By Friday the country had surpassed 218,266 deaths. The U.S. has recorded more cases than any other country and with the virus at unseen heights, there is still no end in sight.
Reports of new cases are increasing in 42 states and states across the Midwest are facing dire circumstances with hospital capacities.
Despite the surge in cases, voters across the country stepped outside and joined at times hours long lines to vote early in this year’s presidential election – something that has been completely upturned by the pandemic.
Candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump are at ideological loggerheads with how to approach the virus, reflecting the partisan divide in how it has been dealt with and how a divided American population is approaching it.
Biden has proposed a national mask mandate to help control the virus’ spread, whereas Trump has said the virus is vanishing and mock those who take precautions to deal with it. The idea of a national mask mandate is getting an increasing amount of support from experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In New York, in order to stem rising case numbers in certain hotspot areas Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented new restrictions on certain neighborhoods two weeks ago. Although those restrictions have been relaxed in some areas, they are still in place. The restrictions have been met with fierce backlash from Orthodox Jewish and other religious leaders.
In Europe, a second wave has hit hard and Italy, France, England and Spain all recorded their highest death tolls in months this week. The global death toll from the virus is 1,184,565 and in the United States more than 229,096 people have died.
Total cases as of October 30, 2020:
- This week, infections in the U.S. have risen past 90,000 new daily cases, or more than one per second, and an average of 77,000 people have been infected each day this week, up from 54,399 two weeks ago.
- As of Friday, more than 8,982,804 have been infected with the coronavirus nationwide and at least 229,096 have died, exceeding the population of Rochester, New York, one of the first cities in the state to be hit by the pandemic.
- The American College Health Association issued guidelines to schools this Thanksgiving, recommending they encourage students to get tested, not travel if they test positive and quarantine for 14 days at home upon arrival. If school’s are resuming after Thanksgiving, the association said students should not travel and should have socially distant friendsgivings.
- With Halloween just around the corner, American’s are figuring new ways to make the celebration a socially distant yet festive affair. Decorations are up, costumes are prepared, but trick or treating hangs in the balance, with many families opting to stay home altogether. Some states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas, have banned trick or treating outright.
- The CDC is looking into a program that would get a coronavirus vaccine to people of color in hard hit areas, who have a much higher of risk of being infected or killed by COVID-19.
- 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. Despite President Trump pushing for a vaccine to be in use ahead of the election, that seems unlikely given drug company Pfizer announced Friday it would not seek authorization for its vaccine until late November.
- 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.
- 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.
As of Friday, October 30th, there have been 261,607 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City, and 23,989 deaths.
In the state that those numbers are 507,913 cases and 33,128, according to a New York Times database.
On Thursday, New York state reported nearly 2,500 new cases, its highest since mid-May and another 2,255 Friday. Despite the numbers, it still has the third lowest state positivity rate.
New York City is now in its final phase of reopening, with schools and indoor both having recently reopened with a number of precautions in place. Recently, the City Council voted to permanently install outdoor dining on city streets.
A large increase in positive coronavirus tests in several ZIP codes across the city led Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to reinstate restrictions on gatherings in certain neighborhoods across the city and state. The zones are color coded depending on the rates of the virus, with red zones facing the most restrictions and yellow facing less. Cuomo launched the Cluster Action Initiative to prevent COVID-19 spreading in hotspot areas.
To read what restrictions are in place in each zone, click here.
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 outand shopping, it is essential that we continue to take steps to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recently said there was still a lot we don’t know about long-term effects of the virus, including the experiences of “long-haulers” reported recently in the New York Times. It seems the virus can have frightening long-term effects, including damage to the heart and inflammation.
Governor Cuomo said Thursday the impact COVID-19 has on the physical and mental health of New Yorkers cannot be overstated.
“As the challenge feels daunting it’s critical that each of us stays vigilant as we move into the winter and COVID fatigue continues to set in,” he said. “New York State will do all we can to battle this virus—we will closely monitor the data and we will increase testing capacity to new daily highs.”
On Thursday, The positivity rate in the “micro-cluster” focus areas was 3.24%. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.25 percent. There were 1,085 total hospitalizations and 19 New Yorkers died because of the virus
New York’s seven-day rolling positivity rate is 1.5 percent as of Friday; excluding micro-cluster areas, the rolling rate is 1.4 percent, the governor said. Cuomo has said his approach to the clusters is proving effective, but he wants to see more progress before restrictions are lifted.
He urged New Yorkers to keep up hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the daily indicators for the virus in the city were concerning and he urged caution to residents ahead of the Halloween weekend.
He said a continuing upward trend in numbers could lead to more restirctuions. On Thursday, the virus positivity rate was 2.7%, with the seven-day average at 1.92%.
“That alone is not a number that would overwhelm us, but the growth is what worries me. We cannot allow that number to keep growing. We must be really strong at this moment,” he said.
He warned of holiday parties and large gatherings indoors and said people had to buckle down to keep the virus under control.
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 postingsclick here.
- Project Cupid: For more information on virtual Marriage License programs, click here.
Outlook in Brooklyn:
As of Thursday, October 29th, there have been 73,016 confirmed cases in Brooklyn that includes 5,749 confirmed deaths, and 1,644 additional probable deaths, in Brooklyn.
Black and Brown communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus, in both infection and fatality rates.
The majority of Southern Brooklyn has been coded either as falling in a red or yellow. Neighborhoods are facing different levels of restrictions on schooling, dining out, religious gathering and business openings depending on the zone they are in. The Brooklyn neighborhoods of concern in cluster areas include: Midwood, Borough Park, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/ Sheepshead Bay and Flatlands/Midwood.
To see if you are in a COVID-19 color coded zone, check here.
Other news in Brooklyn included:
- Op Ed: Councilmember Robert Cornegy on Intimate Partner Violence & COVID-19
- After COVID Delays, Plan to Build Homeless Shelter Near Kings Theatre in Flatbush Moves Forward
- Electeds, Parents Vent on City DOE’s COVID19 Response
- 7 Tips for Staying Safe as COVID-19 Cases Rise and Colder Weather Heightens the Risk
- Nurses of the Pandemic Honored in Raw Virtual Play From Brooklyn Academy of Music
- 279,700 Extra Deaths in the US So Far in This Pandemic Year
- Brooklyn Dems Violated the Law by Postponing Organizational Meeting, Judge Finds
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum Will Celebrate Reopening With a Socially Distanced Halloween
- Small Businesses Hopeful ‘Open Storefronts’ Will Help Keep Holiday Shopping Local
- Black-Owned Brooklyn Restaurants Win $25k Each Thanks to Customer Support
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:
- From November 2nd through November 15th families can fill out a form to indicate if they are interested in and planning on returning to a blended model for their child/children. The first in-person day for these students will be during the weeks of November 30th and December 7th. For more information click here.
- Learning Bridges offers 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.
- Brooklyn Museum’s “Youth Tours: Art at Two” offers virtual programming for children ages five through 10. Click here for more information.
- “Let’s Learn NYC!” is an 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.
- 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.
- Governor Cuomo released details on the metrics regarding COVID-19 micro-clusters.
- Red Zone — Micro-Cluster: A “Red Zone” focus area is put in place to contain spread from a specific, defined geographic area.
- Orange Zone — Warning/Buffer: An Orange Zone area either is put in place primarily in densely populated urban areas as a tight buffer zone around a Red Zone micro-cluster (“Orange Buffer Zone”) area OR is implemented independently as a focus area based on the below metrics (“Orange Warning Zone”). The purpose of an Orange Buffer Zone is to 1) restrict activity to prevent further spread from Red Zone area; 2) provide a defined geographic area where metrics can be monitored daily to ensure COVID is not spreading beyond the Red Zone.
- Yellow Zone — Precautionary/Buffer: A “Yellow Zone” area either is put in place as a broader buffer area to ensure COVID outbreak is not spreading into the broader community (“Yellow Buffer Zone”) OR is implemented independently based on the below metrics (“Yellow Precautionary Zone”). The purpose of a Yellow Buffer Zone is to 1) restrict some activity to help prevent further spread from Red and/or Orange Warning Zone area; 2) provide a larger defined geographic area where metrics can be monitored daily to ensure COVID is not spreading beyond the Red Zone or Orange Warning Zone.
- For more details click here.
- The Mayor’s Office released an interactive map of closure zones in parts of Brooklyn and Queens due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The map allows businesses and residents to look up what zone they’re in and what closures impact them. To view the map, click here.
- 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.
- 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 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
- 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 org.
- If you need mental health support, the New York Emotional Support Hotline is (844) 863-9314.
- The New York Peace Institute has online resourcesto 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 email@example.com.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extendedits deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) to November 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline. This extension is solely for those who have not received their EIP and do not normally file a tax return.
- 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. Mayor de Blasio recently expanded eligibility to neighbor disputes and landlord/commercial tenant disputes.
- New York State is offering an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. Visit ny.govto see if you qualify.
- Distribution sites for small businesses looking to obtain face coverings, are open. Visit gov/businessfor 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 gov/businessfor more information on the guides.
- Unemployed New Yorkers can access support at the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)’s new website, 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 org/hotlinefor 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
- The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) released indoor dining guidelines that can be found by clicking here.
- The Mayor’s Office released guidance to heat outdoor dining spaces for restaurants participating in the Open Restaurants program.
- Electric radiant heaters will be allowed for sidewalk and roadway seating setups. For full guidance from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), click here.
- Natural gas radiant heaters will be allowed on the sidewalk only. For full guidance from DOB, click here. Natural gas radiant heaters must also comply with the Fire Code.
- Portable heaters fueled by propane will also only be allowed on the sidewalk. Propane heating will be regulated by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), with requirements for safe handling, use and storage. For full guidance from the FDNY, click 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 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, outside of main entrances of every school building. The program is now open to anyone who wants food, no questions asked. Go to 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 gov/GetFoodor 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.
- The Civic Engagement Commission officially launched its poll interpretation website, which details their poll site interpretation program, lists all voting sites where CEC interpreters will be assisting voters, and has a “Know Your Rights” section. Visit the site by going to gov/wearevoters.
- NYC Parks has resumed 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 has also resumed. 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.
- 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 41 designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler formand quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City.
- 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 ny.gov/reservation.
- Visit NYCfor 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- The MTA launched a new interactive beta digital map to allow riders to plan their trips and see real time alerts. To view the map click here.
- 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” pageprovides details on the service changes.
For City alerts in English, text COVID to 692-692.
For City alerts in Spanish, text COVIDESP to 692-692.
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