Coronavirus

Coronavirus spreads, NYC schools close and Albany keeps going

Rounding up the week’s political news

A nearly deserted Albany this week.

A nearly deserted Albany this week. Zach Williams

It seems that working from home will be the new normal for many New Yorkers for the coming weeks and even months. Anxiety about the way of the world in the time of coronavirus can seem overwhelming at times, so it’s important to find ways not just to keep to a schedule at home, but to stay calm. For some, that means tuning into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily press briefings. The gov’s cool-under-pressure and take-charge approach to the crisis has helped soothe some minds and has gained him considerablepraise. It’s even made one journalist maybe fall in love with him. And if you’re looking for creative ways to stay active, Cuomo can help with that too. People who turn on the governor’s livestream a few minutes early will be greeted by wait music that slaps – perfect for a little impromptu dancing.

New York reels

As of Friday morning, the state had confirmed over 7,000 cases of COVID-19, an ever-growing number that Gov. Andrew Cuomo attributed to increased testing capability in the state. At the beginning of the week, Cuomo announced that bars, theaters, gyms and restaurants would close statewide, with the exception of takeout and delivery for food and alcohol. Cuomo coordinated his decision with the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey, and later Pennsylvania, who each announced the closings in their own states. All four states also jointly decided to close salons and tattoo parlors. Cuomo also banned social gatherings of any size on Friday, after previously limiting them to 50 people. Cuomo imposed a stricter work from home policy, mandating that businesses must have all employees work remotely, excluding essential jobs like health care workers, food service workers and grocery store employees. He urged everyone in the state to remain indoors as much as possible. Additionally, the state waived mortgage payments for 90 days, suspended student debt payments for at least 30 days and halted all evictions statewide for 90 days.

New York City closes public schools

Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to close schools on March 15, and schools closed their doors the next day. Early on March 15, Cuomo directed New York City as well as Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties to close their schools. In the first week that city schools were shuttered, teachers were trained on how to conduct their classes remotely, while students had those days off. Additionally, some schools remained open in order to provide free takeout breakfast and lunch, continuing the essential service of providing meals to students who need them. The city Department of Education also said that it would provide tablets with internet access to students who don’t have a computer at home so that they can participate in online learning.

Empty Albany, work gets done

State lawmakers took a unique approach to legislating as they attempted to keep a safe distance from each other while still approving coronavirus-related bills. In the Assembly, legislators were only allowed into the chamber in small groups to cast their votes before returning to their offices. This comes after two Assembly members – Helene Weinstein and Charles Barron – tested positive for the coronavirus. After lawmakers left Albany, Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre tested positive as well. In the state Senate, only party leaders were present in the chamber, with only those voting “no” allowed in, one at a time, to cast their votes. A quirk in the Senate rules allowed everyone else to have their “yes” vote counted without physically being there to cast it. The state Legislature passed two bills related to the epidemic. The first mandated that all large employers and public employers provide two weeks of paid sick leave for employees with COVID-19 or under mandatory quarantine. The other changed petitioning requirements, allowing candidates to appear on the ballot in upcoming state elections with dramatically fewer petition signatures than usual. Cuomo signed both bills on Wednesday.

NYC not fully shut down

De Blasio has continually raised the specter of a “shelter in place” order for New York City, but Cuomo has the final say on the matter and has confirmed multiple times that he has no plans to quarantine the city. De Blasio suggested using San Francisco as a model, which has prohibited people from leaving their homes except for getting groceries, going to work if necessary and exercise. At one point, the mayor said a decision could come within 48 hours. Cuomo repeatedly said that piecemeal quarantines make no sense, as people could simply go to another part of the state or region. He said that any such order would need to be carried out statewide for it to be effective.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.