This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Thursday, April 30th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

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.

12:45 p.m. In a rare moment of collaboration with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York City would help manage a plan to close its subway system from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every morning so that trains could be disinfected.

"It is a massive undertaking that we’ve never done before," Cuomo said Thursday, during his press conference.

The new policy, which goes into effect next Wednesday, comes after public bickering between the MTA and de Blasio over the presence of homeless individuals on subways. De Blasio called for the MTA to close 10 end-of-the-line subway stations from midnight to 5 a.m. in an effort to clean the trains as well as to provide outreach to homeless people.

MTA officials pushed back, saying the city was responsible for addressing the homeless situation. The agency said it was already disinfecting trains every 72 hours. Studies, however, have suggested that the virus can live on certain surfaces for days.

The governor, who addressed the homeless issue on Tuesday, said he wanted to provide safe and sanitary conditions for essential workers who rely on the subways. He demanded that the MTA come up with a solution.

On Thursday, de Blasio, who appeared on a livestream, struck a conciliatory tone.

"We're going to make this work together," he said.

Cuomo praised de Blasio, saying, "It’s a heck of an undertaking for the mayor. I applaud him for his ambition in stepping up and taking this on."

His appearance marked the first time the mayor had appeared in a press conference with the governor since March 2nd, when they announced the first known case of coronavirus in the state. Since that time, the two have sparred over whether to issue a stay-at-home order as well as who has the final authority over extending the city school closure.

Roughly 10,000 people ride the subway between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. To help those riders, the MTA will arrange shuttle buses, dollar vans and for-hire vehicles. The rides will be free of charge for essential workers.

Prior to de Blasio's appearance, Cuomo was joined by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last week, the two announced that Bloomberg will spend $10 million to develop a contact tracing program at Johns Hopkins University. The classes will be conducted remotely and the program will also work with CUNY and SUNY.

The goal will be to build an army of contact tracers, which are considered a critical tool for controlling the spread of the virus and reopening the economy.

Bloomberg said New York's program could become a model for the nation.

In a separate initiative, de Blasio last week announced plans to hire 1,000 contact tracers for New York City.

Cuomo said the state would need 6,400 to 17,000 tracers altogether.

On Thursday, the governor also revealed state data that continues to show that the coronavirus outbreak appears to be on the decline. The number of total hospitalizations across the state has now dropped below 12,000, the first time since March 30. The new number of deaths was 306, down from 330 reported on Wednesday and the lowest since March 30.

NYC To Distribute Free Face Coverings In Parks And Hard-Hit Neighborhoods

11:20 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday the city would begin distributing 100,000 face coverings to New Yorkers in busy parks and communities that have been hard hit by coronavirus outbreaks.

"I want everyone to have a face covering," he said, during his morning press briefing.

The measure comes as the city faces the prospect of warming weather and evidence of quarantine fatigue. Last Saturday, when temperatures rose into the 60s, New Yorkers were seen flocking in droves to city parks.

The state is now into the sixth week of a stay-at-home order aimed at driving down the spread of the virus.

De Blasio said that 1,000 city employees, including the Parks Department, the Office of Special Enforcement and the FDNY, will be directed to parks and public spaces to help enforce and educate people about social distancing and facial coverings. They will augment the efforts of the NYPD, which has been patrolling parks as well as responding to 311 complaints.

On Tuesday evening, the mayor was personally on hand to help disperse more than 2,000 mourners at a Hasidic funeral in Brooklyn. Many of the participants were not wearing masks. Police, who issued 12 summonses, said they were taken aback by the scale of the gathering.

Failure to socially distance is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.

Dermot Shea, the New York City police commissioner, has said that New Yorkers in general have been complying with the safety orders.

"The last thing we want to do is take enforcement action," Shea said, during a Thursday morning appearance on Fox 5 News.

The mayor began his press conference by saying that the city would triple its community testing in the next three weeks. By May 18th, the city expects to perform 43,000 tests per week at public health clinics and public housing sites. Currently, the city is performing 14,000 tests per week.

To reach its goal, the city's public hospitals will nearly triple the number of testing sites from 11 sites to 30 sites.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, has recommended a monthly benchmark of about 30 tests per 1,000 people. In New York, that would come out to roughly 252,000 tests a month.

Earlier this month, de Blasio announced an ambitious goal of producing 400,000 tests a month in May by contracting with local manufacturers to produce testing kits. But he has yet to provide an update on that effort, other than to say that the city was still in conversations with companies.

3.8 Million Americans, Including 219,000 New Yorkers, Added To Jobless Rolls

Adding to the mounting tally of jobless Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, 3.8 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That brings the six-week total of unemployed to a staggering 30 million. According to Federal Reserve data, the U.S. labor force grew to a high of 164.6 million people in February 2020.

National unemployment claims dropped 790,000 from last week.

But unlike most states, New York saw unemployment claims rise last week. A total of 219,000 more people filed jobless claims, an increase of 14,000 from the prior week. Since the crisis began, a total of 1.6 million New Yorkers have reported losing their jobs.

The higher number of claims suggests that the state Department of Labor is still struggling with a backlog of claims despite a new streamlined online application developed by Google. On Saturday, the agency announced that it has distributed $3.1 billion in unemployment benefits to New Yorkers since the coronavirus crisis started in early March. But as of Tuesday, 400,000 had yet to receive their checks.

On top of the delay, the state is currently investigating an identity breach issue in which at least three dozen people were known to have had their personal information, including name, address, social security number, and income information, sent to another individual in the mail.

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa has attributed the mailings to "a human error."

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said that the state could run out of money to pay New Yorkers' unemployment claims. State unemployment benefits are paid out through state trust funds financed by special taxes on employers. States facing a shortfall can apply for loans from the federal government, and New York has applied for up to $4 billion in federal loans to help pay out benefits, according to the Associated Press.

With so many New Yorkers out of work, there are increasing concerns about the need for food assistance in the state. On Monday, Cuomo announced that the state would provide $25 million in emergency funding for food banks and providers most impacted by COVID-19.

The governor also asked philanthropic organizations to help donate money for food banks.

"This is the number one thing they can do to help," he said.