On March 2, 2020, New York City confirmed its first COVID-19 case. It wasn't long before the ambiguous and deadly airborne virus began tearing through the five boroughs. What followed felt akin to collective whiplash — for both the general population and elected officials.

Within weeks, COVID-19 would kill thousands of people and forever change the face of the city. Below, we’ve created a timeline depicting the crucial moments when elected officials scrambled early on to contain the virus.