Coronavirus in New York

Can the city force New Yorkers to get vaccinated?

BY Spectrum News Staff

In spite of the city’s efforts to get all New Yorkers vaccinated, more than 40% of New Yorkers are yet to be inoculated. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross and Juan Manuel Benitez discuss the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and weigh in on de Blasio’s decision to require all public health care workers to either get the shot or get tested every week.

They also explain why many Queens elected officials are opposing a project to build an AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport. The $2.1 billion plan --championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo-- was recently approved by the federal government.

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With low vaccination rate, could NYPD be next to face a mandate?

BY Bobby Cuza

NEW YORK — Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of workers in the city's uniformed services have been infected with COVID-19, including more than 11,000 in the NYPD alone.

Thursday, it was suggested to Mayor Bill de Blasio that many of them believe they don’t need the vaccine, having acquired sufficient antibodies.

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City to require either vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing for public health workers

BY Elina Tarkazikis , Ari Ephraim Feldman and Lindsay Tuchman
UPDATED 4:00 PM ET Jul. 21, 2021

Starting Aug. 2, the city will require workers at public hospitals to either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested for the virus on a weekly basis, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.

The decision comes as the delta variant continues to spread through the city, pushing up hospitalization and infection rates. The city’s key virus metrics — number of newly admitted patients with suspected COVID-19, the number of new cases and the test positivity rate — are all on the rise.

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Amid differing guidance, masks remain a must in city schools — for now

BY Jillian Jorgensen

After learning from home for more than a year, Noah will start kindergarten this fall. When he does, his mom, Escarlett Garzon, hopes he and the other children in his class will be wearing masks.

“I prefer for him to still wear the mask just because we don't know, like, who may be in contact with the virus and not everyone is getting vaccinated, so I feel more comfortable with him wearing it, rather than not,” Garzon said as Noah played in a Harlem park.

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Cuomo administration reports lower death toll from COVID-19 in New York than federal data shows

BY Zack Fink

How many New Yorkers have died from COVID-19? The answer is very different depending on who you ask. Already facing criticism for undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, state health officials and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are trying to explain why their death toll is dramatically smaller than the federal government’s.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in New York State is in the tens of thousands. But while the tally is kept by both the federal government and the Cuomo administration, those numbers don’t come close to matching.

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‘This is getting insane’: De Blasio rails against vaccine holdouts

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday scolded vaccine holdouts in the city and pleaded with people to get their shots, promising further announcements later this week on the city’s approach to stemming the spread of COVID-19.

De Blasio came under criticism Monday after he played down the importance of a mask mandate to stop the virus relative to the power of vaccinations, which he and city health advisers have called a permanent solution to the pandemic. Los Angeles has reinstated a mask mandate to curb the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, while San Francisco has issued a mask advisory to residents.

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City health care workers demand hazard pay for pandemic work

BY Edric Robinson

Over 18,000 city health care workers are demanding hazard pay. Joan Wright is a nursing assistant and said she’s frustrated with the city. Like many municipal health care workers, she worked throughout the pandemic and doesn’t understand why the city hasn’t given hazard pay or extra compensation for that time.

“I think we should get hazard pay because we work very hard and we don’t get recognized because we do more than one shift because some people can’t come in,” said Wright.

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How well did ranked-choice voting go?

BY Pat Kiernan

Ranked-choice voting was America's biggest experiment with that type of polling when New York City used it in its primaries last month. But with a botched rollout of vote counts, many are questioning if the practice was worth it and if it should stick around. Pat Kiernan speaks with the NY1 team that has been following the primaries and this new process from the beginning.

Join the conversation using #NY1Crosstown.

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De Blasio rejects calls for new indoor mask mandate

BY Bobby Cuza

The numbers are not in dispute: COVID-19 is on the rise in New York City, with cases now topping 500 a day.

With the spread of the more contagious Delta variant and a slowdown in vaccinations, some want to see the return of an indoor mask mandate, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and City Councilman Mark Levine, a prominent voice on the issue.

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Back on stage: A guide to Broadway reopening

BY Kevin Dugan
UPDATED 11:12 PM ET Jul. 16, 2021

Broadway is finally ready to return after more than 15 months of being shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of shows have announced reopening dates for the 2021-22 season, and more are still to come.

COVID-19 protocols are still being worked out for most shows, but check back for updates on what's ahead for the Great White Way.

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Yankees play Red Sox after COVID-19 postponement

BY Elina Tarkazikis , Faraz Toor and Associated Press
UPDATED 7:33 PM ET Jul. 16, 2021

NEW YORK — The Yankees’ COVID-19-related delay to the second half lasted just one day.

The Bronx Bombers began their crucial series against the Boston Red Sox as scheduled Friday night, after the Thursday game was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Yankees’ organization.

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Yankees game postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests

BY Elina Tarkazikis and Associated Press
UPDATED 10:17 AM ET Jul. 16, 2021

NEW YORK — The Yankees' post-All-Star break opener against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night was postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests within New York's organization.

Major League Baseball said the postponement was to allow for more testing and contact tracing.

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Residents speak out against plan to make outdoor dining permanent

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

As the city moves to make its outdoor dining plan permanent, residents across the city say they don’t want the pandemic-era expansion in their neighborhoods.

From trash issues to noise complaints, people have been gathering at community board meetings over the past week as the city’s Department of Transportation introduces a long-term plan.

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Delays still plague subway system, transit advocates say

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

NEW YORK — Upper West Side resident Caroline Attayek lives and works along the 1 train line, but recently that has not been very convenient.

"I literally have an interaction with my boss with me texting her, me leaving an hour early thinking that would get me there in time and I still end up at work 15 minutes late,” Attayek explained.

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City pushes New Yorkers to get vaccinated

BY Justin Izzo

The city is urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the delta variant pushes cases higher.

At a news conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated the city’s “five pillars” to combating the virus; mobile vaccine sites in undervaccinated communities, door-to-door canvassers, in-home vaccination services, expanding a referral bonus program for local nonprofits, and driving more doctors to reach out to their patients.

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Applicants still waiting for funding from state COVID rental relief program

BY Clodagh McGowan

Jacky Wong is frustrated. He’s a translator helping Cantonese and Mandarin speakers in Chinatown apply for the state’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program or E-RAP. The online portal opened on June 1, and the six people he helped apply haven’t received a dime yet.

“A lot of landlords are really worried because they might be forced to evict their tenants if they don’t receive the E-RAP money. And also, the tenants are very scared because if they don’t get that money they might be kicked out,” Wong said.

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How Cuomo’s effort to build essential workers memorial by Labor Day fell short

BY Zack Fink
UPDATED 7:39 PM ET Jul. 13, 2021

NEW YORK — Last month, as COVID-19 numbers continued to fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a ticker-tape parade to honor those essential workers who helped guide the city through the pandemic.

“We’re always going to remember the pain and the tragedy of COVID,” the mayor said at a news conference. “No one is ever going to forget those we lost and what families are still going through.”

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NYC Restaurant Week expands to five weeks in full pandemic return

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

NEW YORK — As the city’s iconic dining scene continues its comeback, Restaurant Week is back for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began — and longer than ever — hoping to give businesses an extra boost.

“I am excited. I think it is a rebirth on all levels," said Leah Abraham, the owner of Settepani, an Italian restaurant in Harlem.

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City to maintain mask requirement in schools for now, despite updated CDC guidance

BY Patrick Adcroft

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that for now, all New York City public school students will continue to be required to wear masks while inside classrooms come September, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened their masking guidance on Friday, recommending that vaccinated students and staff no longer need to wear a face covering inside the classroom.

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COVID-19 cases increase as vaccination effort continues to stall

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

Mayor Bill de Blasio faced questions Monday on what his administration is doing to address low vaccination rates in some neighborhoods as the city faces a growing number of COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant.

In eastern Brooklyn and southeast Queens just over a third of residents are fully vaccinated, while in much of the Bronx just 40% of residents are fully vaccinated, according to city data. In much of Manhattan, western Brooklyn and northern Queens, two-thirds or more of residents are fully vaccinated.

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Javits Center COVID-19 vaccine site to shut down

BY Luke Parsnow and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 9:13 PM ET Jul. 07, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine site at the Javits Center will be shut down as part of an ongoing downscaling of mass vaccination sites, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

July 9 will be the site's last day of operation.

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Praise and gratitude at ticker-tape parade honoring front-line workers

BY Lori Chung

The Hometown Heroes Parade marched up the Canyon of Heroes Wednesday, giving people across the city the opportunity to say thank you to all the essential workers who kept New York going through the darkest days of the pandemic.

“It’s like a big hug from New York, so thank you” said Sandra Lindsay, grand marshal of the parade.

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De Blasio scales back 'Hometown Heroes' parade

BY Anna Lucente Sterling
UPDATED 6:00 PM ET Jul. 06, 2021

The Canyon of Heroes will come alive for the first time in two years Wednesday at a ticker-tape parade to honor the city’s front-line workers who helped fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the heat is forcing some changes to the event that is expected to draw thousands of participants to the march, which will feature 14 floats representing 260 different sectors of essential workers.

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Beach businesses are open for summer in the Rockaways

BY Pat Kiernan



After a difficult pandemic summer, the small businesses of the Rockaways are open and ready to welcome visitors for the new season. Pat Kiernan chats with NY1 Reporter Clodagh McGowan, who spoke with shop owners along the beach about how businesses have bounced back.

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Battery Park City residents celebrate pause in plans for the ‘Circle of Heroes’ monument

BY Alyssa Paolicelli
UPDATED 11:03 PM ET Jul. 05, 2021

NEW YORK — Monday afternoon marked a celebration of victory for residents of the newly formed community group, the Battery Park City Neighbors Association.

After a week of protests and sit-ins inside Rockefeller Park, the group was successful in saving local trees and pausing construction on the “Circle of Heroes” memorial.

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City loosens COVID-19 restrictions as Delta variant concerns grow

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

New York City is pushing ahead with loosening pandemic-era restrictions for city office workers even as the threat of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus grows.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a Tuesday morning news conference that vaccinated city employees will soon be able to work in their offices without masks or physical distancing. Unvaccinated employees, as well as those who interact with the public directly, will still be required to wear masks.

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Homeless men living in the Lucerne moved back to shelter

BY Victoria Manna

NEW YORK — Homeless men left the Lucerne hotel on the Upper West Side. There were about 280 homeless men living there at one point, but about 70 men were moved Monday.

"They pick and choose! We've been here for three years in the shelter!" said one man who was moved from the Lucerne. "They put their people in the apartment!"

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Planned monument to essential workers meets opposition in Battery Park City

BY Lori Chung

NEW YORK — Battery Park City residents at a sit-in say they're hoping to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo to drop plans for a monument to essential workers in their neighborhood, worried that they'll lose a vital part of Rockefeller Park.

"Our primary objective is to preserve this green space," Jennifer Haran said.

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How online sales helped a Brooklyn toy store thrive during the pandemic

BY Lori Chung

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Ask a kid their favorite thing about a visit to Lulu's Cuts and Toys and it's not hard to predict what they'll say.

"Seeing all the toys and sometimes getting one," said Lillian Kaiser. The 8-year-old and her mother, Nora Kaiser, say the selection and the personal touch have kept them loyal to the Brooklyn mom and pop store. “We made sure that we kept shopping throughout the pandemic," Kaiser said. "We probably bought more toys during the pandemic than at other times." For 20 years, owner Brigitte Prat has been bringing joy to little ones in the store she named after her daughter back in 2001.

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On Stage Openings: Great White Way set to return with ‘Springsteen On Broadway’

BY Frank DiLella

NEW YORK — After more than 15 months in the dark, it's thrilling to know that Broadway is officially back! On Saturday night, the St. James Theatre will play host to "Springsteen On Broadway," the first Broadway show to be performed since March 11, 2020.

"Springsteen On Broadway" St. James Theatre 246 W. 44th Street Through Sept. 4, 2021 Tickets: seatgeek.com ------ "Seven Deadly Sins" Meatpacking District Through July 18, 2021 Tickets: sevendeadlysinsnyc.com ------ "June Rites" Governors Island June 25-27 Tickets: waterwell.org/junerites ------

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Cuomo announces new essential workers monument

BY Spectrum News NY1

A Circle of Heroes monument honoring essential workers during the pandemic will open on Labor Day this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday morning.

The monument was designed by representatives of essential workers and will be located in Battery Park City.

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Citi Field returns to full capacity Monday

BY Spectrum News NY1

The Mets will return to full capacity at Citi Field when they begin their next home stand with a doubleheader against the Braves Monday, June 21.

Fans will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the stadium. Social distancing and mask requirements also have been eased.

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Answers to your questions about New York's loosened COVID-19 restrictions

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 6:37 PM ET Jun. 16, 2021

NEW YORK — Now that 70% of adults in New York state have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, almost all related restrictions on businesses, gatherings and masks can now be lifted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The news is a major boon for New York economically and culturally, but after adhering to ever-changing safety guidelines for about 15 months, many are unsure about what’s allowed and what isn’t under the new guidance.

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City to allow larger high school graduation ceremonies

BY Jillian Jorgensen

Public schools will no longer have to limit the number of attendees at outdoor graduation ceremonies, the city's Department of Education told principals Wednesday afternoon, though attendees will still have to keep six feet apart, wear masks and fill out health screening forms.

Capacity limits for indoor graduations will remain in place. They are capped at 250 people.

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Fireworks light up city skyline as state lifts most COVID-19 restrictions

BY Shannan Ferry and Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — With chants of “New York City is back,” onlookers gathered in Battery Park on Tuesday night as fireworks went off in New York Harbor, celebrating almost all COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses, gatherings and masks being lifted as the state’s partial vaccination rate for adults reached 70%.

A look at the fireworks display in New York Harbor tonight, celebrating 70% of adults in the state getting at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Most pandemic restrictions have been lifted with New York hitting the threshold. #OneNewYork https://t.co/5WH3KusIsS pic.twitter.com/Ypnnubh5zE

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Nearly 900 people got expired COVID-19 vaccine doses at Times Square site, officials say

BY Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 900 people received expired COVID-19 vaccine doses at a vaccination site in Times Square this month, health officials said Tuesday.

The 899 people who received doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the former NFL Experience building in Times Square between June 5 and June 10 should schedule another Pfizer shot as soon as possible, the New York City Health Department said.

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City to hold parade for essential workers on July 7

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:25 AM ET Jun. 14, 2021

The city will host a parade honoring essential workers on Wednesday, July 7, in the Canyon of Heroes, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.

We promised the heroes who led the fight against #COVID19 a celebration like our city had never seen. Save the date: July 7, 2021. The Hometown Heroes Parade. #SummerOfNYC https://t.co/fiWArfoubE

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Exclusive: New Yorkers optimistic about city’s future but see it as increasingly less affordable, NY1/Ipsos poll finds

BY Bobby Cuza

NEW YORK — Even after being battered by a deadly pandemic, New Yorkers are generally optimistic about the city’s future, but also see themselves increasingly less able to afford living here, according to the results of our latest Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they see a future for themselves in the city, versus 27% who don’t.

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Does the return to the offices mean more business for dry cleaners?

BY Rocco Vertuccio

For the first time since the pandemic started, there are plenty of clothes to wash and press at Iris Cleaners and Tailors in East Elmhurst.

Co-owner Carlos Landazabal said business finally started to improve a few weeks ago, when more New Yorkers started to return to the office.

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Exclusive: Nearly a quarter of New Yorkers are still vaccine-hesitant, NY1/Ipsos poll finds

BY Bobby Cuza
UPDATED 10:15 AM ET Jun. 10, 2021

NEW YORK — Nearly a quarter of New Yorkers, 23%, remain vaccine-hesitant despite widespread efforts to combat the problem in recent months, our latest Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll found.

That figure includes 12% of New Yorkers who say they don’t plan to receive the vaccine, and 11% who are not sure if they’ll choose to receive it.

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‘In the Heights’ opens Tribeca Festival in Washington Heights

BY George Whipple

NEW YORK — The 20th Tribeca Festival kicked off Wednesday with a bang as the stars came out for the red carpet world premiere of “In the Heights,” which took place — where else? — in Washington Heights at the United Palace Theater.

Stars from the musical-drama, including New York’s own Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics, talked about the film opening the festival, and their first in-person red carpet since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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COVID-19 indicators stall as de Blasio admits defeat on vaccination goal

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman
UPDATED 5:00 PM ET Jun. 09, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted defeat at a news conference Wednesday on a key goal of the city’s COVID-19 recovery: He acknowledged that the city will not hit 5 million fully vaccinated people by the end of this month.

“It’s gonna be very very tough at this point to hit 5 million by the end of June,” de Blasio said, laying the blame with the federal government for briefly withdrawing use of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine over safety concerns.

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COVID-19 vaccination rates in Far Rockaway among lowest in city

BY Rocco Vertuccio

Jessica Cruz contracted COVID-19 earlier this year, but she refuses to get vaccinated. She just doesn’t trust the vaccine.

“I have family that done it and I’m just praying later on in the future, symptoms you know, nothing happens years down the line because you took the vaccine,” said Cruz.

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Exclusive: New Yorkers’ opinion evenly split over working from home or from the office, NY1/Ipsos poll finds

BY Bobby Cuza
UPDATED 9:34 AM ET Jun. 09, 2021

NEW YORK — The vast majority of New Yorkers say they’re comfortable going back to work in an indoor setting. But that doesn’t mean they want to.

According to our latest Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll, 68% of employed New Yorkers would be comfortable working in an office or other indoor setting once pandemic restrictions are lifted.

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City's entertainment venues filling up schedules for in-person events again

BY Shannan Ferry

NEW YORK — Emily Tow and Maureen Falvey were thrilled to catch the first in-person performance at The Public Theater on Tuesday, since the shutdown of live performances in March of 2020.

“I just, signed me up for the first day we can come back,” Tow said. The friends share a passion for the arts and say virtual shows just aren’t the same. “I think we had a chance to see what we miss the most and there was tremendous deprivation with the theater, it’s the place where I experience my greatest joy, so I can’t believe it’s true, I can’t believe it’s here,” Falvey said. After a year of going dark, The Public Theater is just one of the many venues filling up its schedule. Madison Square Garden announced Tuesday it will host the first concert at 100% capacity on June 20. All fans will be vaccinated to see the Foo Fighters take the stage. Plus, according to multiple reports MTVs Video Music Awards, or the VMAs, will return to Barclays Center in September. Falvey says she’s missed the human connection that in-person events offer. “Just a shared experience with people at the same time, not on a Zoom but just the added effect of like we’re all experiencing something special at the same time is everything,” she said. That goes for Broadway too. Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his excitement Tuesday about Bruce Springsteen returning to the stage on June 26 with "Springsteen on Broadway". “Broadway epitomizes New York City. Broadway coming back means New York City's coming back. Broadway coming back means our arts and culture are coming back, the life of the city coming back, jobs coming back, tourists coming back;” De Blasio said. At The Public Theater, proof of vaccination is not required to attend shows but guests must wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and undergo a temperature check at the door. Tickets can be purchased at publictheater.org.

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While sports fans pack arenas, graduation capacity remains limited

BY Jillian Jorgensen

Around 17,000 fans gathered inside the Barclay's Center to cheer on the Nets this week. But at Tottenville High School, no more than 500 people will be able to celebrate graduation on the school’s outdoor football field.

That doesn’t make much sense to student body president — and soon to be graduate — Robert Malyar.

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Exclusive: Just 42% of New Yorkers say they’re comfortable riding mass transit, NY1/Ipsos poll finds

BY Bobby Cuza

NEW YORK — As New York begins to emerge from the pandemic, there’s little doubt that a functioning transit system is essential to the city’s recovery.

The problem is, New Yorkers aren’t comfortable using it — and that unease has only grown in recent weeks, according to the our latest Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll. The poll also found New Yorkers more eager to participate in other aspects of city life, but not yet ready to completely ditch their masks.

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City rolls out pop-up vaccination sites for students

BY Lindsay Tuchman

Free ice cream, a DJ and giveaways were just some of the perks for kids who showed up at a “pre-vacation vaccination” site at Bronx Writing Academy.

Aaliyah Jennings, 14, was first in line Friday.

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Bronx Night Market to celebrate 4th anniversary and eased COVID-19 restrictions

BY Amy Yensi

BRONX, N.Y. — You don’t have to get on a plane to travel through the seven continents. By visiting the Bronx Night Market, your tastebuds can be transported to different parts of the world.

This week, the event is celebrating it’s 4th anniversary. One of the most popular stands is Arepa Baby. It serves up a gluten free version of Venezuelan arepas mixed in with unique ingredients.

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Bronx advocate: Outreach, not incentives, key to reaching COVID-19 vaccine holdouts

BY Angi Gonzalez

NEW YORK — Even after a full day of work at the Institute for Family Health in the Bronx, Cheikhou Ann goes out into his own neighborhood to sign people up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, data from the city puts vaccination rates in the south Bronx among the lowest in the city, at about 40%. Ann is trying to change those numbers.

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In-school vaccinations begin Friday, mayor announces

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

Schools will now offer vaccinations on site for students over the age of 12 beginning this Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday.

The effort will begin at four schools in the Bronx, with a focus on middle schools, but expand in the coming weeks to all five boroughs.

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Senior centers can now reopen, with social distancing

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman and Shannan Ferry
UPDATED 11:47 PM ET Jun. 01, 2021

City senior centers can now reopen, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday at a news conference, giving thousands of residents access to hot meals, old friends and classes for exercise, art and more.

Centers can begin offering outdoor activities immediately, and resume indoor activities on June 14.

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City hits lowest measured test positivity rate since pandemic began

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

New York City saw the lowest rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 since it began keeping track of the city’s positivity rate, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday at a news conference.

The city began tracking test positivity in March 2020, hitting a high that month of 71% of tests performed coming back as positive for COVID-19.

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Indoor dining curfew ends for New York

BY Angi Gonzalez
UPDATED 6:43 AM ET Jun. 01, 2021

Harry Panagiotopoulos, the owner of the Sweet Spot in Astoria, had been waiting months for the curfew on indoor dining to be lifted.

On Monday, the curfew ended. Now, indoor dining at NYC establishments can continue past midnight.

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Cuomo: New York COVID-19 positivity rate at record low

BY Patrick Adcroft and Spectrum News Staff

New York’s seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 0.71%, a new record low, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.

The news comes as New York registered 55 straight days of declining coronavirus cases in the state.

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With new COVID guidelines in place, parents prepare to send kids away to summer camps

BY Lori Chung

After more than a year of being cooped up or kept close to home, many kids will be heading to sleepaway camps this summer. With new state guidelines to keep children safe, parents we spoke with, like Jamie Witover, said they're confident that their kids will be OK.

"Everyone is like, ‘Get them to camp. They need to be in camp this year,’” Witover told NY1. Witover said she's like most moms she knows — eager to see her kids enjoy some semblance of a regular childhood this summer.

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City will offer COVID-19 vaccine at beaches and parks

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman
UPDATED 11:17 AM ET May. 25, 2021

Starting this weekend visitors to New York City's parks and beaches can get the COVID-19 vaccine from mobile vaccination sites, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Tuesday.

The initiative comes as city beaches open for the season over Memorial Day weekend, and as the city's vaccination effort has slowed dramatically. About 42% of the city's total population is fully vaccinated five months into the immunization effort, according to city data.

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NYC Pride March grand marshals announced, march official defends NYPD ban

BY Frank DiLella

NEW YORK — The New York City Pride March will once again be presented virtually to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"Pride is how I celebrate just how much I've loved myself, to be exactly who I am and how I help others do that as well," said actor and 2021 Pride March Grand Marshal Wilson Cruz.

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No remote option come fall as schools prepare to fully reopen, mayor announces

BY Jillian Jorgensen , Ari Ephraim Feldman , Nick Reisman and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 2:14 PM ET May. 24, 2021

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced schools will fully reopen this fall with no remote option for the city's one million public school students.

“New York City public schools, one million kids, will be back in their classroom in September, all in-person, no remote,” Mayor de Blasio said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “That's the news I think parents, kids, everyone's been waiting for, to know we're going to be back strong, ready, safe.”

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Little Italy shop owner looks to save business amid family tragedy

BY Ron Lee

The owner of a beloved Italian-American gift shop that has been in business for more than 100 years is desperately looking to stay afloat at a time when the pandemic has delivered a blow both to his shop and to his family.

Ernie Rossi recently returned to E. Rossi and Co, located on Grand St in the heart of Little Italy, for the first time in more than three months.

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Meet the rabbi keeping vigil for the bodies stored at Sunset Park

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

Outside the entrance gate to the 39th Street Pier in Brooklyn, a small collection of stones has piled up.

That's the spot where Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips keeps vigil roughly every two to three weeks for the hundreds of bodies the city has stored in refrigerated trucks beyond the gate.

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COVID-19 corrodes child abuse safety net

BY Michael Herzenberg

Sholakunmi Olukogbon investigates the worst child abuse allegations in the city.

“Some things I've heard, witnessed, that's happened to children is definitely horrifying," he told NY1.

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City health department has spent more than $100M on COVID-19 ads

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

The city’s health department has spent "the vast majority" of its more than $140 million media budget to raise awareness about the COVID-19 vaccines, a top agency official said at a budget hearing Wednesday.

The spending revelation comes as the city’s vaccination effort has slowed dramatically — 52% of city residents have not had a first dose. Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged in January to have 5 million New Yorkers fully vaccinated by June.

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Parents can ask questions about school reopenings at virtual forums

BY Jillian Jorgensen

NEW YORK — Families with children in public school want to know what the next school year will look like. They are getting a chance to ask questions and offer input in a series of virtual forums with Chancellor Meisha Porter.

“We are going to share some of our thinking. But we really, really, really want to hear from all of you,” Porter said at the first of these forums.

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What the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions means for gyms

BY Roger Clark

NEW YORK — Jairo Rodriguez has a unique workout routine. He likes to walk on his hands along the indoor track at Chelsea Piers Fitness in Manhattan. With capacity limits going away, he expects less room for this workout.

“I will have to find a different spot where I can do this," said Rodriguez, who includes a little bit of everything as part of his workout at the club along the Hudson River.

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Brooklyn Nets offer playoff tickets to incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations

BY Angi Gonzalez

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes that the Brooklyn Nets’ upcoming participation in the NBA Playoffs can give the city an assist in its efforts to vaccinate more New Yorkers.

While wearing a Nets jersey and hat, the mayor announced Tuesday that the city and the Nets were teaming up.

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How NYC businesses are preparing for loosened mask guidance

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

A sign reading "no face mask, no entry" outside of Blend on 30th Avenue in Astoria will be taken down before the restaurant begins serving lunch Wednesday afternoon.

"We just want to get things back to normal,” said one of the restaurant’s owners, Daniel Perez. “I hate to say it, but if you don't fell comfortable going out, don't go out, but other people who want to go out, enjoy, let them do it.”

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Here’s what health experts are saying about mask rules in New York

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

In New York City, life appears to be headed back to normal. Sidewalks are filling up with maskless pedestrians, restaurants are expanding indoor dining and stadiums can now seat whole sections at full capacity with vaccinated fans.

Many changes are going into effect May 19, under planned rule changes put forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to fully reopen the city on July 1.

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NYC metro area office occupancy on the rise, but still below 20%

BY Michael Herzenberg
UPDATED 5:21 PM ET May. 18, 2021

NEW YORK — The sounds of spring are back in Bryant Park, with lawnmowers cutting the grass and even office workers gabbing over lunch in the sun.

However, the largest green space in Midtown, Manhattan, normally fills with office workers this time of year:

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NYC Marathon to return, Cuomo announces

BY Amy Yensi and Shannon Caturano
UPDATED 1:18 AM ET May. 18, 2021

NEW YORK — Edward Mermelstein started running the New York City Marathon to mark his 50th birthday. He did it every year after, as a way to stay healthy.

“There is nothing like running with 30, 40, 60,000 people from all over the world,” Mermelstein said.

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De Blasio backs easing mask mandates, but not quite for city workers​

BY Patrick Adcroft

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday night backed the CDC’s guidance easing mask mandates for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but signaled those who work inside city-run buildings will continue wearing face coverings for now.

“It’s the right thing to do at this point,” de Blasio told “Inside City Hall” anchor Errol Louis in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview.

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CDC director: Mask guidance turnaround based solely on science

BY Associated Press

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.

“I’m delivering the science as the science is delivered to the medical journals. And it evolved,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on FOX News Sunday. “I deliver it as soon as I can when we have that information available.”

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After week filled with vaccine updates, parents weigh options

BY Amy Yensi

The Gjocaj family is enjoying a day at Bronx park. The father, Querim, said despite the pandemic, he wants his kids, to just be kids.

“Outside, they are running. They are playing and cannot breathe. They need air, fresh air. We are tired of having a mask on for almost a year and a half,” said Querim Gjocaj.

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New Yorkers have mixed feelings about new CDC mask guidance

BY Shannan Ferry

Ian Conroy is feeling hopeful about the future of Mustang Harry’s after a tough year. He thinks new CDC guidance saying that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors in many settings will make people more inclined to go out.

“Every bit of positive news means that first of all, the confidence comes into the people, and then more confidence, then business kicks on, because we really can’t survive unless businesses are kicking over,” he said.

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Bronx vaccination rates still lowest in the city

BY Rocco Vertuccio

BRONX, NY — After putting it off for months, Bronx resident Matthew Benn finally got vaccinated Thursday .

“I had a busy schedule work, you know, and raising a child — stuff like that,” said Benn.

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What You Need to Know About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York City

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman
UPDATED 3:00 PM ET May. 13, 2021

New Yorkers are now receiving vaccines against COVID-19, and the state recently expanded eligibility rules for who can receive them. Nearly all New York adults are currently eligible to get vaccinated.

Here are answers to some of the common questions:

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Now Arriving: Vaccines at Grand Central Terminal and other NYC transit stops

BY Lindsay Tuchman

NEW YORK — Amid the din of train announcements and commuters shuffling to work it was a most unusual moment Wednesday: Workers at Grand Central Terminal, an historic landmark, doling out vaccines to anyone who wanted one.

“You get everybody coming and going here and there so it’s a good idea,” said one of the first in line, Eric Bethea. Grand Central is one of six train and subway stations citywide opening up vaccine sites, giving out the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot on a first come, first serve basis. It’s part of an initiative by the state to vaccinate more people. Numbers show just under 40% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. “Driving up the vaccination rate is the key to opening up strong and rebuilding back better," said MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye. "We get only one shot at this, pun intended, and we can’t miss the moment. I’m bullish on New York and I know that we can rise to the challenge if we all pull together." Wednesday through Sunday, anyone - not just New Yorkers - can get vaccinated at six city subway stations. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., shots will be distributed at Grand central, the East 180th Street stop in the Bronx, the 179th Street station in Queens, and the Coney Island stop in Brooklyn. Then starting at 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. you can get the shot at Penn Station, or the Broadway Junction subway stop in Brooklyn. Outside of the city, there will be sites at the Long Island Rail Road stop in Hempstead, and a Metro-North station in Ossining. Mauricio Perez, visiting from Colombia, was the first in line at Grand Central. “We come here to take advantage of this vaccine I think it’s good for tourists and to increase the economic activity here in the country, I’m very happy for this vaccine,” Perez said. There’s another big incentive for getting your shot here: As a bonus, you can get a free 7-day MetroCard or two one-way LIRR or Metro-North tickets. It's something Felix Poma, who’s worked at a restaurant throughout the pandemic, is grateful for. “I came to collect my free rides and get the vaccine at the same time,” Poma said. Officials said each site has the capacity to give out between 200 and 300 shots per day, but have more supply available if necessary.

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Neighbors demand answers to why 750 COVID-19 bodies still stored in trucks

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

More than a year since trucks arrived at the 39th Street Pier in Brooklyn storing hundreds of bodies of COVID-19 victims, elected officials and nearby residents are demanding answers.

Councilman Carlos Menchaca, whose district includes the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, criticized the lack of communication from the city.

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12-to-15-year-olds may start receiving COVID-19 vaccine this week, says Cuomo

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

NEW YORK — Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 could begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is our best weapon to defeat the virus, and we're taking all the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our vaccine program," Cuomo said in a statement.

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TELL NY1 YOUR CORONAVIRUS STORY,
IN YOUR OWN VOICE

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have fallen sick from the coronavirus and the death toll keeps rising. Jobs have been lost, storefronts shuttered, hospitals overwhelmed. And many New Yorkers have seen their own lives changed in deeply personal ways.

NY1 wants to hear your story, in your own voice, to use in a future podcast. 

Tell us what is going on in your family, your job, your neighborhood. What are your daily struggles and your daily joys, your quiet fears and your hopes for the future?

Send us a voicemail, voice memo, or a video to YOURSTORYNY1@CHARTER.COM or leave a message at 212-379-3440. 

Make sure to tell us your first name and your neighborhood. If you’d like, let us know how to contact you. 

Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

(Source: NYS DOH)

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