Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Thursday, November 19, 2020

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FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2020, file photo, student Tai Nguyen, right, works on his laptop as instructor Chaya Baras, left, helps student Kenny Scottborough, 19, navigate an online lesson at West Brooklyn Community High School in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

12:30 p.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shares the latest on COVID-19 in NY. Watch in video below.

Daily Indicators

  • NY positivity rate with cluster over sample: 2.7%
    • NY positivity rate without clusters: 2.3%
    • Micro-cluster zones alone: 4%
  • NY COVID-19 hospitalizations: 2,276
    • ICU: 1,400
    • Intubated: 200
  • COVID-19 fatalities in NY: 31
  • NYC at 2.5% positivity

Micro-cluster zones in NY

  • Rockland County expands zones
  • Orange County adding yellow zone to certain areas
  • Westchester County adding yellow zone to Yonkers, Tarrytown, Peekskill, New Rochelle

Utility companies

  • PSC did an investigation, DFS (Dept. of Financial Services) to join
  • Closed investigation. Three utilities have been penalized $137 million
  • Companies have the right to contest.

Q&A

  • School closure vs. indoor dining and getting nails done
    • Schools are safer than the surrounding community, and the trigger for the schools in NYC is lower than the trigger for indoor dining.
    • Orange zone is triggered at 3% in a microcluster. A school closes at 3%, but a school can “test out” at an orange zone.
    • There is no provision for business to test out.
  • What are the discussions for decision-making on thresholds and COVID hot zones?
    • These are more localized decisions. When you’re looking at a locality, you’re looking at other factors.
    • State looks at where in the area cases are coming from, etc.

10 a.m.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the latest COVID-19 updates as schools go all remote. Watch in video below or click here.

Schools closing in NYC

  • We are going to work to reopen schools safely.
  • We need test consent forms filled out.
  • Learning Bridges will be open
  • Free meals will be available at NYC school buildings. More info.

NYC entering an orange zone

  • We are approaching an orange zone.
  • “It’s just a matter of time.” NYC will enter an orange zone, likely in the next week or two.

Equitable Ownership Plan

  • New requirements will ensure a certified M/WBE or nonprofit has an ownership stake at any affordable housing developed on public sites.
  • Benefits:
    • Reduce industry barriers for M/WBE and non profits
    • Provide growth opportunities through greater ownership and financial stake in development projects on public land.
    • Expand and diversify the city’s real estate sector
    • Allow affordable housing spending to serve a greater diversity of New Yorkers.

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 115 (34.45% positivity rate)
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average: 1255
  • Percentage tested positive: 2.36%
  • 7-day rolling average: 3.01%

Q&A

  • New standards for getting schools reopening etc. What other standards aside from disinfecting and additional testing.
    • We’re looking at anything and everything that can make it safer for students as positivity levels continue growing. Testing is crucial.
  • Could this shutdown be longer than anticipated?
    • I am certain people are making those adjustments. The restrictions of us entering an orange zone will help change behavior.
    • We believe we can compensate for the tougher dynamic. But as other restrictions come, it could help.
  • Will there be any exceptions for special needs children who can’t do remote learning?
    • Special needs families needs school to reopen. We’re in talks with stakeholders and state officials.
  • Have you been in contact with Cuomo, did you tell him schools were closing?
    • Mayor: I let him know the number reached 3% and it would activate the closure. We talked about what would happen next as well as the orange zone.
    • It was a given that NYC would enter an orange zone.
    • As he was entering his presser, that’s when we received the info to let schools know they had to prepare for the shutdown.
  • 3% threshold: Was there an agreement with the UFT about school closures, etc.?
    • We heard from a huge number of educators about being in person with students. Before school reopenings this fall, we had talks with officials and set tough standards. It was not a discussion with union, more with health officials.
  • Message to restaurants and gyms about anticipated closures.
    • The notion that they’ll be shut down for another period of time is hurtful. The facts, the science, the data are just screaming at us that we have a huge challenge.

8:35 a.m.
MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye discussed the agency’s “doomsday” budget amid the pandemic. Watch interview in video below.

MTA chairman discusses ‘doomsday’ budget, service cuts

8:05 a.m.
Public advocate Jumaane Williams criticized the mayor’s “lack of leadership” over school closures. Watch interview here.

7:45 a.m.
NYC Councilmember and education chair Mark Treyger spoke to PIX11 about the mayor’s decision to close schools. Watch interview here.

7:15 a.m.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza spoke about the city’s decision to close schools and how they’re helping students without devices. Watch interview here.

Schools in NY

  • Berner Middle School in Massapequa moved to “full distance learning” Thursday after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Happening today:
New York City public schools are closed to in-person learning starting today after the city’s seven-day positivity rate hit 3%, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Read more here.

The latest official numbers:
As of Thursday, there were 579,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26,255 confirmed fatalities in New York, according to the Department of Health.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here

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