On Friday, President Trump tweeted he had tested positive for COVID-19 as national cases climbed above 7,317,350.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter came just days after the first presidential debate, where Trump mocked Democratic candidate Vice President Joe Biden over his use of a mask. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 208,000 Americans. The announcement throws into question how the remaining 32 days before the election will play out, including whether the next two scheduled presidential debates will be held.

As of Friday, the global death toll from the virus is 1,025,354 and in the United States more than 208,485 thousand people have died. It is predicted that number will double before the end of the year as the colder months set in and people become less vigilant.

Although cases remain high across much of the country and new infection are surging in parts of the Midwest and West, the daily new number of cases has dropped considerably since July. According to The New York Times data, this week there was an average of 43,439 cases per day nationally, compared to more than 60,000 in late July.

This week, New York City became the first big city to reopen all its schools and it also reopened indoor dining at 25% capacity. While the City continues on its path to reopening, it is currently experiencing a spike in virus cases due to large clusters in Brooklyn and Queens.

National:

Total cases as of October 2, 2020:

  • There have been more than 7,318,110 coronavirus cases  in the United States, and the death toll has surpassed 208,520 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The Government has started Operation Warp Speed to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines. The initial doses are due to be available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
  • Large gatherings, including high school sports games, concerts and festivals, continue to be cancelled or moved online, and many schools across the country are also moving online for the fall.
  • More than 130,000 cases have been linked to colleges and universities during the pandemic.
  • Large scale food and housing insecurity has taken hold across much of the country. There is a national eviction moratorium in place until December 31, to protect people nationwide from homelessness.

NYC:

As of Friday October 2, 2020, there have been more than 466,000  confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York, including more than 250,000 in New York City. More than 33,192 people with COVID-19 have died in the state, not including the deaths of people with probable cases. In New York City, that number is 23,846.

New York City is now in its final phase of reopening, with schools and indoor reopening this week – both with a number of precautions in place.

A large increase in positive coronavirus tests in several ZIP codes across the city has health officials gravely concerned. The NYC Health Department continues to track 4 concerning clusters of COVID-19 cases in Southern Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Central Queens and Far Rockaway. Within these clusters there are 12 neighborhoods where cases continue to grow at an alarming rate, outpacing the citywide average by 3.3 times over the past 14 days.

These 12 are the only neighborhoods in New York City with positivity rates above 3%, accounting for nearly 30% of new cases citywide over the past 2 weeks despite representing 9% of the city’s overall population.

The 7-day average percent positivity is 5.86% for the 12 neighborhoods, while the citywide average is 1.53%. With the 12 neighborhoods removed, the 7-day average positivity for the city is 1.17%.

On Thursday, the Health Department issued a new Commissioner’s Order giving city agencies the power to issue closure orders to businesses for repeat non-compliance with State and local COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

The NYC Health Department released these guidelines:

  • All New Yorkers should continue to follow the Core 4: wear a face covering, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain safe physical distance from others, and stay home if you are sick.
  • Get tested! All New Yorkers should get tested whether or not they have symptoms. Tests are free. Find a testing site near you.
  • Worship safely: Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors. If your house of worship has reopened, wear a face covering, don’t share chalices or utensils and avoid close contact with others including hand shaking and hugging — wave instead. If you’re singing, you must stay at least 12 feet apart from others.
  • As we begin a return to activities like dining out and shopping, it is essential that we continue to take steps to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Governor’s Update

Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to impose fines on local governments over lacking enforcement of compliance protocols on Friday.

He said hotspots were a significant problem and failed enforcement was to blame. “If local governments don’t step up compliance, they can actually be in violation of the law and they can be fined,” he said.

The state has launched the new COVID Alert NY app to alert users when they have been exposed to the virus. It is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The free mobile app — available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in New York or New Jersey — is available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. COVID Alert NY is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole. 

Mayor’s Updates

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s seven-day average had increased each day this week, albeit slightly. On Tuesday, the rate was 1.38%; on Wednesday it climbed to 1.46%; on Thursday it was 1.59%; on Friday it dropped to 1.53%.

He said he didn’t see a scenario where a large scale shutdown would happen anytime soon, adding it was only certain ZIP codes that were a cause for concern and that was being addressed.

There are hundreds of convenient testing sites across the city, as well as mobile testing units visiting different locations throughout the five boroughs – you can find your nearest testing site here.

The City has a database of resources for New Yorkers who need assistance with employment, access to food, rent and housing, school and education and more. You can access it here.

Watch the Mayor’s latest full update here:

Go here to read the NYC Department of Health Coronavirus fact sheet.

  • NYC BOC Absentee Ballot: To access an absentee ballot application click here.
  • Job Opportunities: To access NYC Health and Hospitals job postings click here.
  • Project Cupid: For more information on virtual Marriage License programs, click here.

Outlook in Brooklyn

As of Thursday October 1, 67,500 people in Brooklyn have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,684 have died.

Black and Brown communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus, in both infection and fatality rates.

The Brooklyn neighborhoods of concern in cluster areas over 3% positivity include: Midwood, Borough Park, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/ Sheepshead Bay and Flatlands/Midwood. The Brooklyn neighborhoods of concern in cluster areas under 3% positivity include: Bedford-Stuyvesant (West)/Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, East Williamsburg/ Williamsburg, Crown Heights (East)Kensington/Windsor Terrace.

Other news in Brooklyn included:

Brooklyn Borough President COVID-19: A Rundown and Review

Brooklyn BP Eric Adams is asking all Brooklynites to remain vigilant in fighting the virus with, “determination, common purpose, and love — for our families, friends, communities, and our city.”

His office has composed a list of resources for those in Brooklyn seeking help and assistance through the pandemic.

Updates And Important Information:

Education

  • ·The Learning Bridges is a new program offering no-cost preschool and school age child care options for children from 3-K through eighth grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. Click here to learn more.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced “Outdoor Learning,” a citywide outdoor learning initiative for the 2020-21 academic year, which will allow schools to hold classes outdoors in schoolyards, adjacent streets, and nearby park space. The program is open to all public, charter, and private schools, as well as Learning Bridges. Schools in areas hardest-hit by COVID-19 with no outdoor space will receive priority for the program.
  • Brooklyn Museum’s “Youth Tours: Art at Two” offers virtual programming for children ages five through 10. Click here for more information.
  • NYC H2O has an online portal for all ages to explore and learn about New York City’s Water System.
  • “Let’s Learn NYC!”, the new educational public television program produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), features lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. More information can be found here.
  • Women.NYC, which is powered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), released a downloadable guide for free and low-cost tech courses in New York City.
  • Generation Citizen has provided free online resources to stay educated during the pandemic.

Health

  • Free tele-support group services are available with Lighthouse Guild Family Service Network. For young adults with vision loss, click here. For adults with vision loss, click here. For all questions, call (212) 769-7833.
  • The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has partnered with select CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to make FREE naloxone kits available to any individual who requests one. Click here for a list of participating pharmacies across the five boroughs.
  • COVID-19 testing has been made available to all New Yorkers. COVID-19 testing sites are available in your area with new ones being added on an ongoing basis. To find the one nearest you, visit the state website [New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) website], the City’s website [New York City’s COVID-19 Information Portal], or type “COVID testing near me” in Google Maps.
  • Crisis Text Line has support resources and counselors available for free 24/7 for frontline and essential workers. Text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to be connected, or visit www.crisistextline.org.
  • Mayor de Blasio announced an emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence to provide funding for immediate safety, economic, and housing needs currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Helpful resources that are currently available include the agency website, the “NYC HOPE” resource directory, and the Resources for Survivors During COVID-19 page.
  • If you need mental health support, the New York Emotional Support Hotline is (844) 863-9314.
  • The New York Peace Institute has online resources to mitigate stress with tools such as meditation.
  • Use telemedicine services BEFORE going to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or the ER. Call (800) 633-4227 or your doctor for more information if you are on Medicaid. Whether you utilize Medicaid, private insurance, or are a self-payer, options are offered across many specialty areas. Urgent care telemedicine is available with New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, or NYU Langone. Mental health telemedicine is available with Columbia Doctors. Diabetes telemedicine help is available with NYC Health + Hospitals. If you know other services, email askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.

Financial Support

  • Mayor de Blasio announced the free “MEND NYC” program to provide mediation to New Yorkers and hospitality businesses across the city who are in disputes over quality-of-life issues.
  • New York State is offering an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. Visit dol.ny.gov to see if you qualify.
  • Distribution sites for small businesses looking to obtain face coverings, are open. Visit nyc.gov/business for more information across the boroughs.
  • The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has published plain language industry guides as a tool for small businesses to adhere to the latest mandatory guidance and to share best practices. Visit nyc.gov/business for more information on the guides.
  • The Public Service Commission approved an increased bill-credit program for low-income Con Edison customers to ensure that they can access air conditioning during the hot summer months.
  • Unemployed New Yorkers can access support at the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)’s new website, NYSBA.org/legalhelp, which was set up to provide resources for filing an unemployment claim. If needed, NYSBA will match people with a pro bono attorney.
  • The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has launched the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund to support small businesses that have been shut out of other COVID-19-related loan programs, with 65 percent earmarked for minority and/or women-owned business enterprises (MWBE). The Bring Back Brooklyn Fund will offer no-interest recovery loans between $500 and $30,000. You can contribute to the effort here.
  • The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) launched the NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline to help New York City residents impacted by COVID-19 get answers to their legal questions on issues including unemployment benefits, employee rights, housing, public benefits, consumer debt, advance planning, stimulus payments, and special education issues. Call (929) 356-9582 Monday-Friday 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM to leave a message with your name and contact information or visit nylag.org/hotline for more information.
  • DCWP’s Office of Financial Empowerment has transitioned all financial counseling and coaching programs to offer services remotely. Book an appointment here.

Food Pantry/Food Assistance

  • Governor Cuomo announced the return of indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Rule guidance can be found here.
  • Mayor de Blasio combined the Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs. Locations can be found here.
  • All students who would have received a free or reduced-price meal at school are now eligible for additional food assistance through Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT). This includes undocumented students, students whose private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, and students in districts that implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). New York City families will receive an additional $5.70 for every day school has been closed to purchase foods available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • School sites are open for grab-and-go meals this week, from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM, outside of main entrances of every school building. The program is now open to anyone who wants food, no questions asked. Go to schools.nyc.gov, or text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 for lists of where meals are being served. Breakfast and lunch will be distributed from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in select schools at over 200 locations as the program moves toward an after-school schedule.
  • New Yorkers can use their SNAP benefits to order online.
  • The City has streamlined the home delivery of meals to seniors and is working to support our food pantries, which are critical partners in these efforts. In the interim, you can find a list of key resources at nyc.gov/GetFood or by calling 311 and saying “Get Food.”
  • Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center has partnered with Share Meals, Hunger Free America, BetaNYC, and Plentiful to compile a listing and guide on food resources available to New Yorkers.

General

  • The Brooklyn Historical Society has launched the Muslims in Brooklyn website to prompt conversation on Muslim communities. Visit the website here to learn more and join the conversation.
  • The New York City Parks Department (NYC Parks) will resume permitting its athletic fields across the city for outdoor youth sports. Supportive of children’s physical and mental health, lower- and moderate-risk youth play on permitted fields will resume Tuesday, September 15th. They will continue to allow sports activity of low-to-moderate-risk on courts and fields across the city on a first-come, first-served basis, in accordance with the State’s reopening guidelines for sports and recreation.
  • As per Governor Cuomo, there will be upcoming universal absentee voting in November. To apply for an absentee ballot visit here.
  • Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) firms interested in earning City certification should visit sbsconnect.nyc.gov to complete the application. For application assistance, call (888) SBS-4NYC or dial 311.
  • Mayor de Blasio announced COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints into New York City to ensure compliance with New York State quarantine requirements. Travelers who have visited 35 designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler form and quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City.
  • City employees can partake in virtual events online with Work Well NYC. Click here for their August calendar.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that large events requiring a City events permit will be cancelled through Wednesday, September 30th. The City will not issue a permit for any event in a location that interferes with the Open Streets or Open Restaurants program.
  • The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will only offer services in person by reservation for limited transactions that cannot be done online or by mail or drop box. You can make reservations at dmv.ny.gov/reservation.
  • New York City COVID-19 Response Maps are available online.
  • Visit MutualAid.NYC for information on groups and individuals working on mutual aid in their communities, as well as if you need help or can help.
  • Free and low-cost childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis are available through Workers Need Childcare, for parents and caregivers in New York City’s essential workforce.
  • Worried about having to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation? Co-quarantined with an abuser? Please reach out and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 1 (800) 799-7233, TTY 1 (800) 787-3224, or chat online at thehotline.org.
  • For veterans and their families, the NYC Veterans Alliance has a list of resources on their website.
  • Twenty-two branches of the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public library are open with Grab-and-Go services
  • If you see price gouging, report it to 1 (800) 697-1220, fill out the complaint form on the New York State Attorney General’s website, or email askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.

Housing

  • The pause on evictions is extended until October 1st but cases filed in Housing Court before March 17th will proceed, both online and potentially in person, with a court ban on final warrants of eviction tenants’ only safeguard.
  • Utilities have been ordered to not shut off service for gas, water, or electricity. Internet services will not be cut off during this time.
  • For New Yorkers requiring quarantine or isolation, NYC Health + Hospitals is offering free hotel rooms for up to 14 days if there is a need for a place to isolate. Call (844) NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) and press “0”.
  • As per Mayor de Blasio, all tax lien sales will be postponed. Property owners who are facing hardships making their property tax payments can take advantage of several existing New York City Department of Finance (DOF) programs. These include exemption programs to lower the amount of taxes owed, standard payment plans, or a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify. DOF also provides a monthly property tax billing service to facilitate budgeting for property owners billed on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. More information on those programs can be found on the agency’s website.
  • National Grid customers should be aware of a phone scam demanding immediate bill payment and threatening service disconnection. Learn ways to protect yourself and your family here.

Transportation

  • The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Staten Island Ferry has returned to four boat 15 minute rush hour service. All passengers must wear face coverings at all times on the ferries.
  • The Driver Resource Center launched by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) offers a wide range of services to all TLC-licensed drivers and medallion owner-drivers.
  • There is currently no subway service from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM to allow for cleaning and disinfecting of trains and stations. The “MTA Overnight” page provides details on the service changes.

*Thank you to the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for contributing much of the updated information in this list. For more updates and resources, you can visit the BP’s coronavirus online update here.

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