Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order; a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
12:30 p.m. All schools and colleges in New York state will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, meaning students will continue with distance learning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
The announcement, which did not come as a surprise, will affect roughly 2.6 million public school children as well as those that attend the state's 1,800 private schools.
"You’re already at the end of the school year," Cuomo said during his press briefing. "The big question is going to be are you ready to open the schools in September?"
Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City public schools would not reopen before the end of the school year in June. But Cuomo immediately undermined his decision, saying that under the state of emergency rules only he had the authority to make the call on school closures.
On Friday, Cuomo said he would announce information on summer programming at the end of May. The governor had said that some school districts had been interested in making up lost time during the summer. Parents have also wondered whether summer camps would be an option.
Mayor de Blasio also has yet to reveal any details about a summer learning plan, although this week's newly announced grade policy states that students who have not made progress may be required to make up work during the summer and fall.
The virus continues to show signs of waning statewide. On Friday, the state's data showed that 289 more people died on Thursday. It was the first time the single-day death toll fell below 300 since March 30th. But new coronavirus hospitalizations have hovered in the 900s for four straight days, a number that Cuomo called "still too high."
For the first time, Cuomo included a chart showing where new virus hospitalizations are coming from. Manhattan and Brooklyn topped the list, with each representing more than 17 percent of the total new cases.
Last Remaining Patients At Javits Center Will Leave Today
The makeshift 2,500-bed hospital at the Javits Center created to handle a surge of patients during the coronavirus crisis will wind down its operation on Friday. Hospital officials plan to discharge or transfer the last remaining eight patients by around 4 p.m., according to a spokesperson for Northwell Health. The hospital network has been overseeing admissions at the hospital along with the Army and state Department of Health. Most of the medical care was provided by the Army's medical personnel.
In total, the Javits Center admitted 1,093 patients. Last Friday, Federal Emergency Management Agency, which helped build the hospital, announced that the federal government was beginning a "strategic drawdown of resources." The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort left New York harbor on Thursday after treating a total of 182 patients.
Governor Cuomo has said President Trump has agreed to allow the Javits Center to remain open in case there is a resurgence or second wave of the virus or flu.
Despite Concerns Over Gatherings, Mayor De Blasio Reaffirms Plan For July 4th Fireworks
11:30 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday doubled down on his promise to hold Fourth of July fireworks, even as he worried about a "boomerang" of coronavirus infections as the city prepares for an uncertain summer.
"There will be fireworks in some form or fashion," he said, in answer to question from a reporter during his press briefing. He said the exact plans for the festivities had not been made, and that the city would emphasize "safety first, social distancing first."
De Blasio's remarks comes during a week in which the city struggled to maintain social distancing by New Yorkers. On Thursday, police tried to break up a crowd of hundreds of Orthodox Jewish mourners who had packed several streets in Borough Park. On Tuesday, the mayor personally arrived on the scene of a Hasidic funeral in Williamsburg, where more than 2,000 people had shown up. That same day, droves of spectators turned out to watch a planned military flyover meant to honor healthcare workers.
"We cannot hesitate to enforce," the mayor said, when asked specifically about large gatherings, including funerals.
Last month, de Blasio announced his intention to continue with the Fourth of July fireworks show after speaking to Macy's executives.
“This is a day we cannot miss, this is a celebration that has to happen,” he said. “Come hell or high water we are going to do this.”
On Twitter and elsewhere, people criticized the mayor's decision as misplaced priority as well as contradictory to his own repeated warnings against gatherings.
How the city plans to enforce social distancing during the warmer months remains a question. As part of the city's plan to open 100 miles of streets to pedestrians and cyclists, the mayor on Friday unveiled the first group of streets that are scheduled to close to traffic on Monday. The list includes more than seven miles of streets within and near city parks, including Flushing Meadow Park, and along Prospect Park and Carl Schurz Park (which are areas that have seen overcrowding).
New York City hospital admissions for suspected COVID-19 cases fell to 136 on April 29th, a decline of 84 percent over the past month but up slightly from the 129 total new admissions the previous day. Another 202 New York City residents have died from the disease.
“This virus is alive and well in this city," the mayor said. "We have not beaten it.”
Connecticut Eyes May 20th For Opening Outdoor Restaurants, Hair And Nail Salons
In what could represent the first major test for the tri-state region, Connecticut may start to open some businesses, including hair and nail salons, outdoor restaurants and outdoor recreation facilities like camping and hiking areas on May 20th as long as hospitalizations and coronavirus infections continue to decline.
Governor Ned Lamont on Thursday announced a four-stage approach that would gradually reopen the economy. To date, Connecticut ranks 11th among states with the most infections. At least 27,700 people have tested positive, and more than 2,200 have died from the disease. Unlike New York and New Jersey, roughly 60 percent of its economy has continued to operate. That has included manufacturing, construction, real estate and childcare facilities.
Under the plan, people with office jobs will be encouraged to continue to work from home.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that states in the region, particularly New Jersey and Connecticut, need to coordinate their plans given how their economies and workforce are interconnected. New York is targeting May 15th as the date where some manufacturing and construction may begin in regions with low hospitalization and infection rates.
But Cuomo has openly worried about retail and recreational sites as potentially becoming "attractive nuisances" that may draw people from regions where those activities are still closed.
New York has yet to make an announcement on beaches. Beach towns along the Jersey shore are weighing their options.
Beaches in some Connecticut towns and cities, including Stamford and Westport are now open, although parking is limited to residents. In Fairfield, five town beaches on the Long Island Sound are set to reopen on Friday, but group activities and gatherings will not be permitted, nor will beach chairs, blankets or coolers.
Lamont said that casinos, which represent a huge draw for out-of-state tourists, are "sensibly developing" a plan to socially distance.
He said an announcement about school re-openings and restrictions on social gatherings will be made next week.