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The Week in Covid-19 (5/15/20): Brooklyn, Here's Everything You Need to Know so Far

Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to add testing sites; says city is on target to reach 20,000 test per day by May 25 
Photo: By Big Joe for Shutterstock

NY State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday extended New York's state's stay-at-home order until at least May 28, unless areas meet designated conditions to begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In an executive order, Cuomo said five regions of the state have met the conditions and can begin the first phase of reopening Friday: Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley.

People in those regions would still be required to wear face coverings in stores or if they were to come within six feet of others, said Cuomo. Officials in those regions will be required to monitor new virus cases and adjust regulations if the infection rate rises.

In order for a region to open, it must have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations and deaths on a three-day rolling average, fewer than two new COVID-19 patients per 100,000 residents per day and hospitals with a 90-day stockpile of personal protective equipment for health care workers, among other conditions, according to CBS New York.

New York City still must meet three of the benchmarks, and the Mid-Hudson Valley is missing two, the outlet reported.

Image: The New York Times

All K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed and continue to provide distance learning, meal delivery and childcare services for the remainder of the school year.

Governor Cuomo extended the state's disaster emergency declaration to June 13, according to ABC7, and the moratorium on evictions and foreclosure was extended through August 20.

However, the two-month extension of the eviction ban only applies to renters and homeowners unable to pay rent or mortgage payments due to COVID-19 or who qualify for unemployment benefits. Governor Cuomo also banned late fees, and is allowing renters to use their security deposits to pay their monthly rent, but security deposits must be repaid within 90 days of their usage.


  • As of Friday, May 15, there have been 1,420,299 coronavirus cases in the United States, and the death toll is 85,992 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • Also on Friday, in a 208-199 vote, the House passed a sweeping bill to spend more than $3 trillion for Covid-19 relief and a rules change to allow lawmakers to vote remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • But most Republicans have dismissed the aid package as a liberal wish list and another far-reaching legislative response to the pandemic without first waiting to see the results of the trillions of dollars in aid that have already been enacted.
  • A bioengineering team from Harvard and MIT is designing a face mask that glows when it comes in contact with coronavirus.
  • U.S. retail sales dropped by 16.4 percent in April, as businesses shut down and shoppers stayed home. Friday's data release from the Census Bureau blew past analyst expectations and smashed March's revised decline of 8.3 percent.
  • The Lancet's unsigned editorial concluded that Trump should be replaced. "Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics," said the journal.
  • Vaccine expert Rick Bright warned Congress on Thursday that the nation faces the "darkest winter in modern history" if the government does not develop a more coordinated coronavirus response.


As of Friday May 1, 2020, there have been more than 309,696 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York, including more than 193,663 in New York City. More than 19,904 people with COVID-19 have died in the state, not including the deaths of people with probable cases.

The lawmakers behind the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund rolled out on Thursday a bill that would create a similar financial rescue fund for essential workers who suffer or die from the coronavirus pandemic.

Comptroller Scott Stringer is launching an investigation into city's coronavirus response. His own mother was among the coronavirus victims, and now City Comptroller Scott Stringer wants to get to the bottom of how the pandemic ravaged the city.

Hospitalizations and deaths in NYC so far

New York City is now conducting an average of 17,500 coronavirus tests daily — a fraction of the tens or hundreds of thousands Mayor de Blasio said are necessary for plans to gradually lift restrictions. He is recommending more people get tested.

New York City opened up two miles of street to pedestrian use, including Willoughby Street from Pearl Street to Lawrence Street and Lawrence Street from Fulton Street to Willoughby Street. To find an open street near you, click here.

Mayor's Updates

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been focused on increasing testing sites and capacity. A few weeks ago, he said the goal was to get to 20,000 tests per day by May 25, and according to the mayor, the city is on target to reach that goal.

Currently, there are 23 walk-in sites open and managed through a collaboration with Health and Hospitals; five more through the collaboration with One Medical and local 1199. That's a total of 28 sites. You can call 311 to find a testing location or you can go online

Currently, there are 11 community sites open-- eight at Health and Hospitals clinics all over the five boroughs, three at New York City Housing Authority sites:Jonathan Williams Houses in Williamsburg, at the Woodside Houses in Woodside, Queens, and Saint Nicholas Houses in Harlem.

Opening the week of May 18 in Brooklyn is the 1223 Coney Island Avenue site. And then the following week, the week of May, 25, two more sites in Brooklyn open: Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, and Canarsie. As well as a handful of other site in  in Manhattan in East Harlem, Queens in Woodside, the Bronx and Staten Island, bringing capacity to us up to 10,700 tests a day.

The mayor also weighed in on the 100 cases of Pediatric Multi-Symptom Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS), a rare infectious disease connected to COVID-19 that has infected 100 NYC children and has resulted in one death so far: "This is really troubling and I say it as a parent, it's really troubling to see now after we thought we understood a consistent pattern, something new has been happening and the pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome," said de Blasio at his daily press conference on Thursday. "This is a deep concern and we're going to throw everything we've got at it."

The mayor announced a the launch of webinar series that will be attended by healthcare practitioners at all 23 pediatric ICUs across New York City and will provide emerging updates and protocol for dealing with PMIS: "Every day going forward, the Health Department epidemiologists will reach out to all 23 pediatric ICUs on a regular basis following up on literally every case, even new or suspected cases to check on what's happening."

The mayor spoke at length about the recent multiple incidents of racial profiling by NYPD in its enforcement of social distancing regulation which have resulted in aggressive or violent treatment of people of color-- men and women-- compared to communities that are predominantly white that also are not social distancing. Many of the incidents have been recorded and have made news headlines for the past two weeks, eliciting outcries by residents and elected official, including the state's Attorney General Letitia James.

The mayor rebuked unequal enforcement, but also alluded to disrespect and non-compliance as a challenge, while referring to the virus as something new for the city and statement social distancing enforcement was something "we're still trying to figure out."

"But what we saw there did not reflect our values," he said referring to a video of woman who was violently arrested on Wednesday in the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station in front of her child for not wearing her mask properly. "It did not reflect our goals of de-escalation and we have to do better, and it's my responsibility and the Commissioner's responsibility to find that path forward and we will, and I feel very confident about that. We will figure out a way — if I didn't feel confident about it, I'd tell you.

Watch the mayor's full 5/1 update here:

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 5/15/20:

  • New Yorkers with symptoms or questions about COVID-19 can call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect to a medical provider free of charge 9 am - 9 pm.
  • When home isn't safe, domestic violence survivors can find services 24/7 at, 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) or 911 for emergencies.
  • Alternate Side Parking is suspended through 5/17. It will resume between 5/18-5/24 for cleaning & be suspended again from 5/25 through 6/7
  • NYC Open Streets are here to help New Yorkers practice safe social distancing. For a list of locations, visit
  • New Yorkers: Get a free face covering at a NYC Park. To find the closest distribution location, date, & time, visit
  • Starting 5/6, no subway service from 1AM-5AM as MTA disinfects all trains & stations. Essential Service Plan buses will operate.
  • Healthcare workers: If you need a place to stay to reduce the spread of COVID-19, visit to reserve a free hotel room.
  • When home isn't safe, domestic violence survivors can find services 24/7 at, 1-800-621-HOPE(4673) or 911 for emergencies.

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


The City of New York is expanding testing for COVID-19 rapidly throughout the five boroughs. Testing is free, but at most sites, an appointment is required. Register online or by phone. Here are the sites in Brooklyn so far:

NYC Health + Hospitals (Sheepshead Bay)
2601 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11235
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland (Fort Greene)
100 North Portland Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11205
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM — 2:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health,  (East New York)
2094 Pitkin Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11207
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Ida G. Israel Community Health Center (Coney Island)
2925 W 19th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Monday - Saturday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Jonathan Williams Houses (Williamsburg)
333 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County (Flatbush)
451 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11203
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull (Bed-Stuy/Bushwick)
760 Broadway
Brooklyn, New York 11206
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

One Medical, Brooklyn (Crown Heights)
Medgar Ever College
Hours: Daily, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
By appointment only.
(888) 663-6331
Register online: use code NYCCARE30

As of Friday, May 15, 47,579 residents of Kings County (Brooklyn) have tested positive, and of those who have contracted the virus, 4,262 have died.

Other news in Brooklyn 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.

  • As of 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28th, there are 159,865 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City and 42,380 confirmed cases in Brooklyn. As of 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28th, there were 12,287 confirmed deaths citywide, with an additional 5,302 probable deaths, including 3,678 confirmed deaths and 1,300 probable deaths in Brooklyn.
  • As per Governor Cuomo, all registered voters may apply for an Absentee Ballot to vote in the upcoming June 23rd elections.
  • As per Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza, an adjusted K-12 citywide grading policy will be put into effect.
  • The Formula E venue at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on July 11, 2020 has been cancelled.
  • The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) has canceled June's Democratic Presidential primary.
  • 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.
  • New York Road Runners has released an online portal to keep you "Active at Home."
  • SOMOS Community Care has opened an antibody testing center in Sunset Park. It is available by appointment only, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Call 1-833-SOMOSNY (1-833-766-6769) for an appointment.
  • New York City partnered with T-Mobile to provide free tablets with internet access to 10,000 the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seniors to stay connected with their families including a hotline for live human help.  The first neighborhoods to receive help from the $5 million venture will be Brownsville, Bushwick, Coney Island, East New York, Red Hook, and Mott Haven.
  • The Coalition for the Homeless has resources online to help homeless New Yorkers, including downloadable borough-specific resource guides, a crisis hotline, mobile soup kitchen schedule, New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) guidance, and policy papers.
  • All publicly permitted events that were scheduled in the month of May and June have been cancelled.
  • 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.
  • Beginning May 4th, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) 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.
  • The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that the opening of its recreational boating season will be postponed until May 23rd.
  • 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 — 1:00 PM to leave a message with your name and contact information or visit for more information.
  • 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.
  • Per Governor Cuomo, the PAUSE plan will stay in effect through Wednesday, May 15th. The maximum social distancing fines have been increased from $500 to $1,000. One hundred 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 novel 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 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 have waived mortgage payments for 90 days and suspended 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 to Wednesday, July 15th. 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.
  • Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced that New York City public schools are remote learning and are closed until September 2020. The 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
  • 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, May 12th. 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 for content to this list.  For more updates and resources, you can visit the BP's coronavirus online update here.