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The Week in COVID-19 (11/13/20): Brooklyn, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The country is facing a surge in coronavirus cases, prompting lockdowns in several states as hospitalizations and daily case numbers hit record levels. In New York, a second wave is imminent and new restrictions have been put in place on restaurants, gyms and gatherings, and it is likely public schools will close as early as next week.
Brooklyn museum
Brooklyn Museum reopening. Photo: Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez for BK Reader.

Over the past week, COVID-19 has killed more than 1,000 Americans a day.

On Thursday, there were 163,402 new cases of COVID-19 reported in United States, bringing the total number of people who have been infected in the country to more than 10,728,000.

Over the past two weeks, the weekly average of positive cases has increased by 72% to 134,078 cases per day as the virus to continues to ravage the country and break in new records in case numbers and hospitalizations.

By Friday the country had surpassed 243,300 deaths.

The U.S. has recorded more cases than any other country and with the virus at unseen heights states are entering or reentering lockdowns. On Friday, Oregon and New Mexico announced new lockdown measures.

Reports of new cases are increasing in 46 states and states across the Midwest are facing dire circumstances with hospital capacities.

Pfizer has announced early trials of its vaccine show it is 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 and there is talk it will approved in as soon as a month, meaning it could hit the market as early as next year.

The country continues to be divided about how to tackle the virus, and the divisions fall largely along political lines. President Donald Trump has all but stopped governing and is taking no action over the virus, whereas President-elect Joe Biden has said tackling the virus is his number one priority.

In New York, the second wave of the virus is starting to hit as positivity rates across neighborhoods climb. Restaurants and gyms will now have to close to the public at 10 p.m. and gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned.

If cases continue to rise, New York City schools could face closure as soon as next week. Staten Island has been added to the list of hotspot areas where Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented restrictions a month ago. Many original areas are still facing some restrictions, although some have been relaxed.

In Europe, a second wave has hit hard and countries have implemented strict lockdowns to bring the virus under control.

The global death toll from the virus is 1,300,076 and in the United States more than 243,300 people have died.


Total cases as of November 13, 2020:

  • On Friday, infections in the U.S. were 163,402, shattering global records and highlighting the virus shows no signs of slowing down.
  • On average, 134,078 people have been infected each day this week, up from 77,000 two weeks ago or 72%
  • As of Friday, more than 10,728,000have been infected with the coronavirus nationwide and at least 243,300 have died
  • On Thursday, hospitals set a nation record for the third day straight for the number of COVID-19 admissions, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
  • Over the past week, 1,000 Americans have died each day. Although that number is horrifying and shocking, it is half the rate Americans were dying from the virus in April
  • With Thanksgiving approaching, Dr. Anthony Fauci has urged the nation to adjust their plans to protect themselves and their families from infection. He said on CBS This Morning: "If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down. You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile."
  • Pfizer has announced its vaccine shows signs of being 90% effective. Israel has already signed a deal to buy enough to vaccinate 4 million of its citizens.
  • 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.
  • Although the virus is worsening on the coasts and new lockdowns are being put in place, it is accelerating even faster at the center of the country and putting strain on healthcare systems and forcing officials to make decisions over lockdowns.
  • 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 November 13, there have been 276,976 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City, and 24,099 deaths.

In the state that those numbers are 550,516 cases and 33,424, according to a New York Times database.

The 7-day positivity average is 2.72% and over the last 7 days there has been 6,218 new cases, according to city data.

As cases increase and positivity rates rise, new restrictions are being put in place in the city. Restaurants and gyms will now have to close at 10 p.m. and there is a very real possibility public schools will be closing as soon as Monday.

Recently, the City Council voted to permanently install outdoor dining on city streets, but many restaurants fear that will not be enough to sustain them through winter and day-on-day small restaurants and other city businesses are closing their doors for good.

A large increase in positive coronavirus tests in several ZIP codes across the city led Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to put 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 4wear 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's Update:

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said COVID was raging nationally, setting record numbers of cases and hospitalizations each day, saying "the fall surge is here."

On Friday he said he the state would likely have to take action, and he was having emergency summit with governors from surrounding states over the weekend.

"I believe the situation is going to continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks, I think you're going to see an increasing rise in the number of cases," he said. He added he respected the mayor's plans around school closures, but said positive test rates in schools remained low and the real issue stemmed from bars, restaurants, gyms and living room spread.

On Thursday, the positivity rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas was 4.86%. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 2.53%. There were 1,677 total hospitalizations and 29 New Yorkers died because of the virus.

Cuomo said Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be having a virtual celebration broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving morning, but due to the pandemic, there will be no audience.

The parade will also forgo the annual procession to avoid large crowds but will feature performances from Dolly Parton, the Muppets, the cast of Hamilton and more.

Cuomo urged New Yorkers to be vigilant over the holidays, avoid gatherings and keep up hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.

"Once again, it's up to what we do. What happens next is a pure consequence of our actions now. I know it has been a long hard time, but these next weeks are going to be crucial and we need people to buckle down to fend off the worst. If there is a time to show that we are New York Tough, it's now. "

Mayor's Updates:

Mayor Bill de Blasio has urged all New Yorkers to take action to prevent further spread of the virus.

This week, de Blasio instituted new restrictions:

  • Bars and restaurants with liquor licenses must close by 10 pm
  • Indoor residential gatherings/house parties will be limited to 10 people
  • Gyms will close at 10 pm
  • Staten Island will become a Yellow Zone, with public gatherings limited to 25 people and houses of worship to 50% capacity. Schools and businesses will remain open, however.

Hospitalizations in the city are the highest they have been since June and the 7-day average positivity is almost at 3%, the point all public schools would close. In other words, New York City's second wave is arriving and the daily positivity rate was at 2.83% Friday.

Evidence that indoor dining and other indoor activities are high-risk is mounting and the chances of restaurants reopening beyond 25% capacity, or even being allowed indoor dining at all, are looking grim.

De Blasio said the city had long known it may have to "turn the system on or off" at various points, but his goal would be to close schools for the shortest possible time.

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, November 13 there have been 80,008 confirmed cases in Brooklyn, up from 73,016 two weeks ago. In the borough there have been 7,443 deaths, up from 5,749 two weeks ago.

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

Restrictions in Southern Brooklyn have been somewhat loosened, but the virus is now spiking in other neighborhoods including East New York and around East Brooklyn.

In a report, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams recommends the swift and orderly closure of non-essential indoor businesses such as gyms, nail and hair salons, and houses of worship, in addition to shutting down indoor dining. In order to support those small businesses amid closure, he calls for the federal government to provide the level of local relief necessary - in particular with a new federal administration taking office in the coming months. He also says the city should be ready and prepared for school closures to combat the second wave.

To see if you are in a COVID-19 color coded zone, check here.

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:


  • 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
  • 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-PresbyterianMount 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


  • 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.


  • 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, 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
  • 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.