|COVID-19 pandemic in|
the state of New York
A testing center in Staten Island
Confirmed cases per 100,000 residents by county
|Location||New York state, U.S.|
|Arrival date||mid-February 2020|
(1st positive March 1)
|Hospitalized cases||89,995 (total)|
The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. state of New York during the pandemic was confirmed on March 1, 2020, and the state quickly became an epicenter of the pandemic, with a record 12,274 new cases reported on April 4. By April 10, New York had more confirmed cases than any other country besides its own, but, since then, the outbreak has been mostly controlled in the state.As of July 12, 2020 , there have been 4.7 million tests, 402,263 confirmed cases, and 24,989 confirmed deaths.
New York has the highest number of confirmed cases of any state in the United States. In May 2020, nearly one-fourth of known U.S. cases were in New York state (down from one-third in April). More than half of the state's cases are in New York City, where nearly half the state's population lives. Despite the high number of cases in March and April, by May 7, 2020 New York had reduced the rate of increase of new cases to less than 1 percent per day.
Unlike many other states New York has not seen a spike or "second wave" in the daily new case rate. As of July 8, the seven day moving average is 651 new cases per day, down 14-fold from a high of 9,664 on April 9, 2020. New York State's successful response to its serious early COVID-19 outbreak more closely resembles the success of EU countries in bringing the pandemic under control, in sharp contrast to US states like Florida, Texas and Arizona that followed President Trump's advice to open the economy early.
Genetic analysis confirmed that most cases of the virus had mutations indicating a European origin, meaning travelers flying to New York City from Europe brought the virus in. Americans visiting Italy in late February and returning to New York on March 1 were not asked by customs if they had spent time in Italy, even though the State Department had urged Americans not to travel to Italy on February 29 (the same day Italy reported 1,100 COVID cases). An American who spent months in Milan and returned to New York's JFK Airport on March 3 was only asked if she had been to China or Iran; the same day Italy reported 2,200 COVID cases. According to statistical models, New York City already had 600 COVID-19 cases in mid-February, and as many as 10,000 cases by March 1.
This section needs to be updated.May 2020)(
March 1 saw the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York State, a 39-year-old woman health care worker who lived in Manhattan, who had returned from Iran on February 25 with no symptoms at the time. She went into home isolation with her husband.
On March 3, a second case was confirmed, a lawyer in his 50s who lived in New Rochelle, Westchester County, immediately north of New York City, and worked in Midtown Manhattan at a law firm within One Grand Central Place. He had traveled to Miami in February, but had not visited areas known to have widespread transmission of the coronavirus. Two of his four children had recently returned from Israel. After first feeling ill on February 22, he was admitted to a hospital in Westchester on February 27, diagnosed with pneumonia, and released from isolation after testing negative for the flu. Instances of panic buying in New York were reported after his case was confirmed.
On March 4, the number of cases in New York State increased to 11 as nine people linked to the lawyer tested positive, including his wife, a son, a daughter, a neighbor, and a friend and his family.
On March 5, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that coronavirus fears should not keep New Yorkers off the subway, riding from Fulton Street to High Street in a public press attempt to demonstrate the subway's safety.
On March 6, eleven new cases were reported, bringing the state caseload to 33. All the new cases were tied to the first community transmission case, the lawyer. At the end of the day, an additional 11 new cases were reported by the governor, bringing the total caseload to 44, with 8 of the new cases in Westchester County, and 3 in Nassau County on Long Island. Also on March 6, an article appeared in the New York Post stating that while Mayor de Blasio assigned responsibility for the lack of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment to the federal government, the city never ordered the supplies until that date.
On March 8, the state reported 16 new confirmed cases and a total of 106 cases statewide. New York City issued new commuter guidelines amid the current outbreak, asking sick individuals to stay off public transit, encouraging citizens to avoid densely packed buses, subways, or trains.
On March 9, Mayor de Blasio announced that there were 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City. On March 10, Governor Cuomo announced a containment zone in the city of New Rochelle from March 12 to 25.
On March 11, Cuomo announced that the City University of New York and State University of New York schools would be closed for the following week, from March 12 to 19. These college systems would move most classes to an online-based system starting March 19, and continuing through the rest of the spring semester. Dormitories will remain open for students "who cannot return home for hardship reasons." Also on March 11, a man in Monroe County tested positive, making it the first county in Western New York to have a COVID-19 case. Officials said he flew into JFK from Italy, traveled on a Greyhound bus from Manhattan to Rochester, and arrived locally the morning of March 10. The bus continued on to Buffalo and Toronto.
On March 12, the first two cases were confirmed in Albany County, leading Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan to suspend the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. The same day, a staff member at Union College tested positive for coronavirus in Schenectady County, marking the county's first case.
On March 13, Herkimer County saw its first confirmed case but declined to disclose the patient's location. The patient later was revealed to have been from the Mohawk/Ilion area, just south of Herkimer, the county seat.
On March 14, the first two fatalities in the state occurred. An 82-year-old woman in Brooklyn with pre-existing emphysema died in the hospital. A 65-year-old person with other significant health problems who had not previously been tested for COVID-19 died at their home in Suffern, Rockland County. It was also announced that three people in Erie County tested positive for COVID-19.Orange County, Dutchess County and Ulster County closed down all their schools.
On March 15, the third fatality in the state was announced. A 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues died, who had been admitted to a New York City hospital.
On March 16, Clinton County reported its first case, at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh. No further information has been revealed about the patient. Confirmed cases increased by 4,000 between March 22 and 23, which brought the total number of confirmed cases statewide to nearly 21,000. 12,305 of these were in New York City.
On March 24, Cuomo stated that "The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought." He warned there was not enough assistance from the federal government and that the state had 25,000 cases and at least 210 deaths. 211 NYPD officers and civilian employees have tested positive for COVID-19. In total, 2,774 NYPD employees, 7.6 percent of the workforce, were sick. There were approximately 4,000 positive cases in Westchester County by March 24, and more than 15,000 confirmed cases by April 9.
On March 26, Cuomo announced that the state would allow two patients to share one ventilator using a technique he called "splitting," where a second set of tubes would be added to the ventilator. COVID-19 patients need ventilators for between 11 and 21 days, while under normal circumstances patients usually only require them for three to four days. He also said the state was considering converting anesthesia machines to use as ventilators. Between March 25 and March 26, there were 100 deaths statewide, with the number of hospitalized patients increasing by 40 percent in New York City.
Researchers at Cornell University created an interactive map to visualize the spread of COVID-19 in New York State.
After trying to purchase 200,000 N95 masks on February 7, the Office of Emergency Management learned that vendors were out of stock. Emergency provisions of masks and hand sanitizers did not arrive until early March. One medical supply vendor with standing city contracts said that the initial requests for protective gear from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) were bogged down by inefficient bureaucratic delays. One vendor said, "We'd send them a list of products we can deliver within 24, 48 hours," but on average it took 72 hours for the agency to place an order. He added "the city just moves so slow" when there was very high demand coming from hospitals and the private sector. According to the contractor, eight out of 10 supply orders could not be filled because DCAS did not pay on time, which a spokeswoman for New York City denied. The office of the comptroller approved 12 contracts with a total value of $150 million before the mayor's office took over the process on March 16. Mayor de Blasio said that the city may run out of supplies by April if the federal government does not send 3 million N95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, and 45 million surgical gowns, gloves, and face shields.
One EMS worker expressed frustration at being asked to wear the less-effective surgical masks. The police union filed a complaint on March 13 due to NYPD officers not being given masks and other protective gear. A spokeswoman called the Police Benevolent Association's complaint "empty rhetoric".
New York gave a $69 million contract to a Silicon Valley engineer to provide 1,000 ventilators. The ventilators were never delivered. As of May 5, New York was seeking a refund. The engineer's name had been supplied by federal officials, and they had received it from volunteers in the office of Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Trump. According to the New York Times, it appears the engineer had not been vetted by anyone.
The situation at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens has been described by one of the doctors there as "apocalyptic". As elsewhere, family members of coronavirus patients are not allowed in the hospital. On March 25, several news outlets reported the hospital was at its "breaking point" after 13 patients died within a 24-hour period. Admissions decreased during the first week of April, but doctors said that the reason was that they were sending home patients who would have been admitted if there were space for them.
Dr. David Reich, President and COO of Mount Sinai Hospital, announced in March that the hospital was converting its lobbies into extra patient rooms to "meet the growing volume of patients" suffering from coronavirus. A 68-bed COVID-19 respiratory care unit was set up in Central Park in Manhattan. At the end of March, at hospitals such as Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, sidewalk morgues were set up on city streets to deal with the overflow of corpses from the pandemic.
On March 28, The New York Times reported that the city's 911 emergency response system was "overwhelmed" due to the large number of coronavirus patients needing transport to the hospital. Dispatchers received more than 7,000 calls on March 26, a record since the September 11 attacks. Emergency workers had to decide which cases to prioritize, and some patients were being left at home without medical care. In addition, paramedics lacked sufficient protective gear.
The private corporations responsible for testing have a limited testing capacity. Eventually, their testing capacity will reach a bottleneck where it becomes increasingly difficult to conduct more tests per day. Backlogs for test results continue to increase in multiple states such as California, where it can take weeks to receive test results.
The FDA has approved New York State to authorize the state's 28 public and private labs to begin manual, semi-automated and automated testing for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The approval allows the state to dramatically increase testing capacity to thousands of tests per day. The approval also extends to the Roche high-volume platform for testing. New York State's Wadsworth Lab has developed a new, less intrusive test for COVID-19. The new test is done through a saliva sample and a self-administered short nasal swab in the presence of a healthcare professional. Additionally, health care professionals can self-administer the test without another health care professional present.
On March 2, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that people should ignore the virus and "go on with your lives + get out on the town despite coronavirus." At a news conference on March 3, New York City Commissioner of Health Oxiris Barbot said "we are encouraging New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives."
On March 4, at another news conference, authorities described the epidemic caused by the virus and the pandemic as "caused by fear," and reassured the public that the situation would be under control given the capabilities of New York's health care system. Barbot issued a statement that "There's no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who's potentially sick is a risk factor." On March 5 she said that New Yorkers without symptoms should not have to quarantine. The advice to continue taking public transportation given by city officials during the early stages of the pandemic is now believed to have contributed to the intensity of the outbreak in New York City.
On March 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. The following day, the Governor called for private testing due to demand outpacing the ability to test. The Governor called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to approve private testing and also approve automated testing. Responding to the rush on hand sanitizer buying in the state and reported price gouging, Cuomo revealed on March 9 that the state would begin producing its own hand sanitizers, manufactured by prisoners in the state's correctional system.
On March 10, de Blasio said about COVID-19 that "[t]his disease, even if you were to get it, basically acts like a common cold or flu."
On March 12, Cuomo announced restrictions on mass gatherings, directing events with more than 500 people to be cancelled or postponed and any gathering with fewer than 500 people to cut capacity by 50 percent. In addition, only medically necessary visits would be allowed at nursing homes.
Cuomo announced that all Broadway theaters had been ordered to shut down at 5 p.m. that day, and that public gatherings in congregate spaces with more than 500 people were prohibited beginning 5 p.m. the following day. The legal capacity of any venue with a capacity of 500 people or fewer was also reduced by half to discourage large gatherings.
As part of the announcement, Cuomo waived the requirement that schools be open for 180 days that year in order to be eligible for state aid. It was also announced this day that all SUNY campuses would be mandated to close by March 19 and move to a distance-learning model for the remainder of the semester. The next day, all public school districts in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley, which had reported their first cases earlier in the week, announced they would close for the next two weeks. The Warwick schools in Orange County added that they would remain closed through April 14, when their annual spring break would normally end.
On March 13, all public schools in Herkimer County announced they, too, would close until April 14. The county B.O.C.E.S. program and all its participating school districts' superintendents met and unanimously voted for the decision less than a day after the first confirmed case had been announced in the county. That day, pressure from the teachers union (reported as "furious" about the schools remaining opened) and some city council members was mounting on the Mayor of New York City to close schools. De Blasio stated that he would keep the schools open, citing the need for meal programs to continue and child care to continue.
On March 15, Cuomo announced that New York City schools would close the following day through April 20, and gave the city 24 hours to come up with a plan for child care and food. Public schools in Westchester, Suffolk, and Nassau would close on March 16 and stay closed for two weeks. New York City Mayor de Blasio also announced that all schools, bars, and restaurants in the city were to be closed starting 9 a.m. on March 17, except for food takeout and delivery.
On March 16, The New York Times reported that for the past week, the mayor's "top aides were furiously trying to change the mayor's approach to the coronavirus outbreak. There had been arguments and shouting matches between the mayor and some of his advisers; some top health officials had even threatened to resign if he refused to accept the need to close schools and businesses, according to several people familiar with the internal discussions."
On March 17, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 814 citywide, de Blasio announced that the city was considering a similar shelter-in-place order within the next 48 hours. Across the boroughs of New York City, there were 277 confirmed cases in Manhattan, 248 in Queens, 157 in Brooklyn, 96 in the Bronx, and 36 in Staten Island. Seven city residents had died of the virus. Mayor de Blasio's comments were quickly rebuked by Cuomo's office, and again later by the governor himself in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, issued a statement during the mayor's briefing, clarifying state government was not considering shelter-in-place orders at the time. Cuomo said later that morning, "We hear 'New York City is going to quarantine itself.' That is not true. That cannot happen. It cannot happen legally. No city in the state can quarantine itself without state approval. And I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city."
On March 18, Cuomo reaffirmed that he would not approve a "shelter-in-place" order for New York City. "That is not going to happen, shelter in place, for New York City," Cuomo said, "For any city or county to take an emergency action, the state has to approve it. And I wouldn't approve shelter in place." He also announced that nearly 5,000 tests were administered on March 17, raising the total number to 14,597 people tested. Cuomo suggested that this may in part have led to the jump in confirmed cases to 2,382 statewide, including 1,871 cases in New York City. Also on March 18, the Department of Defense said the Navy's hospital ship USNS Comfort was being prepared for deployment in New York, "to assist potentially overwhelmed communities with acute patient care".
On March 20, de Blasio called for drastic measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. "We have to go to a shelter-in-place model," he said, praising California's "stay at home" model for sheltering in place. Cuomo announced the statewide stay-at-home order, also known as the NYS on Pause Program, with a mandate that all non-essential workers work from home beginning at 8pm on March 22, 2020. Only businesses declared as essential by the program are allowed to remain open.
Also that day, the New York State Thruway Authority announced it would change its tolling procedures for travelers who do not use EZPass, its Electronic toll collection system. Instead of receiving a ticket whenever they enter the 570-mile (920 km) Thruway system, they are now instructed to inform toll collectors of their entry point at the toll plaza where they exit the highway, and then their license plate number will be recorded. A bill for the toll will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle by mail; the authority said it would continue with its plans to convert the entire system to cashless tolling by the end of the year.
On March 22, Trump announced that he had directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide four large federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York. On March 23, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to use convalescent antibody-rich blood plasma, as a stopgap measure for the disease. On March 24, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, advised people who had left New York City to self-quarantine for 14 days. On March 29, 2020, CBS News reporter Maria Mercader, a New York City resident, died from a COVID-19 related illness.
On March 25, 2020, Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory requiring the admission of patients to nursing homes who test positive for the coronavirus and barred testing prospective nursing home patients. This order was revoked on May 10 after widespread criticism from medical experts. Over 6,000 New York state nursing home residents have died of COVID as of June 2020.  By early May, 5,000 people had died in New York nursing homes. Cuomo's order would be reversed on May 10, but only after 5,800 people died as a result of the policy. Governor Andrew Cuomo later claimed that his government only followed CDC and CMS guidelines from March 13 offering this "edited" quote "Nursing homes should admit any individuals from hospitals where Covid is present."
On March 26, Trump announced that USNS Comfort would head up to New York City to assist local hospitals. The ship departed on March 28 and arrived at Pier 90 of the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on March 30. On March 27, the United States, with a confirmed 111,980 cases, surpassed Italy and China to become the country with the most coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the world; more than 52,000 of these cases were reported in New York State alone. On that same day, Governor Cuomo announced all schools statewide would remain further closed until at least April 15.
On March 28, Cuomo announced that New York State's 2020 Democratic Primary, originally scheduled for April 28, would be postponed until June 23; a month later it was canceled as "essentially a beauty contest the state can no longer afford", angering supporters of Bernie Sanders, who although he had ended his campaign and endorsed putative Democratic nominee Joe Biden, still sought to gain influence over the party's platform by boosting Sanders' delegate count.
President Trump said that he was considering imposing an "enforceable" quarantine on New York. He later announced: "On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor's of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary." Governor Cuomo threatened Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo with a lawsuit over a new state quarantine policy, which would make sure people from New York would self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island. On March 29, Raimondo repealed the order that specifically referred to New Yorkers, and broadened it to include any out-of-state traveler entering Rhode Island with intent to stay.
Cuomo also on March 28 ordered all nonessential construction sites in the state to shut down. This led the developers of the Legoland park under construction in Goshen to postpone their planned July 4 opening date until 2021. A specific date was not set, but Orange County's director of tourism expected it would probably be the normal April opening date.
In March 2020, the U.S. Army dispatched soldiers from Army Corps of Engineers field hospitals in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Hood, Texas, to New York City to convert New York City's Javits Convention Center into a 2,910-bed civilian medical hospital. More medical hospitals will be set up by these Army officers in New York City as well. On March 30, the U.S. Navy medical ship USNS Comfort arrived in New York City to assist with non-COVID operations, relieving land hospitals to stop the city's growing COVID-19 pandemic. It was later announced that field hospitals would be set up in Central Park and at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. On March 31, it was revealed that Andrew Cuomo's brother Chris, a New York City resident and CNN journalist, had been diagnosed with COVID-19, and that New York City saw its first COVID-19-related death of a child.
On April 4, Cuomo likened the rapid spread of cases on Long Island to "a fire spreading", lowering the city's share of statewide cases from 75 percent to 65. Two days later, he extended the state's stay-at-home order and school closures to April 29. The state's death rate appeared to be leveling off, as well as new hospitalizations, and the rate of new cases was remaining steady, suggesting the state was reaching an apex, but he did not think it was safe yet to loosen restrictions.
The same day, the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, which oversees education in the state, announced it would cancel the June Regents exams administered in secondary schools. It later clarified that students who were scheduled to take the exam do not have to make it up as long as they complete all other elements of the classes in question by June, or in summer school. Students who had been set to take the exam in order to make up for a previous failure were also exempt.
On April 9 it was clarified that some businesses were essential in whole or part:
Cuomo had in the interim ordered some symbolic gestures of remembrance and support. All flags at state government buildings are to be flown at half-staff for the duration of the stay-at-home order in memory of the New Yorkers who have died of COVID-19. On April 9, the Kosciuszko and Tappan Zee bridges were lit in blue, along with the spire of One World Trade Center and parking garages at La Guardia Airport, to honor the health care workers treating patients at risk of their own health and lives.
The governor also directed the state Department of Labor to make $600 extra available in unemployment benefits to New Yorkers. The federal CARES Act had authorized federal funds for the states to supplement their unemployment benefits, but they had not been disbursed to the states yet, and Cuomo wanted New Yorkers to have that money as soon as possible. Benefits will also be extended another 13 weeks, to a total of 39.
On April 15, Cuomo signed an executive order requiring all New York State residents to wear face masks or coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible.
On April 16, New York Governor Cuomo extended the state's stay-at-home order and school closures through May 15, amid signs of the rate of hospitalizations slowly declining. He warned that any change in behavior could reignite the spread of coronavirus.
Cuomo announced April 22 that the state would be starting a contact tracing program in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut as a preliminary step to any loosening of the stay-at-home order. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will develop an online curriculum that will be used to train 35,000 students in medicine and related fields at the SUNY and City University of New York schools. Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor, has contributed $10.5 million to make the program possible. Near the end of April, a disability rights group sued the governor for not providing live Sign language interpreters in the television broadcast feed of the daily briefings.
On May 1, Cuomo said that all schools and universities would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. He cited the difficulty of maintaining social distancing among young children in elementary school in particular, and was not even sure that schools could return to completely normal procedures by September.
On May 4, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that unlike most other New York counties, Erie County was not ready to reopen on May 15 when Governor Cuomo's stay-at-home order is set to expire.
All phases of reopening require New Yorkers to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear masks or face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
On May 14, Cuomo issued an executive order to extend the PAUSE order through May 28 for New York City and other regions that have not yet met the state's requirements to begin Phase 1 of reopening. This same day, the state of emergency for the entire state was extended to June 13.
Also on May 15, Cuomo allowed the following businesses and activities for the entire state regardless of meeting the qualifications to begin Phase 1: drive-in theaters, landscaping and gardening, and low-risk recreational activities such as tennis.
On May 20, Cuomo allowed the Capital Region to begin Phase 1 of reopening.
On May 23, Cuomo modified an executive order to allow gatherings of up to 10 people as long as social distancing is practiced.
On May 26, the Hudson Valley region began Phase 1 of reopening, followed by Long Island on May 27.
On June 15, Cuomo announced that regions upon entry of Phase 3 will be allowed non-essential gatherings of up to 25 people.
On June 17, Cuomo announced that New York City is on track to enter Phase 2 of reopening on June 22.
On June 19, Cuomo gave his final daily coronavirus briefing, saying "We have done the impossible." He said he will continue to hold press conferences and monitor the situation as needed.
On July 10, malls were allowed to open at 25% capacity for regions in Phase 4 with masks required at all times.
On July 13, Cuomo announced criteria for reopening schools. Whether a school will be allowed to reopen will be based on average 14-day infection rate, and phase for its region. A region must be in Phase 4, and have an infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average. If infection rate at any time increases to beyond 9%, schools in that region must close even if they had previously opened.
Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced the four-phase reopening plan for businesses on May 7. In order for a region to begin reopening in Phase 1, it must have met these seven metrics:
Every region started Phase 1 by June 8, with New York City being the last. Regions have been moving to the next phase every two weeks, with a few exceptions. The reopening plan has been modified since its original announcement on May 7. As of July 10, the four-phase reopening plan is detailed as follows:
Some businesses have been allowed to reopen regardless of the phase, such as drive-in theaters, landscaping and gardening, and places of worship.
As of July 10, some businesses have not been allowed to open regardless of the phase, including but not limited to gyms, schools, concert venues, and arenas.
All 62 counties in New York State had declared states of emergency by March 16.
|New York Counties under a state of emergency
Updated 11:30 a.m., March 17, 2020
|New York[c]||March 12[a]|||
|St. Lawrence||March 16|||
Four members of the State Assembly--Charles Barron, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Brian Miller, and Helene Weinstein--have been diagnosed with COVID-19; Miller was treated at the intensive care unit at St. Luke's Hospital in Utica. and released at the end of April. On March 30, Jim Seward became the first state senator to test positive for the virus; his case was mild and he is expected to recover.
Almost a month later, senator James Skoufis tested positive after experiencing symptoms; he had been personally distributing supplies to healthcare workers and first responders. He was reported to be resting at home and recovering. On May 5, he announced he had been symptom-free for two weeks and was able to end his self-isolation. "The past two weeks [we]re the sickest I have ever felt", he said.
The New York State Democratic presidential primary--along with special elections in the 27th congressional district; the 50th senate district; and the 12th, 31st, and 136th assembly districts--were originally scheduled for April 28. On March 13, Senator Skoufis proposed legislation to move these elections to June 23. The intent was to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. On March 28, the New York State Board of Elections and Governor Cuomo postponed the elections to June 23. Subsequently, the Democratic presidential primary was canceled altogether, and most of the special elections were postponed until the general election in November.
On April 27th, the Board of Elections changed its decision, and cancelled the Democratic presidential primary outright, by removing several candidates who suspended their campaigns from the ballot. The decision was first criticized by supporters of presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, who hoped to secure additional convention delegates, which would allow greater influence in the Democratic Party's platform. Other critics of the decision cited reduced voter turn out for down-ballot races, which unfairly benefits incumbent candidates. New York State Democratic Party Chair, Jay Jacobs, stated "our motivation right now is to avoid what happened in Wisconsin, where we in this situation are holding a primary that asks poll workers, many of them senior citizens, to risk their health for no particular purpose." Despite this move 42 of 62 New York counties, roughly 68% of counties in the New York State, would remain open for voting due to Congressional and State elections. At the time New York was the only state to cancel its presidential primary.
The decision was overturned on May 5th by Federal District Court Judge Analisa Torres in New York's Southern District, when presidential candidate Andrew Yang filed suit against the Board of Elections, asserting that the decision violated the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. Judge Torres stated "...the Democratic Commissioners' April 27 Resolution removing Yang, Sanders, and eight other Democratic presidential candidates from the ballot deprived them of associational rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution." 
An appeal was filed by the Board of Elections with the US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. On May 19th, it was ruled that the presidential primary could proceed as planned. The Board of Elections Co-chair, Douglas Kellner, said the Board would not pursue further appeals.
On March 22nd, Attorney General Leticia James called for automatic absentee voting in the New York Democratic presidential primary. Cuomo later announced that he would investigate if his recently expanded executive powers would allow him to expand absentee ballot access. On April 9th, by executive order of the Governor, all New York State residents were granted the right to apply for an absentee ballot using the state's online absentee ballot application in order to facilitate safe voting in the primary elections. As stated in the order, all voters would be required to "check the box for 'Temporary illness or physical disability' with no requirement for in-person signature or appearance to be able to access an absentee ballot." In an effort to ease barriers to access, Cuomo announced on April 24th that postage paid absentee ballot applications would be mailed to all registered voters in the State. Voters can still apply for a ballot online, or opt to vote in person.
Filings for independent nominations to petitions were postponed beginning March 31st. On April 25th special elections were cancelled for the 50th senate district, and the 12th, 31st and 136th assembly districts, as well as the Queens Borough President and New York City Council District 37. These vacancies are to be filled in the November General Election. The 27th Congressional district special election was not cancelled.
Self-quarantines for persons who test positive or are symptomatic are not enforced due to a lack of resources. Several New York City area nurses expressed concerns that patients are not complying with self-quarantine guidelines, due to financial necessity or fear of losing their jobs. A New York State Nurses Association board member expressed concern that low-income patients who share rooms with other individuals may not be able to effectively self-isolate at their residences.
Implementing social distancing has been difficult in some communities dominated by Hasidic Jews. On March 19 the Orange County village of Kiryas Joel, home to 25,000 Satmar Hasidim, closed all 100 of its synagogues, as well as schools and mikvahs, despite the centrality of religious observance in the community. It was estimated that 25-28 percent of its residents had tested positive, including the community's 73-year-old spiritual leader, Grand Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum. On March 27 the county reported that Kiryas Joel, within the town of Palm Tree, had 234 confirmed cases, the most of any municipality in the county.
Some reports suggested that the Hasidic community has generally been slow to implement measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. This reportedly led to one antisemitic incident. On March 23 a car dealership near Kiryas Joel refused to service a resident's car, telling him he had the virus.
An Orthodox Jewish physician, Vladimir Zelenko, who sees patients at his offices in both Kiryas Joel and Monsey, another predominantly Hasidic community in nearby Rockland County, claims that the real infection rate in Kiryas Joel is much higher. This has been disputed by local authorities. Zelenko, who had to self-isolate since he is missing a lung, said in daily YouTube videos that his office treated 500 patients (mostly in Kiryas Joel) for COVID-19, using the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin or zinc sulfate, which has in some trials yielded positive results in reducing symptoms. Zelenko claimed that 90 percent of the Hasidic community will become infected; the county's health commissioner and the village's emergency services department disputed that, pointing out that it was based on nine positive results out of 14 samples.
By April 9, Palm Tree had reported 428 cases, maintaining its lead among Orange County's municipalities, a lead it lost a week later. Leaders of the surrounding towns and villages repeated an earlier call by county executive Steve Neuhaus for the town to be declared a containment zone as the area of New Rochelle where a cluster had been identified a month earlier had been, a request denied at that time by Cuomo since the stay-at-home order for the entire state was more restrictive. The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council had responded to such pressure by calling on local leadership to "stop scapegoating Jews of KJ when the problem is clearly widespread, and worse, everywhere in (the) county".
At the beginning of March, prior to the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19, and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City, a 20 percent spike in crime for the first two months of 2020 was reported. After movement in the city became restricted, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea stated that the pandemic had curtailed crime. At the end of March, Shea said that crime had decreased sharply during the epidemic (other than car theft, which increased markedly), though there is concern that domestic violence was not being reported. As of April 8, 2,103 uniformed members and 373 civilian members had tested positive for the virus while 13 had died.
In early April, the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services reported that crime had dropped considerably since late February, both in the city and state compared to the same period the year before. In the city, combined felony and misdemeanor arrests were down 43 percent, with the rest of the state recording a 69 percent drop. Cuomo praised the drop as a result of social distancing, since it helped keep hospitals and first responders free to deal with the pandemic.
Some residents of New York City and its inner suburbs who own, or can afford to rent, property in rural areas upstate or on eastern Long Island have aroused local resentment for doing so during the pandemic. Steve McLaughlin, executive of Rensselaer County, east of Albany, asked Cuomo to issue an order banning all non-essential travel upstate from the city, after city residents booked all available local lodging. Seven of 51 cases the county had as of April 2 were city residents, and the county feared it did not have sufficient healthcare infrastructure to handle a large outbreak; McLaughlin issued an order requiring any recent arrivals from the city to quarantine themselves for 14 days, during which law enforcement will check on them regularly.
Similarly, Greene County, in the Catskills just south of Albany, posted on its website a letter asking people to refrain from traveling there, especially from New York City or Westchester. "There is no hospital in Greene County", wrote the chairman of the county legislature. "This limits our ability to serve a large number of people requiring higher levels of care for COVID-19 patients and other illnesses." The legislatures of neighboring Delaware and Sullivan counties made similar requests.
In the Hamptons, on the eastern end of Long Island's South Fork, a longtime summer destination for city residents, rental rates have quadrupled as the population has nearly doubled. While many year-round residents are aware that the towns' economy depends on seasonal residents, they believe their resources have been stretched to the limit. "People need to stop coming out east. We're full", one woman wrote on a local newspaper's Facebook page.
Most of the state's sports teams were affected. Major League Baseball cancelled the remainder of spring training on March 12, and on March 16 it announced that the season will be postponed indefinitely, after the recommendation from the CDC to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, affecting the New York Yankees and New York Mets. The National Basketball Association suspended the season for 30 days starting March 12, affecting the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. The National Hockey League season was suspended indefinitely on March 12, affecting the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Buffalo Sabres.Major League Soccer postponed the season for 30 days starting March 12, affecting the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. On March 12, the National Lacrosse League postponed the remainder of their season until further notice, affecting the seasons of the Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, and New York Riptide. The XFL suspended its season on March 12, affecting the inaugural season of the New York Guardians.
In college sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cancelled all winter and spring tournaments, most notably the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, affecting colleges and universities statewide. On March 16, the National Junior College Athletic Association also canceled the remainder of the winter seasons as well as the spring seasons.
The state's high school basketball playoffs had begun in early March with no spectators allowed. On March 12, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) suspended remaining winter sports championship contests in all sports that still had not decided them: boys' and girls' basketball, ice hockey, and bowling.
A little over a month later, NYSPSHSAA announced that Sections 8 and 11, which cover all of Long Island's high schools, had voted to cancel all spring high school and middle school sports seasons. "It was not an easy [decision] to make", said Section 11 executive director Tom Combs, "however, in what the world is experiencing at this time, it is the most reasonable and prudent decision to make." The other nine sections of the state, in areas which in some cases were not experiencing the pandemic so severely, had not made decisions yet and were still planning for the possibility of a short spring season at the end of May and in early June. Championships for any spring sports, were they to be held, would likely have to be moved to other locations since they had been scheduled to be played on Long Island; on April 27, they were canceled.
At the beginning of May, when Cuomo announced that the remainder of the school year in the state was canceled, all remaining contingency plans for spring high school sports statewide were canceled as well.
On June 20, Cuomo announced that the Yankees and the Mets baseball teams would move from conducting spring training in Florida to New York. The Yankees will be at Yankee Stadium and the Mets at Citi Field. Cuomo added that, "[...] we've determined it's possible for the Yankees and the Mets to safely conduct spring training in the state this year and are thrilled to begin reopening America's national pastime right here in New York."
The ban on large gatherings meant that the annual "First Cast" ceremony at the Junction Pool, a popular fly fishing spot, in the Sullivan County hamlet of Roscoe, marking the April 1 opening of trout season, could not be held. The season is still open and the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encouraged anglers to take to the state's streams as long as they continued to practice social distancing. Many stores in Roscoe that catered to them were nevertheless closed and limited to filling orders online. Anglers in Central New York reported that day that they were able to easily maintain social distancing while in the waters of Ninemile Creek, a practice necessary to the sport in any event since it prevented them from getting their lines tangled with each other. They appreciated the opportunity to get outside on a day with good weather for fishing and forget the pandemic, and some told the Syracuse Post-Standard they had good catches as well.
DEC announced on April 7 that the state's spring wild turkey hunting season in May, and the youth turkey weekend at the end of April, were still going on. It advised hunters, in addition to the usual hunting safety practices, to continue social distancing while hunting and take other measures, such as buying supplies online and hunting close to home. Hunters were further advised to share blinds with other hunters only if they lived in the same residence, and to hunt alone where possible.
On April 7, Rockland and Sullivan counties closed their parks. Residents had been making heavy use of them during the lockdown, making it difficult to enforce social distancing. The closures will last for two weeks and be re-evaluated at the end of that period. A week later the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) closed Nyack Beach and Rockland Lake state parks in Rockland County; local and county government officials had urged the move since the parks had grown crowded with visitors on recent warm days after the county and its towns closed their own parks. "While this is a tough call it is the right thing to do short term", said county executive Ed Day, who said the decision would be reviewed in two weeks.
On April 9, Cuomo removed golf courses, boat launches and marinas from the list of essential businesses allowed to remain open, forcing all courses in the state of New York to close until at least April 29. The move was a result of New Jersey and Pennsylvania having ordered courses to close, resulting in crowding at New York's courses near borders with those states. On April 18, Empire State Development modified that order to allow courses to open as long as no employees such as caddies were on the course, meaning golfers must carry their own bags and cannot use carts; three weeks later that order was again modified to allow the use of carts as a reasonable accommodation for disabled golfers, per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Rockland County park closures were supplemented April 24 by the PIPC's closure of all roads through Bear Mountain and Harriman state parks, where the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area has been serving as a testing site, save Seven Lakes Drive, and exits that led to those roads from Palisades Interstate Parkway, in not only Rockland but neighboring Orange County. Trail shelters were also closed, although backpackers were still allowed to set up camp within 300 ft (91 m) of the shelters. Permitholders are still allowed to boat on the parks' lakes; sales of new permits are suspended through May 7.
In Ulster County, parking lots at Minnewaska State Park Preserve in the Shawangunks have been limited to 50 percent of capacity to prevent overcrowding. All recreational activities within the park other than foot travel and motorless bicycling have been prohibited, including climbing and bouldering. Restrooms within the park have been closed as well.
In Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties, many popular trails and trailheads alongside the Hudson River in Hudson Highlands State Park have been closed since hikers arriving by car or Metro-North's Hudson Line trains must walk on the side of narrow roads and thus cannot keep six feet apart. Among them are all trails on Breakneck Ridge and Bull Hill north of Cold Spring.
In the Catskill Mountains, DEC announced April 5 it was closing the trail and viewing platforms at Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County, which also attract many hikers to a small space. All fire towers on state land in the Catskill Park have been closed. DEC has also suspended overnight camping at easily accessible and popular locations around the state, and stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping by groups larger than 10, or for more than three days.
New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, which operates the reservoirs of the city's water supply system, announced that recreational boating season on its four Catskill reservoirs, which normally begins May 1, will be postponed to May 23. Fishing from rowboats and the shoreline is still permitted.
|County [a]||Cases [b][c]||Deaths [c]||Recov. [c][d]||Pop.||Cases
|62 / 62||385,142||24,629||310,991||19,453,561||1,954.2||125.4||0.64|
|Updated July 11, 2020|
Data is publicly reported by New York State Department of Health
|County||Cases||Deaths||Cases/mil||Deaths/mil||Deaths/case %||Case dens.||Population||Pop. dens.||Area|
|Kings County (Brooklyn)||55,446||4,872||21,659.4||1,664.90||9.1||483.37/mi2
|New York County (Manhattan)||26,480||2,008||16,258||1,233||7.58||1081/mi2
|St. Lawrence County||191||2||5,203.4||58.8||1.13||0.06/mi2
|Updated May 4, 2020|
|Confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York State over time|
|Date (2020)||New York City||Rest of state||Total cases||% change||Ref.|
|Date||New York City||Rest of state||Total cases||% change||Ref.|
Following a USA Today article in early April suggesting the states could release demographic breakdowns of victims, New York published information on the age of those who had died of COVID-19. Nearly two-thirds of the dead were over 60 years old. It also included a breakdown by county, information that in some cases differed with that released by the individual county health departments. Later data showed that 61 percent of the dead were men, that 86 percent had underlying health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that are known to increase the possibility that COVID-19 will be fatal, and that African American and Latino patients in the state outside of the New York City accounted for a greater share of the deaths from the disease than their share of the overall population (data from New York City was not available at the time). Demographics of COVID-19 fatalities continue to be updated on the state's COVID-19 tracker website.
Note: As per NYDOH, the spike for June 30 in the above chart is due to a comprehensive accounting of current and retrospective data, provided by nursing homes and adult care facilities. These data capture COVID-19 confirmed and COVID-19 presumed deaths within these facilities. These data do not reflect COVID-19 confirmed or COVID-19 presumed positive deaths that occurred outside of the facility. This number includes retrospective data from reporting that dates back to March 1, 2020.