Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

The Week in Covid-19 (4/17/20): Brooklyn, Here's Everything You Need to Know so Far

NY State's on PAUSE now extended through May 15, Gov. Cuomo announced, along with a mandate NY'ers wear masks in public

New York State on PAUSE is now extended through May 15, governor Cuomo announced on Thursday.

The governor said that hospitalizations from the virus statewide was about 17,000, down from 18,000 at last official count. The governor said ICU admissions were also down significantly throughout the state. Despite these positive trends, the governor insists we are not out of the woods.

"The bad news is that 2,000 people walked into the hospital for the first time yesterday for the disease and the worst news is 600 people died yesterday from the disease," Gov. Cuomo said.

The federal government has passed three bills on the crisis but there is zero unrestricted funding for states, said Cuomo, adding that despite what President Trump saying, it's up to states to handle reopening plans, and that the state will need federal aid to do so.

After New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that grocery stores could now require all customers to wear masks, the governor went further, ordering everyone in the state to wear something to cover their nose and mouth any time they can't stay 6 feet apart.

Cuomo the rule would be enforced without fines... for now, that is: "People will enforce it. They'll say to you, if they're standing next to you on a street corner, 'Where's your mask, buddy?' in a nice New York kinda way," he said.

The Trump administration is pulling back federal support of testing sites by the end of the week amid ongoing concerns over testing shortages nationwide, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The so-called Community-Based Testing Sites program was intended to jumpstart initial testing capabilities to critical areas across the US, according to the agency. But given FDA approval for individuals to self-administer nasal swab tests at sites, the demand for personal protective equipment and trained health care providers will be reduced, a FEMA spokesperson said in a statement.

As of Friday, April 17, the United States continues to lead the world in the number of Covid-19 cases, with 692,168 confirmed cases. Of the total number of US cases, New York City has 123,146 confirmed cases-- nearly 20 percent of the country-- with 12,192 deaths statewide, according to the city statistics.The number of confirmed cases in the city increased nearly 47 percent between last week (87,725) and this week.

Of the number of current confirmed cases in the city, there have been 7,890 deaths so far, representing about 6 percent of total cases.

Across the 5 boroughs, Brooklyn has the second highest number of confirmed cases, at 32,499; and Queens has the highest, 37,447. However, the highest rates of infection is in the Bronx, with 1,835 deaths per 100,000 people and Staten Island-- which has the lowest number of cases-- is second right behind the Bronx with 1,830 confirmed cases per 100,000 people.


Mayor's Updates

Mayor de Blasio announced today the opening of three COVID-19 testing sites for communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Beginning today, NYC Health + Hospitals/ Gotham Health East New York, Morrisania, and Vanderbilt will offer COVID-19 testing on a walk-in basis, with a priority for those over the age of 65 with pre-existing conditions that put them at risk for serious illness. Two additional sites at NYC Health+ Hospitals/ Queens and NYC Health+ Hospitals/ Sydenham in Manhattan will open on Monday, April 20th.

The City will also partner with One Medical, a national digital health and primary care provider, to offer COVID-19 testing and virtual care services.

The mayor reiterated the need for testing on a citywide level and, like Cuomo, stated the city still needs help from the federal government to do so. He said 311 calls have increased from an average of 55,000 daily calls to up to 200,000 per day.

The mayor will be focused on "community testing sites," aimed at provide testing primarily to those residents in the surrounding area.

The mayor also announced plans to soon open five new testing sites (one in each borough), enabling the City to perform 3,500 tests per week. Certain New York City residents will have priority, including those 65 and older with preexisting conditions, frontline 1199SEIU workers, essential workers and other vulnerable populations, including adult care employees or those working with people with disabilities, by appointment only: 1-888-ONEMED1 or and use code NYCCARE30.

"... This additional community-based testing is going to help us a lot because at least in the meantime we can focus on addressing some of the greatest needs in the city and some of these very painful disparities that have become clearer and clearer in this crisis," de Blasio said, during his daily briefing on Friday.

"Where did we focus initially? ... We focused on saving lives, testing for the folks who are most vulnerable, who are literally the patients in the hospitals that the doctors and nurses were most concerned about saving their lives ... keeping them safe, knowing who could be on the job, who needed to be home, who needed to be given care.

"That's how we set up with the limited testing we had. Now we're focusing on the groups of people in this city who have been hardest hit by this disease in a very, very pinpointed way."

To watch the full briefing, go here:

CITY TO PROVIDE DIRECT RELIEF TO IMMIGRANTS: Mayor de Blasio announced a partnership with Open Society Foundations to establish the New York City COVID-19 Immigrant Emergency Relief program. This $20 million donation will help provide emergency monetary relief to immigrant workers and their families. The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City will create a citywide network of community based organizations that will provide direct, one-time emergency relief payments to immigrant families — including undocumented workers.

Recent Mayoral press releases

Stay Informed: Notify NYC
Over 800,000 New Yorkers have signed up for the City's COVID text notification system, "Notify NYC," to get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692.  New Yorkers can text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. If you have any questions on finding medical care call 311.

Texts this week ending 4/17/20:

  • Healthcare workers: If you need a place to stay to reduce the spread of COVID-19, visit to reserve a free hotel room.
  • New York State on PAUSE is extended through 5/15. Non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home until at least 5/15.
  • REMINDER: 3 free meals are available for ALL New Yorkers at more than 400 meal hubs, Monday-Friday:
  • Attention New Yorkers: all people must wear a face covering in public where social distancing is not possible.
  • COVID-19 resources are available for individuals with disabilities, access and functional needs:
  • New York Blood Center is seeking donations of plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19:
  • Alternate Side Parking will be suspended for an additional two weeks through Tuesday, April 28th.

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

Outlook in Brooklyn

Here is the most current number of cases of patients testing positive for Covid-19 by zip code in New York city and the percentage of patients testing positive for Covid-19 by zip code n New York City.

Other news this week included:

Brooklyn Borough President Covid-19: A Rundown and Review

The office of the Brooklyn Borough president has created a helpful guide that includes information on cash aid, unemployment assistance, student loan relief, small business loans, and additional stimulus measures.

  • The New York Road Runners 2020 Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon has been cancelled, along with all publicly permitted events that were scheduled in the month of May.
  • The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection's Office of Financial Empowerment has transitioned all financial counseling and coaching programs to offer services remotely. Book an appointment here.
  • Per Mayor De Blasio, new testing centers will be opened up across the five boroughs.  Five of these centers will focus on serving at-risk patients in neighborhoods that have seen a large number of coronavirus cases, including a center in East New York.
  • Beginning May 4th, the New York City Department of Sanitation will suspend its curbside composting program.  During the suspension, any food scraps and yard waste set out for composting will be collected as trash. Residents with brown bins should store their bins in a safe location for the duration of the suspension.
  • Governor Cuomo issued an executive order to require all New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings in public when social distancing isn't possible. In addition, Governor Cuomo is requiring nursing homes to report positive cases and deaths to families within 24 hours.
  • Women.NYC, which is powered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, released a downloadable guide for free and low-cost tech courses in New York City.
  • Mayor de Blasio announced a new $10 million ad campaign targeting ethnic media in 88 ZIP codes and in 15 languages. Black and Latino neighborhoods have been hardest hit by the virus. Please watch and share my recent PSA  for the Latino community.  Hispanic New Yorkers have suffered the highest death rates from COVID-19, and Black and Latino residents are dying at roughly twice the rate of Caucasian people.
  • Governor Cuomo announced that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Delaware will form a regional working group that will begin hashing out the details on how to reopen the region's economies, schools, and other important elements.
  • Per Governor Cuomo, the PAUSE plan will stay in effect through Wednesday, April 29th. The maximum social distancing fines have been increased from $500 to $1,000. 100 percent of a non-exempt essential service business's workforce should stay home. Guidelines on what essential services must still be in person can be found here. A halt on all non-essential public gatherings remains in effect.
  • The Trump Administration is moving to delay some deadlines for the 2020 Census due to the coronavirus, including delivering data to states for congressional redistricting. The Census Bureau is requesting Congress to allow a 120-day delay on some data-reporting deadlines. The delay would accommodate social distancing guidelines for workers to prevent the spread of the disease and extend the deadline from December 2020 to April 2021. You can do your part to secure respect, money, and resources with the 2020 Census. Please fill out the Census online and #MakeBrooklynCount.
  • If you or your house of worship would like to sign up to participate in this rolling 24-hour prayer initiative, go to to share and commit to the day you are planning to hold your vigil.
  • NYCHA's journal has information about how they are responding to COVID-19. Information is available here about hardship reductions for NYCHA residents struggling to pay rent.
  • NYC Parks has closed dog runs as a part of ongoing efforts to maintain social distancing in public spaces. They will also remove any remaining basketball rims and tennis nets and lock up all courts with a gate, including handball courts. Last week, Governor Cuomo announced the closure of all New York City playgrounds. Parks will remain open for the time being.
  • New York Cares is currently mobilizing volunteers to respond to COVID-19.
  • New Yorkers can use their SNAP benefits to order online.
  • The City has streamlined the home delivery of meals to seniors and working to support our food pantries, who are critical partners in these efforts. In the interim, you can find a list of key resources at or by calling 311 and saying "Get Food."
  • The Summer Youth Employment Program has been suspended for 2020.
  • All child care centers, with the exception of emergency child services operated or authorized by the New York City Department of Education, have been closed.
  • Free and low-cost childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis are available through Workers Need Childcare, for parents and caregivers in NYC's essential workforce.
  • Temporary toilets and hand washing stations will be made available citywide in 12 locations, by the New York City Department of Social Services.  There are currently two Brooklyn locations: under the BQE on Meeker and Sutton and on 61st Street and 10th Avenue.
  • Mental health professionals have signed up to volunteer their services at a FREE hotline. Call (844) 863-9314 for a free appointment.
  • 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
  • The senior center meals program is now 100 percent delivery, rather than grab-and-go. Seniors should call their local senior center for more information if they haven't already received meals.
  • The application for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) opened last Friday for businesses and nonprofits under 500 people. It's first-come, first-served. More information here.
  • New York City needs your medical ventilators, old or new, not in use. Please let us know here if you have any. If you have face shields, gloves, gowns, or anything that might help to donate/volunteer, go to
  • Numerous businesses have reached out about how they can provide support. The City launched this intake form and a designated hotline (833-NYC-0040) for local businesses that have resources to offer that can potentially support the COVID-19 emergency response effort.
  • The City has created a new, online portal that will allow New Yorkers to self-report COVID-19 data, helping the City to communicate with affected members of the public and assist in the identification of areas that may require an enhanced response. By going online or calling 311, New Yorkers can quickly input information about themselves and legal guardians can add information for children or adults in their care. New Yorkers can update their status at any time through the Portal or by calling 311. The Portal is available in 11 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. It is not intended as a mechanism for providing medical advice or treatment, and should not be relied upon as a method to obtain medical care or emergency service. Personal information will be stored securely and only accessible to City employees protecting public health. It will not be accessible by ICE, or used for law enforcement or any other purpose.
  • Banks will waive mortgage payments for 90 days and suspend foreclosures. Eligibility is based on financial hardship. Late payment fees and ATM overdraft fees are also suspended. All student loan interest has been suspended.
  • Tax Day has been pushed back from Wednesday, April 15th to Wednesday, July 15th. This is an extension for federal tax returns; we have also called for an extension of state tax returns. As per Mayor de Blasio, all tax lien sales will be postponed from May until at least August.
  • The Employee Retention Grant for small businesses with four or fewer employees is available and includes space for you to add March and April's revenue.  Information and eligibility can be found here. Additionally, loans are available for small businesses affected by COVID-19, the application can be accessed here. The Small Business Continuity Fund will offer financial assistance to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for loans of up to $75,000, to help retain employees and ensure business continuity.
  • We have partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to get businesses the relief they deserve amid the pandemic. Join the Small Business Hotline via the Brooklyn App.
  • Per Governor Cuomo, the statewide school shutdown is extended through Wednesday, April 29th at this time, although Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced that New York City public schools are remote learning and are closed until September 2020. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) will provide computers and internet access to every student who needs it. Call (718) 935-5100 (press 5). Parents and guardians of students with disabilities can send questions to
  • For more information about DOE's Regional Enrichment Centers, visit their website.
  • 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, or text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for lists of where meals are being served.
  • For veterans and their families, the NYC Veterans Alliance has a list of resources on their website.
  • MTA buses and subways remain open, and the NYC Ferry system and Staten Island Ferry will continue to operate. MTA buses are rear-door boarding-only, with exceptions for disabled riders. On local buses, that means no more fare collection. Regular fare policy remains in effect wherever on-board payment boxes or SBS off-board ticket machines continue to be accessible.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP) is suspended through Tuesday, April 28th. Parking meters are still in effect. Rideshares and carpools have been banned by executive order.  With the exception of families, there can only be one passenger per vehicle.
  • The City is recruiting TLC-licensed drivers through DeliveryTLC to help with work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but they expect it to increase as they expand the programs.
  • The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is fining and shutting down non-essential construction sites. Essential construction may continue and such construction includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals, or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. A map of essential and emergency construction sites allowed to continue working can be found here.
  • While all Brooklyn Public Library branches are closed until further notice, services and programming are still available online at their website.
  • A statewide eviction moratorium is currently in effect, including residential and commercial properties as well as foreclosures, according to the Office of Court Administration. The City will work with the State to suspend the Rent Guidelines Board process for the coming year, which will maintain all regulated rents at their current level for 2.3 million tenants in nearly one million stabilized units across the city.
  • Utilities have been ordered to not shut off service for gas, water, or electricity. Internet services will not be cut off during this time.

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

*Thank you to the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo 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.