Coronavirus in New York

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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Is New York reopening too much, too soon?

BY Pat Kiernan

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo set up an ambitious date in May to reopen the city. And it's not just easing capacity restrictions. The governor wants this to become a New York Renaissance. Mayor Bill de Blasio has also declared that it will be the "summer of New York City." But what happens if New Yorkers aren't ready for what's next? Are our leaders looking at the data to make the most informed decision? Pat Kiernan speaks with NY1 colleagues about the timeline for New York to bounce back.

Join the conversation using #NY1Crosstown.

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Library leaders decry millions in proposed budget cuts

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

Hours after more than 50 library branches across the city reopened for in-person browsing Monday, the heads of three library systems criticized the mayor’s plans to cut funding — a move they say could cost jobs.

The library officials said at a City Council hearing that the proposed budget cuts would not only cripple their ability to continue offering virtual services that residents came to rely on in the pandemic, but endanger more than 100 full-time positions and hamper their ability to contribute to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recovery plan.

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Cuomo: COVID-19 vaccine sites coming to subway and transit stops

BY Bill Devlin
UPDATED 3:50 PM ET May. 10, 2021

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced new measures aimed at raising the vaccination rate among New York's "youthful and doubtful" population that includes vaccine sites in the city's transit hubs.

Cuomo said the Johnson & Johnson one-time shot will be offered Wednesday to Sunday at subway, LIRR and Metro-North hubs.

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Cuomo: 59.7% of NY adults have received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose

BY Spectrum News Staff

Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that 59.7 percent of New York adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The governor said 168,958 doses have been administered in the past 24 hours, and more than 16.5 million doses have been administered across the state to date.

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City attempts to bring back tourism by offering COVID-19 vaccine

BY Victoria Manna

Pier 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of a few pop-up vaccination sites in New York City. It’s part of a plan the mayor announced to bring tourism back to New York. Tourists and residents are invited to come to these site and get their shots.

The sites will be administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These pop-up sites will be open this weekend from 1-8 p.m. NY1 spoke to some city residents about the plan.

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NYC posts its lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in 6 months

BY Angi Gonzalez

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said New York City was on the road to recovery.

“Really this is something to celebrate,” de Blasio said during his weekly radio interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC on Friday.

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Peru resident hopes to get vaccine in NYC if city is allowed to give shots to tourists

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

Katia Hernandez lives in Lima, Peru. For weeks, she has been searching for places to travel to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Then, Friday morning, she found out Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to begin offering vaccines to visiting tourists.

"When I saw some friends on Facebook going to the United States to get vaccinated, at first, for me, I felt it was immoral because you are taking the vaccine from an American citizen, and to me, that is wrong because here, we don't have the vaccine, and I know how important they are," she said. "But then, I was starting to get more news that U.S.A. was open. That was when my mind changed."

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Multiple Broadway shows put tickets on sale

BY Frank DiLella

Broadway's reopening gained momentum this week with the governor's announcement that shows could officially reopen at 100 percent capacity on September 14. Multiple musicals have announced reopening night dates and put tickets on sale.

"SIX," the hit British production about the six wives of King Henry VIII, will officially start performances on Sept. 17 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The musical was originally scheduled to open the night Broadway shut down last March. Tickets are on sale now for fans who have preregistered, and the general on-sale begins Monday, May 10. Visit sixonbroadway.com for more information.

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Indoor dining capacity expands to 75% in NYC

BY Roger Clark
UPDATED 8:47 AM ET May. 07, 2021

John Stratidis does a lot of running around at The Famous Cozy Soup and Burger, the diner his dad and uncle first opened nearly 50 years ago on Broadway in Greenwich Village.

Stratidis said they are prepared for 75% capacity and full capacity indoors at the restaurant, with plenty of Plexiglas dividers between booths and air purifiers. What Stratidis said he really needs to boost business are more customers.

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'It's pure joy': Public Schools Athletic League resumes competition

BY Jillian Jorgensen

NEW YORK — On a field at Randall’s Island, Shelby Ramos finally got a chance to just play. More than a year after the pandemic shut down the Public Schools Athletic League, she and other student athletes around the city are returning to competition this week.

“Being able to be back with my team is like home for me, because sports is something that is very part of me since I was very little. And this team is more like family,” Shelby said.

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Why Bobby Van's Steakhouse says unemployment insurance is slowing its recovery

BY Michael Herzenberg

NEW YORK — Bobby Van's Steakhouse owner Joseph Smith says he hasn’t been able to reopen two of his four high-end Manhattan restaurants because they depend on office workers returning, but says he would be gearing up for business at those two shuttered locations if he had the staff to do so. “First you had the pandemic for 16 months and now you have labor shortage,” Smith said. Smith explains that a good portion of his lower paid employees are choosing not to come back to work . “At first they try to tell you they’re afraid of COVID, but when you speak to them at a little length, the truth comes out," he said. The truth he and his operations director explain is rooted in pay.

"They are receiving unemployment benefits and extended benefits and more extended benefits,” said Brian Morrissey, the steakhouse's director of operations. Some employees are making more money not working, they say. A dishwasher making $15 an hour earns $600 per week. That’s about $300 a week in unemployment insurance, plus $300 for the pandemic and some are also entitled to an extra $100. That’s $100 more for not working. "If you do that math, a lot of low wage workers are encouraged to stay home to maximize their benefit," said Mark Jaffe of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber says all restaurants and many businesses are fighting the same competitor for low wage workers, federal unemployment insurance, and wants politicians to let the pandemic boost expire on schedule in September. "The $300 a week top up is completely justified under current circumstances," said Brookings Institution Economist Gary Burtless. He explains that unemployment benefits have helped millions of Americans pay bills and that has actually helped the economy during the pandemic, not hurt it. "It doesn’t look to me as though, so far this has had a major impact on the speed of recovery in the United States," he said. Smith counters that it’s slowing his recovery. He employed 400 people before the pandemic, is back up to 50 and believes he would be at 250 if not for unemployment insurance. “There’s no staff and when it comes time to open I mean I’m gonna be in trouble,” Smith said.

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'The Phantom of the Opera' star Meghan Picerno on Broadway’s return: 'We need to heal'

BY Dan Rivoli

Meghan Picerno, a Broadway actor starring in "the Phantom of the Opera," said she misses her castmates, costumes and what she calls "inhabiting Christine." That would be her character, Christine Daae, the chorus girl who is the obsession of the mysterious Phantom of the Opera in the Broadway musical.

Picerno and her castmates will be back on stage here at the Majestic Theater on Oct. 22 for its first performance since Broadway went dark more than a year ago. Now, the show must go on.

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City plans to offer Johnson & Johnson vaccine to tourists

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

New York City plans to offer Johnson & Johnson vaccines to tourists beginning this weekend in an effort to draw more visitors to the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a Thursday news conference.

De Blasio said that the city was ready to begin offering the vaccines at sites such as Central Park, Times Square, the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park, but the plan requires Gov. Andrew Cuomo to change state vaccination rules to allow the city to immunize non-residents.

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Broadway, baseball tickets to go on sale as state's reopening plans take shape

BY Spectrum News Staff and Angi Gonzalez
UPDATED 10:16 PM ET May. 05, 2021

NEW YORK — Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced theatergoers can start purchasing tickets for Broadway shows starting Thursday as the state's reopening plans begin to take shape.

It comes as Broadway is set to reopen at 100% capacity on Sept. 14.

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Public access to Hart Island resumes this month

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

People will be able to visit Hart Island, the city’s only public burial ground, starting on May 15 after more than a year of paused visitation service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials announced Wednesday.

Visits will take place twice a day at 9 a.m. and noon, and only 10 visitors will be allowed on each trip. The limited capacity is to allow for social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols, according to Department of Correction officials.

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How New Yorkers are organizing aid for India’s COVID-19 crisis

BY Anna Lucente Sterling

Thenmozhi Soundararajan’s days have been consumed the past few weeks with phone calls as early as 3 a.m. from people desperate for help with the COVID-19 crisis in India.

As the executive director and co-founder of Equality Labs, a grassroots organization serving South Asians across the country, she’s been fielding calls from members across the five boroughs with family members in India.

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Parents prepare as FDA reviews COVID-19 vaccine data for 12-15 age group

BY Shannan Ferry

Nadya Michel is hesitant to get her 13-year-old daughter Juliette the COVID-19 vaccine if she becomes eligible.

On Tuesday, President Biden said the administration is ready to move “immediately” if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization to adolescents 12 to 15.

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Cuomo: 24-hour subway service to resume​; COVID-19 capacity restrictions to be lifted

BY Dan Rivoli , Alyssa Paolicelli and Shannon Caturano
UPDATED 11:49 PM ET May. 03, 2021

The city’s 24-hour subway service will resume on May 17 for the first time since it was suspended for overnight cleaning last May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

"Today is a milestone for New York state and a significant moment of transition," Cuomo said. "We are at a point now where we are going to take a major step in reopening."

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Bar seating returns to NYC

BY Shannan Ferry

Twin brothers Jack Kerwin and Dylan Kerwin are regulars at Gramercy Ale House. But Monday marked the first time bar seating was allowed after over a year.

"It feels so good. I spent so much time here," said Jack Kerwin. "To not have it for a year is tough, but to be back is joyous."

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De Blasio says he’s comfortable with 24/7 subway service returning in 2 weeks

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday evening said he was comfortable with overnight subway service returning in the city in two weeks.

“From the very beginning, I thought the cleaning was the right approach, and the closure for a few hours a night was the right approach,” de Blasio told political anchor Errol Louis in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview on “Inside City Hall.”

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Exclusive: NYC senior centers set to partially reopen

BY Clodagh McGowan
UPDATED 6:52 PM ET May. 03, 2021

NEW YORK — It’s been more than a year since anyone has sat down for a meal inside the dining room at the Grace Agard Harewood Neighborhood Senior Center in Fort Greene. The pandemic forced the center to close its doors last March.

The staff has been working overtime to keep the homebound seniors connected over Zoom.

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Municipal workers to return to city offices in-person Monday

BY Spectrum News NY1

While COVID-19 vaccinations won’t be required, city employees are heading back into the office Monday, May 3.

"I think with our public workforce, we need them to come back to their offices,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said about the move. “We'll make more impact that way, we'll serve more people that way. I think it will send a powerful message to the city about our comeback as well."

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Governor: 34.6% of all New Yorkers fully vaccinated against COVID-19

BY Spectrum News NY1

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that 34.6% of all New Yorkers have completed their vaccine series, inoculating them against COVID-19.

The percentage of New Yorkers who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine has risen to 46.3%, according to the governor.

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Continued immigration court closures leave some cases outstanding

BY Michael Herzenberg
UPDATED 6:00 AM ET May. 01, 2021

Ghassen Tabbel is a personal trainer from Tunisia who moved to the U.S. almost a decade ago

“Watching the stuff on TV and coming here, I saw the people. I saw the culture in New York City. I fell in love with it,” he told NY1.

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Next 2 months crucial to fully reopening NYC, health commissioner says

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — The city’s top doctor says he’s cautiously optimistic New York will reach its goal of fully reopening by July 1, but also says the next two months will be critical.

“I’m feeling some cautious optimism based on where the numbers are headed right now, particularly with respect to cases, but also hospitalizations and deaths,” Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, told political anchor Errol Louis during a Friday evening interview on “Inside City Hall.”

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Cuomo: Food and beverage service curfew ending next month

BY Zack Fink and Bill Devlin
UPDATED 8:15 PM ET Apr. 28, 2021

NEW YORK — After facing pressure to lift the COVID-19 restrictions at bars and restaurants that New Yorkers were increasingly considering arbitrary, Governor Andrew Cuomo relented Wednesday and agreed to end curfews next month.

According to a press release, the curfew for outdoor dining areas will end starting May 17 and indoor areas starting May 31.

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New report highlights the pandemic's devastating impact on NYC tourism

BY Justine Re

Jeremy Poon, the vice president of operations at the Sanctuary Hotel, says the hotel’s rooftop used to be packed with travelers, pre-pandemic. Today, the majority of people checking into the hotel are locals trying to have a staycation, according to Poon.

"People who are looking for a weekend getaway, people just coming here after being stuck at home for such a long time,” Poon said. “They come, they see a new environment, a new space and they enjoy it.”

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State lawmakers move to bag ‘Cuomo chips'

BY Zack Fink

The state legislature is moving to repeal a requirement that forces bar and restaurant customers to order food with their drink orders.

The rule was imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the height of the pandemic last year, and quickly got attacked by critics as arbitrary and not based in science. Some restaurants and bars began asking customers to buy bags of chips with their drinks, which came to be known as “Cuomo chips.”

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No stranger to Broadway, Christine Baranski organizes auction to benefit struggling industry

BY Ariella Weintraub and Frank DiLella

NEW YORK — Want to wear Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Jacket? Step in to the shoes of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton? Or slip into one of Christine Baranski’s glamorous gowns? Well thanks to a star-studded auction, you can.

Stage and screen star Christine Baranksi has partnered with Doyle Auctioneers and Appraisers to present “Stage & Screen” featuring one-of-a-kind memorabilia, wardrobe and costume items, all up for auction, for a good cause. “I just started contacting a lot of my girlfriends, as I say, a lot of them go by one name," said Baranski. "I started with Meryl. And then I thought, hmm, you know, I worked with Cher on 'Mamma Mia'. How about Cher? Then there's Bette, then there's Patti. Then there's Bernadette. And there's Audra. Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett. And suddenly this thing kind of took off and I thought, wow."

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MTA regularly seeing days with more than 2 million subway riders again

BY Dan Rivoli

NEW YORK — The MTA is regularly seeing days where the subway is carrying more than 2 million riders, because of commuters like Ali Bajjaj, a nursing student and medical assistant.

“I go to school and I have a job, so I use it pretty much four times a day," Bajjaj said while at the Jackson Heights subway hub in Queens.

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De Blasio proposes his final budget, the largest in NYC history

BY Courtney Gross
UPDATED 12:34 AM ET Apr. 27, 2021

NEW YORK — After a massive infusion of federal stimulus funding, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday proposed the final budget of his mayoralty — and it is the most expensive in the city’s history.

“The theme of course is a recovery for all of us. This is what we are focused on: a recovery that reached every neighborhood, every New Yorker; not just brings us back, but brings us back better, fairer, stronger,” the mayor said Monday afternoon in his budget proposal unveiling.

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De Blasio on census count efforts: The state ‘did not put the resources in’

BY Patrick Adcroft

NEW YORK — Hours after the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that New York is among seven states that will lose a U.S. House of Representatives seat based on its once-in-a-decade population count, Mayor Bill de Blasio laid the bulk of the blame on the state government.

“I’m very proud of what we did in the city, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we launched a massive grassroots effort to get people counted, and we managed to reach the same level of 2010, when there was no pandemic. I mean, that is a miracle,” de Blasio told anchor Errol Louis in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview on “Inside City Hall.”

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Pandemic put brakes on 60-year taxi garage in Queens

BY Dan Rivoli

Before the pandemic, Richard Wissak’s taxi garage - a fleet of a 140 taxis - was open around the clock.

"This has always been a 24/7 operation, and the cars would come into the shop to get maintenance, put up on a lift, oil change, brakes checked," Wissak said. "Everything had to be good for the New York city streets.”

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A ‘Quarantine Kitchen’ online becomes a physical world cookbook

BY Justine Re

NEW YORK — Traci Cangiano and her daughters Daniella and Kristina started baking a lot more at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We created the Facebook page the week everything got locked down. It was around Saint Patrick's Day,” said “Quarantine Kitchen” Founder Traci Cangiano. “We figured everyone was going to be in their kitchen cooking and locked down."

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Whale of a COVID-19 vaccination site opens at Natural History Museum

BY Lindsay Tuchman

NEW YORK — Don’t go extinct; get vaccinated — that was the message from a person dressed as a Tyrannosaurus rex who stood outside the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, the day the museum opened its new COVID-19 vaccination site.

“Well, unfortunately because they didn’t have science back then and there are much improvements, the dinosaurs are no longer around so, this T-Rex is trying to remind people science is awesome, vaccines are awesome, and it’ll get us back to normal," said Kate-lynn Timmermans, aka Stay at Home Rex, who does not work for the museum.

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City-run vaccination sites open for walk-ins of any eligible age

BY Anna Lucente Sterling and Bill Devlin
UPDATED 1:14 PM ET Apr. 23, 2021

All city-run vaccination sites are available for walk-in appointments of any eligible age starting today, the mayor announced on Friday.

They’ll also be open to anyone regardless of where people live.

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Exclusive: Most parents say kids are falling behind in school, NY1/Ipsos poll finds

BY Bobby Cuza
UPDATED 9:00 AM ET Apr. 23, 2021

By the time September rolls around, most public school kids won’t have seen the inside of a classroom for almost 18 months. That’s because most parents opted for fully remote learning this year.

But the results of our exclusive NY1/Ipsos poll suggest that's not entirely a reflection of concerns over safety.

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Study estimates nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers had COVID-19 early in pandemic

BY Ron Lee

A new study from agencies including the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the National Institute for Occupational and Safety Health centered on antibody testing estimates Black and Hispanic New Yorkers were twice as likely to have had antibodies over white New Yorkers.

It also suggests that during those early months of the pandemic, nearly one in every four New Yorkers had contracted COVID-19.

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New York state's only COVID-19 field hospital treats its last patient

BY Victoria Manna
UPDATED 12:42 AM ET Apr. 22, 2021

The temporary facility for treating COVID-19 patients located on the grounds of the South Beach Psychiatric Center is no longer needed.

The hospital, run by Northwell Health, opened last spring for a short time but reopened in November as the area saw a large increase in covid cases during the second wave of the virus. More than 1,000 patients were treated here.

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'It's impossible to be flawless at this': White House advisor weighs in on NY's COVID response

BY Kevin Frey

WASHINGTON — A top pandemic advisor to President Joe Biden said he is not at a point to “throw stones” when asked to name New York’s biggest mistakes in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Andy Slavitt, who serves as a senior adviser to the White House COVID Response Team, spoke to Spectrum News on Monday, as the U.S. marked a milestone in the pandemic fight: all adults nationwide becoming eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. "Everybody has been doing their best,” said Slavitt. “It's impossible to be flawless at this. It’s hard to get through something where there’s lots of people dying and not feel a sense of regret.” Slavitt did explicitly praise New York’s healthcare workers for their “bravery”, especially in the first months of the outbreak. New York was one of the early hotspots in the COVID fight. The state saw a massive surge in cases in March and April of 2020. A year later, many New Yorkers are counting down to another rollback on pandemic restrictions. The governor is planning to soon boost capacity at zoos, museums, and other attractions. Asked to evaluate the pace of New York’s reopening, Slavitt said the state has some unique circumstances, pointing to the number of people who may have antibodies after contracting the virus. “There's some amount of immunity that still exists, it's not clear how much, but that potentially provides an advantage,” said Slavitt. “On the other hand, there are these kinds of New York based variants, as well as the UK variant that exists, and so I think we just have to watch those.” Nationwide, more than half of the U.S. adult population has received at least one vaccine shot. Slavitt said going forward, things are going to get easier for those still looking to get the vaccine. “We have millions more vaccines everywhere. We have thousands more vaccinators in the field,” he said.

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Exclusive: NY1/Ipsos poll finds 1 in 4 New Yorkers are unsure of, or have no plans to get, COVID-19 vaccine

BY Erin Billups - National Health Reporter

With New York City’s coronavirus numbers beginning to improve, there could be a major obstacle before the five boroughs can beat the pandemic: hundreds of thousands of residents may not get vaccinated.

In an exclusive Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos poll of 3,000 New Yorkers this month, 11% say they have no plans to get vaccinated, with another 14% saying they’re unsure. Forty-eight percent said they had been vaccinated, while 28% said they planned to get a shot.

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De Blasio hopes for further expansion of COVID-19 vaccine walk-ins

BY Faraz Toor

NEW YORK — According to the city, nearly half of New York City residents have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which comes as the daily coronavirus indicators are slowly moving in the right direction.

In his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview on “Inside City Hall,” Mayor Bill de Blasio sits down with political anchor Errol Louis to discuss if the increase in vaccination rates means walk-in shots will be available to more New Yorkers, after they recently expanded to all city residents ages 50 and older at city-run sites.

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City's COVID-19 positivity rate drops closer to officials' goal

BY Alyssa Paolicelli

Before visiting family in Maryland for the weekend, Emma Voorhes got a COVID-19 test at the city-run testing site in Woodside.

"One of them has a health concern, so we are just all being safe," she said. "I am half vaccinated, but just wanted to make sure everyone is safe."

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Critics say Cuomo’s curfew changes are arbitrary

BY Zack Fink

Starting next week, restaurants and bars can stay open one hour later, but must continue to comply with COVID-19 restrictions such as limiting capacity, and requiring customers to purchase food with drinks.

“We are going to extend the 11 p.m. curfew for food and beverage to midnight. That will go into effect this Monday, April 19,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the briefing.

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Concern mounts as COVID-19 variants found in all five boroughs

BY Ron Lee

As the city ramps up efforts to vaccinate more people, at least two highly transmissible COVID-19 variants have been tracked in all five boroughs.

That includes the variant first detected in New York City, which city health officials say is slightly more common in the Bronx and parts of Queens.

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Cuomo pushes bar and restaurant curfew to midnight, starting Monday

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:06 PM ET Apr. 14, 2021

The 11 p.m. bar and restaurant curfew will be extended to midnight, starting next Monday, April 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

The curfew for catering events will be moved from midnight to 1 a.m., Cuomo also announced at the press briefing.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and Lin-Manuel Miranda tour new Theater District vaccination site

BY Frank DiLella

It was an afternoon of familiar music and celebration as leaders from the Broadway community and elected officials gathered for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s kick-off of a new vaccine site in Midtown dedicated for arts workers.

The vaccination center is actually the former site of the NFL Experience store on 47th Street and 7th Avenue. The site officially opened on Monday, and the mayor toured the center alongside Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father Luis.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mulgrew Says Schools Will Continue to Be Safest Place for People to Be in a Community

BY Patrick Adcroft

On the heels of the city’s announcement that it is loosening rules requiring public schools to close if multiple students test positive for COVID-19, Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), assured parents with students in city-run schools the move will result in fewer closures while also keeping children and staff as safe as possible.

In an interview with Inside City Hall anchor Errol Louis, Mulgrew said because vaccines are becoming more readily available and with positivity rates dropping, the union's doctors said there needs to be a shift from focusing on what is not known outside of a school to focusing on what is known inside a school.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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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