Coronavirus in New York

Post-Pandemic Depression, Anxiety on the Rise as New York Awaits Federal Dollars for Mental Health Aid

BY Amy Yensi

For more than a year, New Yorkers have seen their lifestyles turned upside down by the coronavirus. Though the pandemic is not new, some say they still can’t get used to the face masks, social distancing, and restrictions.

“For me, not depression because I’m not the sort of person that gets depression, but definitely anxiety. There’s too much uncertainty about everything. I think a lot of people are having something called pandemic fatigue. Everyone is just sick of it,” said Marcelo de Antunano.

Read More

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Down Statewide as Variants Accelerate New Confirmed Cases

BY Spectrum News Staff

New York City’s seven-day average positivity rate is 5.57%, according to the city’s health officials, who say there were 2,700 new confirmed cases and 175 new hospitalizations.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says more than 5 million vaccine doses have been administered, adding that the city is on its way to 5 million New Yorkers being fully vaccinated by June. That would mean nearly 60% of the city’s population would be inoculated against the virus.

Read More

Coney Island’s Luna Park Reopens with Restrictions

BY Lindsay Tuchman
UPDATED 5:09 PM ET Apr. 09, 2021

After 18 months, the Coney Island cyclone screeched to life once again Friday.

Some of the first to ride the iconic wooden roller coaster are brave for many reasons, but most of all because they’re front-line health care workers.

Read More

NYC Public Schools Will Now Only Close After 4 Students Test Positive for COVID-19

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

New York City has relaxed the rules requiring public schools to close if multiple students test positive for COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press conference Thursday.

Now, schools will close for 10 days if testing shows four or more cases in multiple classrooms within a period of seven days that Test and Trace investigators tie to a known exposure within the school itself.

Read More

Cardiologist: Despite Vaccinations, State May Be Moving Too Fast With Reopenings

BY Nina Godfrey

NEW YORK — As the state continues to make progress in its vaccination campaign against COVID-19, officials are also rolling back restrictions and opening up more businesses — which some in the medical community suggest may be too much, too soon.

“I actually think we are moving a bit too quickly,” Dr. Jennifer Haythe told NY1’s Dean Meminger on Wednesday.

Read More

Mayor Launches Program To Aid COVID-19 Long-Haulers

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

NEW YORK — The city launched a program to support New Yorkers who are struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Long COVID, a collection of symptoms that develops during or following a period of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, can persist for weeks and sometimes months afterward.

Read More

New York Will Tax its Top Earners, But Not All Mayoral Candidates Agree It Will Speed Up Recovery

BY Gloria Pazmino

The candidates running for mayor will likely have to manage an increase in revenue following a landmark deal to increase taxes on the city's top earners, but not all of them agree taxing the wealthy is the best road to recovery.

A state budget deal announced Tuesday will raise taxes on the wealthy and bring in an estimated $5 billion dollars in revenue for the state -- including $4 billion in new taxes on high income earners and corporations. "What a great opportunity for people who have a little more to pay a little more to bring our city collectively back to life," Stringer told reporters Tuesday as he unveiled a plan to open city pools this summer. It's much needed money as the city attempts a comeback, but not everyone running for mayor is on board. Instead they disagree over the details and whether it will lead to an exodus of wealthy New Yorkers. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was in the Bronx to announce a plan to combat a recent increase in shootings. Adams said he's concerned a tax on the wealthy will eventually push them out. "There's a loud chorus out there we don't care if they leave or not, I don't share that chorus, I want them to stay," Adams said. Adams believes only some wealthy New Yorkers should be subject to the increase with the money being set aside towards recovery costs and sunsetting after two years. "If you make more than $5 million a year we are asking you to pay a little more to stabilize our city," he said. The deal announced by State lawmakers is expected to increase rates from 8.82 to 9.65% through 2024 for individuals earning more than $1 million and couples earning more than $2 million. Taxing the wealthy has long been a priority of the Democratic party's left flank, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long opposed raising taxes, saying it would lead to a mass exodus of the city's top earners. Not all candidates agree. Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales have all expressed support for increasing taxes. "The reality is people will stay in this city if there is open streets, park space, quality of life, people will stay when they know the trash is being picked up," Stringer said. Other candidates are trying to appeal to centrist Democrats, including Ray McGuire -- the former Citi Group executive who was on the road Tuesday, traveling to Minneapolis along the Rev. Al Sharpton. They attended the trial of Derek Chauvin -- the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd. McGuire says he believes the wealthy like him should pay more, but not if federal stimulus funding is set to come in. He's not the only one who shares that view. Former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said a tax hike should only be used as a last resort. "If we have enough to cover those costs then we shouldn't be taxing people more. If we haven't gotten enough money to cover the costs for the things we need to do, then everyone needs to pay a little more," Garcia said. Last week, while speaking to the business group Association for a Better New York, Andrew Yang expressed concern about raising taxes on the wealthy as a strategy for recovery. "300,000 people have left NYC during the past year and a lot of those people were very high earners or business owners who went to lower tax areas like Texas ad Florida," Yang said. "We're never going to win the low cost battle with the Texas and Floridas of the world, we have to win the premium battle," The so called millionaires tax could raise state and local income tax rates to somewhere between 13.5 to 14%-- that means New York would surpass California, which currently has the highest income tax rate.

Read More

Key To Andrew Yang's Policy Proposals? The Private Sector.

BY Emily Ngo

MANHATTAN — On Tuesday, at the Fort Washington Armory mass vaccination site, Andrew Yang introduced and thanked Huge Ma as the creator of a bot that scans city and state sites for vaccine appointments and tweets out what’s available.

“You know who I’m taking about: the legendary TurboVax," Yang said.

Read More

Photographer Sophie Elgort Captures The Moment in Masks in a Formal Way

BY Stephanie Simon

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After a year of wailing sirens, lockdowns, masks and social distancing, many just want to move on and not look back. But one well-known fashion photogpraher is determined to document and preserve this moment.

On a cold morning in Brooklyn, Sophie Elgort is working in an outdoor studio she's created, photographing New Yorkers who've answered her open invitation on Instagram to come by and pose. One requirement: They wear a face mask.

Read More

Why Some Worry About the Impact of Discarded Masks and Gloves on the Environment

BY Lori Chung

NEW YORK — Ask almost any New Yorker and chances are they've noticed streets, sewer drains and sidewalks littered with used protective masks and gloves.

"What I see really on the train and on the streets, maybe it's falling from them accidentally, yeah I don't think anyone's going to just throw their mask in the street," said Lincoln Oliver, a passerby. However they wind up as litter, there are growing concerns about single-use disposable masks and gloves are affecting the environment and wildlife. A report by OceansAsia estimates that as much as one and a half billion face masks wound up in oceans and waterways around the world last year.

Read More

De Blasio: Cuomo’s Penn Station Plan Is About the ‘Enrichment of a Few Developers’

BY Patrick Adcroft

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to redevelop land in and around Penn Station looks “very friendly to the developers, not so friendly to the communities,” Mayor Bill de Blasio assessed Monday night.

Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex plan, which has recently seen renewed community pushback, aims to overhaul the Penn Station transit hub by 2038 by generating revenue through a real estate deal that would transform the surrounding Midtown area.

Read More

Cuomo: More Than 1.4M Vaccine Doses Administered in NY in Past 7 Days

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:03 PM ET Apr. 03, 2021

Governor Andrew Cuomo says a record high 249,000 vaccine doses were administered in New York state from Friday morning to Saturday morning.

The governor says more than 1.4 million doses were administered over the past seven days.

Read More

At Least 65,000 Public School Staff Have Been Vaccinated So Far

BY Jillian Jorgensen

At least 65,000 city public school employees have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Mayor Bill de Blasio says that should give parents more confidence about sending their children back into classrooms.

“When you get adults vaccinated on this high level, it fundamentally changes the reality. On top of that, we already had persistently low levels of COVID in our schools now for months. So this is a real good sign,” the mayor said during his weekly appearance on WNYC Radio’s “The Brian Lehrer Sshow.”

Read More

Senior Centers Remain Closed One Year into the Pandemic

BY Clodagh McGowan

Angela Caputo just received her second vaccination to protect her from COVID-19. For the 84-year-old Staten Island resident, it’s a shot of freedom.

Caputo said, until last year, she never spent a holiday alone. But her family has been forced to keep their distance from her to keep her safe.

Read More

The Race to Vaccinate New Yorkers

BY Spectrum News Staff

Pretty soon, all New Yorkers 16 years and older will be eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine. But is the system ready to absorb the exponential surge in requests for appointments?

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez and Courtney Gross discuss how the immunization rollout has been going so far and what can be done to make sure disadvantaged New Yorkers are not left out of the process.

Read More

Which COVID-19 Restrictions Still Apply In New York City?

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

After a dramatic spike in infections, cases and deaths around the start of the new year, New York City has seen its COVID-19 statistics slowly decline into the spring.

While the declines have not been as significant as many health experts have hoped, rates of hospitalizations, new cases, infections and deaths are lower than they’ve been for several months.

Read More

Manhattan Pizza Restaurateur Attributes Pandemic Success to Slice App

BY Justine Re

Jon Gabel, the owner of Zazzy's Pizza, said he's always been a risk taker.

He's opened two Zazzy's Pizza shops in the last year. NY1 visited his shop in the West Village of Manhattan, the other in is located in the East Village. He plans to open a third on the Upper East Side in June.

Read More

Despite Opening Day Loss, Yankee Fans Celebrate Return to Stadium

BY Alyssa Paolicelli
UPDATED 5:31 PM ET Apr. 01, 2021

It was a day Yankees fans have been long been waiting for: the opportunity to get inside Yankee Stadium and watch their beloved Bronx Bombers in action.

"I really think I am gonna cry and I am going to kiss my seat,” explained season ticket holder Fleur Sohtz.

Read More

FDA Authorizes 2 At-Home COVID-19 Tests Without Prescription

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press

As COVID-19 testing numbers continue to slide in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized two at-home, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests that can get rapid results – without a prescription.

The FDA said Wednesday that Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue COVID tests can be sold without a prescription.

Read More

Quarantine Mandate Lifted for Domestic Travelers Arriving in New York

BY Spectrum News Staff

NEW YORK — Out-of-state travelers arriving in New York will no longer have to obey a mandatory quarantine starting Thursday.

Domestic travelers, however, are still being asked fill out a traveler contact form, monitor their symptoms, and take other basic precautions.

Read More

Where Chocolate Meets Fashion: Manhattan Stylist Launches E-Commerce Startup Amid Pandemic

BY Justine Re

Sara Armet started making chocolate just for fun last spring when the coronavirus forced most New Yorkers to remain at home. Little did she know it would become a full-time online business, Lady and the Chocolate.

“I feel so fortunate by the amount of people it has touched in such a short amount of time,” Armet said. "Chocolate has become the ultimate medium to express myself creatively. I say it's chocolate meets fashion.”

Read More

Jose Saldaña: The Fight to Vaccinate New Yorkers Behind Bars

BY Errol Louis

After months of people incarcerated in jails and prisons being excluded from New York’s vaccine rollout, a judge ruled that the state must allow New Yorkers behind bars access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Jose Saldaña, the director of the Release Aging People in Prison campaign, joined Errol to talk about the ruling and the overall state of medical care in state prisons. And as someone who was incarcerated for nearly four decades, he discussed his personal journey and his experience with the parole system.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Read More

For Second Straight Year, Students Will Be Exempt From Regents Requirements

BY Jillian Jorgensen

This June, New York high school students will have to take certain Regents exams - but the state education department says they won’t have to pass them in order to graduate, a now-suspended requirement that had long set the state apart.

“There's no federal law that requires that state accountability tests be tied to graduation,” said Ashley Grant, director of the Postsecondary Readiness Project at ‎Advocates for Children of New York. “And New York state's a real outlier right now on this, so we're one of only 11 states that uses a high-stakes test as a graduation requirement or as an exit exam.”

Read More

Mayor Says City Will Work Towards Simplifying Process of Getting Vaccine Appointment

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — With New York state eight days away from near-universal eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday evening said the city will work towards simplifying the process of getting an appointment on the city’s websites, which at times is derided as convoluted and arduous, and containing too many screenings.

In his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview, Inside City Hall anchor Errol Louis asked the mayor if the city’s vaccination appointment website will eliminate most pre-screens to get an appointment once eligibility opens up to everyone ages 16 and older on April 6. At that point, every adult in New York state — regardless if they have a comorbidity or if they are a front-line worker — can get the shot.

Read More

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

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman
UPDATED 4:00 PM ET Mar. 29, 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:

Read More

NYC's Off-Broadway and Cabaret Stages Finally Springing Back to Life

BY Frank DiLella

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement Thursday that the city is working to set up COVID-19 vaccination sites for theater performers and crew members means Broadway is one step closer to returning.

That won't happen until later this year, but there are other shows that will open much sooner.

Read More

De Blasio Announces Vaccine Initiative for Theater Workers

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching a vaccination effort directed at theater workers and actors to help revive New York City’s theater industry, where stages have been dark for more than a year.

The initiative is aimed at allowing theaters to begin preparing for the fall theater season through rehearsals and set-building.

Read More

Awaiting a Life-Saving Kidney Transplant, a Doctor Becomes the Patient

BY Clodagh McGowan

Three days a week, Dr. Philippe Douyon becomes the patient, as he undergoes dialysis at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

“I’m going in for dialysis, not as a doctor who is about to see a patient, but as patient who is about to receive dialysis,” said Dr. Douyon in a video diary he recorded for NY1. “Dialysis is when they essentially do the job the kidneys are not doing so well anymore,” he explained.

Read More

Queens Man Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding $1.7M from PPP Program

BY Angi Gonzalez

The Queensbridge Houses may be the largest public housing development in America, but when asked, residents of 41-18 Vernon Blvd were confident that a multi-million dollar film company wasn’t located inside their NYCHA apartment building.

“Not out of this building. Silver Cup operates out on this street. Now that’s a big company,” said a longtime resident of the building who only wanted to be identified as “Cooper.”

Read More

With 253 Schools Closed, Council Members Press DOE on 'Two-Case Rule'

BY Jillian Jorgensen

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Meisha Porter celebrated on Monday when high schools reopened, making it the first time since November that schools from pre-K to 12th grade were allowing students back into classrooms.

Yet not every school was able to open its doors.

Read More

COVID-19 Rates Remain a Concern as Variants Become More Prevalent in the City

BY Patrick Adcroft

Despite efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across the city and state, officials are concerned about highly infectious variants, which are fueling the spread of the coronavirus across the five boroughs.

Data released by the state Tuesday shows COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide stand at 4,681, a number that has remained stubbornly high for weeks on end. Of the 143,521 tests reported Monday, 6,801 came back positive, bringing the state’s COVID-19 infection rate to 4.7% — a 1.5% increase from just this weekend. There were 53 deaths, many of them in the five boroughs.

Read More

With Return to In-Person Classes, Harlem Teen Sees Success

BY Lori Chung

It’s been a trying year for students who’ve been working hard to keep their grades up despite the challenges of the pandemic.

“I think what I’m most excited about today is believe it or not gym," said Angel Gomez, who’s missed the daily walk from the subway station to Humanities Prep Academy.

Read More

One Year into Remote Learning, a Busy Family Weigh Its Pros and Cons

BY Jillian Jorgensen

This time last March, students, teachers and parents were diving into something completely new: Every city public school class moving online.

“One year later, just still doing remote learning, which I never thought I would be doing in the first place,” said Nicolas Brandao, an eighth grader at M.S. 839 in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

Read More

De Blasio Says NYC Can Vaccinate Everyone Age 50 or Older, Remains Concerned About Supply

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — While he says the city can handle the expected increase in COVID-19 vaccine appointments after the state expanded eligibility to everyone age 50 or older, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday evening said he remained worried people will wait longer because the city does not have enough supply.

Speaking to Inside City Hall Anchor Errol Louis in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview, de Blasio praised Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s announcement last week that New York state’s vaccine supply will get a significant boost. As part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, vaccination efforts will see a $160 billion boost.

Read More

High Schools Reopen for In-Person Learning

BY Jillian Jorgensen

NEW YORK — For freshman Zira Nunez, the last four months of remote learning felt like being on lockdown. “I was home for so long when I come outside my eyes are like not used to the sun -- I’m used to being in four walls,” she said. “It was hard at first and then I started going outside more just to practice coming back to school and stuff." She was one of the students lining up for their first day back at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. It marked the first time high schools are open for students since November, when they shut down as coronavirus cases climbed. "Now I'm with my classmates and teachers and get to have conversations with people instead of on the phone,” she said. Students were greeted with elbow bumps from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. It was a homecoming for Porter, who helped found this high school and once served as principal. And of course it was also a homecoming for the students. “You do miss seeing your friends. As much as we kids like to complain about school, we do kind of need it. And it’s great to be back here,” senior Andrew Silverio said. De Blasio and Porter dropped in on classes where students were discussing the recent spate of crimes targeting Asian Americans around the nation, including here in the city. "Probably people would say this is one of the more tolerant and open places in the country and yet we're still having this problem which is very very frustrating,” he told the students. After his visit, the mayor delivered some good news to public school principals: the city will not cut budgets at schools that lost enrollment this year. In a regular school year the cuts are a normal adjustment. During a pandemic, those cuts would have hit some schools especially hard. "We will now return to these schools the money that would have had to give back to the DOE budget. That's $130 million that now will be returned to these 877 schools. We will make them whole,” he said. The mayor says the federal stimulus bill helped make that possible. He also announced that a new opt-in period for students to switch from remote learning to in-class instruction will open on Wednesday, and will run for two weeks. All students can sign up to opt in, but the city will first bring back elementary school students. The mayor says the plan is for elementary students who opt in to be back in classrooms sometime next month.

null

Read More

Comedy Club Teams Up with Urgent Care to Provide Free Health Care Visits

BY Frank DiLella and Ariella Weintraub

Ashley Austin Morris, a comedian and actress, is one of thousands of arts workers who have lost or will soon lose their health insurance.

“March 30 I lose my health insurance. I have no idea what I’ll do for insurance. I haven’t even started thinking about it because it feels overwhelming. If you get health insurance through a union, you have to work a certain amount of weeks and earn a certain amount of money to sustain health insurance,” said Morris.

Read More

Families of Nursing Home COVID-19 Victims Honor Loved Ones, Demand Accountability

BY Amy Yensi

It has been a year since the pandemic began, but many families are still haunted by the final days of their loved ones who died of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

On Sunday, a street in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood was filled with photos of seniors who passed away. The wall of remembrance put faces and names to the number of victims that is estimated to be in the thousands. They died away from their sons, daughters, grandchildren and other relatives, who could not visit them in their final moments due to the COVID-19 lock down.

Read More

NYC Students to Get Another Window to Opt Into In-Person Classes

BY Faraz Toor , Jillian Jorgensen and Angi Gonzalez
UPDATED 10:36 PM ET Mar. 19, 2021

NEW YORK — Starting Monday, the city will give some public school students learning remotely another chance to opt into in-person classes.

“Our goal is always to have as many kids in school safely and properly,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the announcement Friday afternoon. “This will hopefully mean a lot more kids coming back.”

Read More

NYC Restaurants Are Now Open with 50% Indoor Capacity

BY Lindsay Tuchman

NEW YORK — Restaurant owner Inna Mashiach can't help but reflect how much has changed over the past year.

"We still sometimes see old pictures on Instagram of this place being open before COVID and we still can't believe how people sat," she said. Her restaurant Reunion in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has stayed open all year, navigating between offering just take-out, then outdoor dining, and then the back and forth of indoor dining. Now they're reopening at 50% capacity indoors per state guidelines, which for a small space like hers, makes a big difference. At the current 35% capacity she could only serve 10 people. "We're up to 15 people basically which is great for larger groups, especially on the weekends on brunch and dinner. We can finally sit larger groups inside. If it's cold or rainy, especially kids that like to come with families," said Mashiach. It's a big step for restaurants citywide which have been crippled by COVID-19 restrictions. According to the New York City restaurant alliance roughly 5,000 restaurants have closed, and 140,000 jobs lost. It's a loss felt by so many. "Before the pandemic, we took things for granted and now, and now definitely I'm going to enjoy everything and every time I go out and eat and drink coffee, I'm going to savor it more," said customer Fabiano Daoud. With the capacity change does come safety concerns, though. Mashiach said that's why her whole staff got vaccinated once restaurant workers became eligible. "It's had me slightly nervous but not as nervous as I was like a few months ago. I just had my second shot of the vaccine so I feel a little more comfortable with it," said an employee, Duane Hosein. So you'll still see masks, social distancing and Plexiglass, but with a few more happy customers.

Read More

Has Gov. Cuomo Softened the Blows From His Scandals?

BY Spectrum News NY1



Amid a sexual harassment investigation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to control the narrative by focusing on vaccine distribution, economic recovery and state budget negotiations — while also trying to surround himself with the few supporters he has left.

Read More

Exclusive: Health Commissioner Says Variants and Vaccines Are in 'Tug of War'

BY Erin Billups - National Health Reporter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced another exciting round of COVID-19 restrictions that will be lifted in the coming days.

While it is entirely possible to enjoy ball games outside and group exercise indoors safely, there is growing concern the loosening of restrictions is sending the signal that New York has finally emerged from the pandemic.

Read More

De Blasio 'Preparing for the Possibility' of Another School Opt-In

BY Jillian Jorgensen

Mayor de Blasio says it’s possible there could soon be another opportunity for public school children learning remotely to opt back into classroom instruction this academic year.

"We're preparing for the possibility of a new opt-in for this current school year, but we need more information,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing Thursday.

Read More

Mayor de Blasio Receives Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

MANHATTAN — Mayor Bill de Blasio received the Johnson & Johnson version of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday morning at a press conference, hoping to highlight his trust in the shot and its usefulness for ramping up the city’s vaccination efforts.

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi administered the vaccine as the mayor’s wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, stood next to him.

Read More

Federal Program Could Help Bridge Vaccine Divide in East Harlem

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

MANHATTAN — Below 96th Street is the Upper East Side, one of the wealthiest areas in the city. Above it is East Harlem, the center of Hispanic culture known as El Barrio.

Below 96th Street, more than a quarter of all adults have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Read More

Yellow Zone Restrictions to be Lifted

BY Angi Gonzalez

Roseann McSorely has reason to smile again, even though you may not be able to see her smile under her mask. She’s happy because, until now, she said her calls for action have fallen on deaf ears.

She’s spent nearly the past two months trying to get someone to notice that her restaurant and others in one section of Queens and in three other New York City neighborhoods were still in state sanctioned COVID-19 yellow zones.

Read More

Remaining Yellow Zones to be Lifted Monday, Cuomo Says

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 6:24 PM ET Mar. 17, 2021

The five remaining yellow zones across New York State, four of which are in the five boroughs, will be lifted as of Monday, March 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced hours after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.

The governor also announced indoor fitness classes will be allowed to start back up again come March 22 at 33% capacity with health screening and contact information required at sign-in.

Read More

City Bars and Restaurants Celebrate More Subdued St. Patrick’s Day with COVID-19 Restrictions in Place

BY Rocco Vertuccio
UPDATED 5:35 PM ET Mar. 17, 2021

Even a pandemic could not stop Jason Dolan from celebrating his favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Every year that means beers and corned beef at his favorite spot, McGuinness’s Saloon in Sunnyside Queens.

“Back home it’s a national holiday, you’d always go out with the family. You go see the parade when you’re younger and when you’re older everyone is off, so everyone goes to the pub and meets up,” said Dolan.

Read More

Fitness Studio Owners Want Group Indoor Classes Back on Again

BY Shannan Ferry

NEW YORK — Katia Pryce teaches live classes from one of her studios in Manhattan. She's the CEO of Dance Body, and she has not been able to teach an indoor group fitness class here in a year.

“I don’t think we are asking for special treatment here, I think we are asking to have the same treatment as every other industry that’s been able to open,” she said. Pryce is among the many fitness studio owners demanding Mayor Bill de Blasio allow indoor group fitness classes to start up again. They held a rally at City Hall Tuesday, but the mayor expressed concerns during his daily briefing. Dr. Jay Varma said indoor fitness classes have been linked to COVID outbreaks around the world. “And a lot of that has to do with people in close proximity breathing heavily and the likelihood that masks may fail because they get wet or because they come off,” said Varma. Pryce says she can open safely at limited capacity. In the meantime, she’s expanded digital options, hosts outdoor classes when the weather permits, and does limited private sessions — but that come with challenges too. “I danced on driveways, rooftops, alleyways, parks, like how are we supposed to do this? If you think about it, we used to charge $35 for one class.. our entire streaming platform was $35 a month. There’s no cost comparison,” said Pryce. While the state allowed gyms to reopen— fitness classes are under the jurisdiction of local health authorities. Pryce says she needs answers soon. “We're not Equinox. I am a small businesses, New York City is full of small businesses it’s the epicenter of small businesses. But will that be the case if we can’t reopen?” she asked. Just last month some group fitness studios filed a lawsuit against the city and state to reopen. It's unclear when the city will come up with a plan for reopening indoor fitness classes. For more information on Dance Body you can visit dancebody.com or follow them and @katia_dancebody on Instagram.

Read More

COVID-19, One Year Later

BY Pat Kiernan

There have been lasting changes to New York City since the pandemic. Pat Kiernan talks to the reporters who have covered its changes and the surprising aspects of lockdown.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Read More

De Blasio: NYC Can Start to Consider Lifting Precautions When 5M New Yorkers Are Fully Vaccinated

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — When 5 million New York City residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the city can start to consider changes to restrictions and health and safety precautions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday evening.

“Certainly not for the first half of the year,” de Blasio said in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview when political anchor Errol Louis asked the mayor at what point the city would start to dial back restrictions, such as the mask mandate.

Read More

A Look Back at a Year of COVID-19, Through the Lens of a Reporter

BY Lindsay Tuchman

It was March 9, 2020. I was at Columbia University covering the sudden cancellation of classes because someone had been exposed to the coronavirus.

"Students await to find out what's going to happen to their midterms this week as they also wait for the results of a coronavirus test," I said in a live shot into a camera.

Read More

A Look at Elmhurst, a Year After Becoming the Epicenter of the Pandemic

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

A year ago, Civic Association President Larinda Hooks went from taking in complaints about problems like garbage and speeding to handing out masks and delivering food.

"Everyone was saying, ‘God bless you, God bless you.’ In my head I was saying, ‘Yeah, God bless me, but God bless all of us. We all need to make it through this,’” explained Hooks.

Read More

Website Connects People With COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Before They Expire

BY Justine Re

David Perry is used to sealing the deal, selling luxury apartments in the city.

With the exception of a few months when the city was the epicenter of the coronavirus, he’s been working through the pandemic in person in real estate. He wishes he were eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

Read More

Staten Island Small Business Owner Thankful for Federal Stimulus Money

BY Ron Lee

For many New Yorkers who are struggling to keep their small businesses afloat, the passage of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package comes not a moment too soon.

For Dorcas Meyers, running a small business out of her home in Stapleton on Staten Island means using a measuring cup to create some of her all-natural skin and hair care products in her kitchen.

Read More

Will Gov. Cuomo Be Forced Out of Office?

BY Spectrum News NY1



The list of New York political figures calling for Gov. Cuomo to step down keeps growing, as more women have leveled sexual harassment allegations against him.

Read More

How a Year of COVID-19 Annihilated Some of the City’s Most Iconic Businesses

BY Michael Herzenberg

Bernard Montpeirous misses his job of 23 years. The pandemic forced the Roosevelt Hotel to close, four years shy of its centennial. He was a doorman there.

“It just does something to you, a little bit emotional. I feel like crying,” Montpeirous explained to NY1. “Two revolving doors, two side doors here, 22 steps to take you up to our lobby. It’s the nicest lobby in Manhattan.”

Read More

COVID-19 Shutdown Isn't the First Time Broadway's Lights Have Gone Dark

BY Frank DiLella

The first major closure of the Great White Way happened in 1919 during the Spanish Flu, but surprisingly it had nothing to do with that pandemic.

Theaters closed for a month as members of the Actors' Equity Association went on strike. This moment was historic because it marked the first time in American history that actors were recognized as laborers.

Read More

Timeline: How COVID-19 Changed NYC

BY Patrick Adcroft and Faraz Toor

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.

Read More

Quarantine Rules To End For Domestic Travelers, Cuomo Announces

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 1:53 PM ET Mar. 11, 2021

NEW YORK — Domestic travelers will no longer have to quarantine after entering New York starting April 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

Travelers, though, will still be asked to isolate themselves as a precaution. International travelers will still be required to quarantine.

Read More

Queens Mom Says Two Stimulus Bill Provisions Will Help Her Stay Afloat

BY Angi Gonzalez

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, life’s changed quite a bit for 37-year-old Stacey Williams of Queens. The single mother of two said that just like everyone else, she’s had to push through.

Before the pandemic, Williams used to be an administrative assistant, but she lost her job. Now, she stays home to help 7-year-old Jayden and 17-year old Justin with their remote learning.

Read More

Majority of Coronavirus Cases in NYC Linked to Variants

BY Michael Scotto

MANHATTAN — Two highly infectious variants of the coronavirus now account for more than half of new COVID-19 cases in the city, the de Blasio administration announced Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, we have found that the new variants of COVID-19 are continuing to spread," Dr. Jay Varma, Mayor Bill de Blasio's senior adviser for public health, said. "And when you combine the variant of concern, B.1.1.7, the one first reported in the U.K., and the variant of interest, B.1526 that was first reported here in New York — together these new variants account for 51% of all cases we have in the city right now."

Read More

When Will Handshakes and Hugs Return?

BY Roger Clark
UPDATED 11:01 AM ET Mar. 10, 2021

MANHATTAN — Malachi Nimmons thinks it’s OK to say "hi" to someone from a distance.

"You can wave and say 'stay back' at the same time. It's kind of like directing traffic," said Nimmons, whose greeting these days is a far cry from before the pandemic when he would shake hands, or greet a close friend or relative with a hug.

Read More

De Blasio Backs Taxi Medallion Relief Plan, But Taxi Drivers Group Revolts

BY Dan Rivoli

NEW YORK — Richard Chow has been taking part in demonstrations demanding debt relief for beleaguered taxi drivers ever since his brother, a fellow cabbie, took his own life.

Both men took out huge loans against the value of their taxi medallions before the taxi industry and medallion values collapsed amid competition from Uber and Lyft.

Read More

Staten Island Nurse Still Bonds with COVID-19 Patient's Family Year After Photo Goes Viral

BY Bree Driscoll

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — It was an emotional reunion, nearly a year in the making. Alexa Zuffante and Dorothy Ocera may seem like longtime friends but this is the first time they have met face to face.

"You are so short," Ocera said to Zuffante. "I thought you were so much taller." Alexa Zuffante is a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital. One of her patients last year was Dorothy Ocera's mother-in-law, Carole.

Read More

Reflecting on Stolen Moments of the Last Year, And the Ways We Celebrated Instead

BY Ariella Weintraub

Sophia Tolli says she was having an incredible senior year at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens. Happily working as a stage manager for the Spring musical “Hairspray” and excited about prom and graduation. Then COVID-19 shut everything down. “To be sitting there at that booth and to be calling my last show to an empty audience, I remember being like, I hate this. Like this is not what, this is not what it’s supposed to be like,” said Tolli. She ended up spending the next several months at home. The fun of those final weeks in high school, erased by the pandemic. “Not getting a proper graduation. And there will just be times I’ll be sitting here like wow I never went to prom like my prom dress sat in my closet for three months and was never worn,” Tolli said.

Tolli is now a freshman at Ithaca College, and the pandemic is taking some of the joy out of that too. “We can’t even hang out in the common spaces without having a limit," Tolli noted. When Tolli suddenly lost her grandfather at the beginning of the spring semester she wasn’t able to go home because the pandemic made things a logistical nightmare to travel there and back. “I lost my grandpa the first week of college. And I was here and I could not go home and see my family. So it was like grieving from behind Facetime calls together and I love you and I’m here for you but I can’t, I just can’t go home. So that was really difficult,” Tolli said while tearing up. Some special moments haven’t been stolen, only altered. Kamillah Knight and Stephan Spilkowitz, got married in January before guests from 26 states, 10 countries, and every continent, even Antarctica, who attended virtually. “So I wanted this small intimate wedding and Stephan wanted a big wedding. So we got to be intimate in the sense that we were there pretty much just us but it was big in the sense that we had over 500 people join you know via zoom,” said Knight. “It felt so authentic you know a few of our guests reported being hung over the next day,” Spilkowitz joked. "My sister is in Australia I have a niece who I haven’t met yet because of the pandemic but because of zoom they were able to be a part of it.” “All I have to say is like don’t close yourself off to what a wedding could be like, it’s 2021, traditions are being broken left and right and we have so much more to do,” said Knight. Sophia Tolli agrees. The milestones the pandemic took from her over the past year cannot be reclaimed. It makes her more determined to embrace what comes next, when the pandemic ends. "I think my biggest goal is to like prove that this one year that we basically lost right, like losing my senior year, my first semester of college, turning 18 in the middle of a pandemic and not seeing my family. So like I want to take all those little moments of 2020 that made me feel like this year is just lost and take it and be like okay but how do I take these things and make them lessons almost for 2021. That’s just what I hope for,” Tolli concluded.

Read More

A Look Inside a Brooklyn Middle School, a Year After COVID-19 Hit

BY Jillian Jorgensen

Nearly a year after the pandemic shut M.S. 88 in Brooklyn, students line up outside the building.

"They wash their hands, they take their temps, and they go straight to class,” Ailene Altman Mitchell, principal of the middle school, said as she and the school’s comfort dog, Bailey, greeted arriving children.

Read More

NYC Public High Schools to Reopen March 22

BY Jillian Jorgensen
UPDATED 5:08 PM ET Mar. 08, 2021

NEW YORK — High schools will reopen for in-person instruction on March 22, and the city will phase in a return of high school sports beginning next month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and incoming schools chancellor Meisha Porter announced Monday.

"My priority as chancellor is to open, open, open," Porter said. "And I'm thrilled that we are making good on that."

Read More

Report Finds Three Rikers Detainees Who Died of COVID-19 Were Held in Packed Dorms

BY Michael Herzenberg

NEW YORK — “New York does not have the death penalty, and being incarcerated for whatever reason, should not put you at risk of severe illness and death,” said Alice Fontier, the Managing Director of Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.

Fontier says her clients locked up on Rikers Island are being exposed to COVID-19 and it’s inhumane. Her non-profit organization filed a Freedom of Information Law request to get the Board of Correction draft report on the deaths of the three Rikers inmates who died in April from the Coronavirus. NY1 reported on the first death, 53-year-old Michael Tyson who was locked up on a parole violation, when he died of the virus. The Department of Correction aimed to reduce all dormitory housing to 50% for social distancing but the report found Tyson returned from the hospital with COVID symptoms and spent eight days in a 50-bed dorm at at least 90% capacity. “The lack of social distancing and the lack of masks available to people who are incarcerated, made it really a firestorm for this virus to spread for people who are incarcerated,” said Phil Desgranges, a supervising attorney in the Special Litigation Unit of The Legal Aid Society. The report found a similar pattern with the other two men who died. In fact, in two cases they weren’t informed about their positive COVID test until days later, but much of this occurred in March of last year as the state was still trying to figure out how to deal with the crises and that included eventually reducing jail populations by releasing some non-violent offenders not deemed a threat to society. “Under ideal circumstances there would be fewer people in each dorm, but I think it's also to keep in mind that the risk of the jail environment is inherent in the jail environment," Chief Medical Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals, Correctional Health Services Dr. Ross MacDonald told the Board of Correction in January. Correctional Health Services says that staffing levels pose challenges the and state transfers of prisoners have increased populations. In a statement the city Department of Correction says in part, "We have risen to the occasion and done everything we can to keep our facilities safe. Our efforts have paid off: transmission rates remain lower than the citywide average." The DOC Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Peter Thorne says tests show now only 32 people have active infections out of a population of 5,514 and just three detainees have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. “They're not counting people that weren't technically, very technically in custody,” said Fontier. She doesn’t believe the numbers and claims officials are not counting some people who died at hospitals or any of those who died after having been released. Her non-profit is suing the state to increase vaccinations in jail so they're not just for people at least 65 or with underlying health issues, but vaccines would be given to all detainees. She says all all prisoners are at risk because they’re in group settings.

Read More

Events Company Owner Looks Back at COVID-19 Changes That Still Linger One Year Later

BY Angi Gonzalez

Trendy tents, they are just one of Scott Weisberg’s specialties. If you've got a wedding, a graduation party, a movie premiere — he's got a tent for you.

“We’ve had a giant job at Times Square. We’ve had stuff at Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall,” said Weisberg, the owner of Everything Entertainment on Staten Island.

Read More

What Will New York Get From the $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill?

BY Amy Yensi

It is hard to find an industry in New York that has not been impacted by the pandemic, but the hardest-hit sectors and residents who need it most may soon get some help.

On Saturday, Senate Democrats passed their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, if it passes the House, our region will get a large portion of the federal aid.

Read More

State COVID-19 Hospitalizations Lowest Since Dec. 7; NYC’s 7-Day Average Positivity Rate Ticks in at 6.34%

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 4:52 PM ET Mar. 06, 2021

NEW YORK — COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York state dropped below 5,000 for the first time since December 7, the state reported on Saturday, and the state's positivity rate dipped to 2.80% — the lowest it's been since November 21.

There are 49,000 New Yorkers hospitalized with the coronavirus, according to the governor's office, and 78 people in New York state died of COVID-19 on Friday.

Read More

NYC Movie Theaters Are Preparing to Open at 25% Capacity

BY Anthony Pascale and Amy Hunter

Among the movie theaters preparing for the return of audiences is the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.

Theater crews have worked hard to get the place ready for movie goers again. It last welcomed audiences on March 13, before shutting down for the pandemic. General Manager John Vanco said that after nearly a year of uncertainty, he was excited to hear that movie houses could start showing films again.

Read More

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)

LOCAL RESOURCES