishments are now offering takeout, while encouraging devoted customers to purchase gift cards.
Bars and breweries like Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. will sell beer to go during the mandatory closure:
Assembly Member Joe Lentol who pushed for the statewide ban on evictions that took effect on Monday, is now calling for the NY to provide relief for the hospitality industry by halting all commercial evictions, retaining sales tax “to provide available funds for payroll & other urgent expenses,” and by deferring or prorating rent until the crisis has passed.
In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lentol writes: “In my district, several restaurants are already announcing they will not be reopening….This is an immediate relief to an industry that is likely to suffer the greatest permanent impact in our state.”
In a press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio banned price gouging making it illegal to raise prices on specific items including thermometers, sanitizing and baby wipes, paper towels, latex gloves, fever reducers, cough suppressants, toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and aloe vera.
NY’s Attorney General’s office has “sent dozens of cease and desist letters to businesses accused of gouging,” according to CBS.
In North Brooklyn, a shared document continues to make its rounds for neighbors who are in need of help or who can offer assistance to list their contact info.