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COVID Newsletters

Weekly COVID newsletter (11/5)


It’s Thursday, November 5, 2020.

Welcome to the weekly edition of my COVID newsletter. At press time, nonprofit news site’s COVID-19 tracker showed the following:

  • Manhattan has 36,980 confirmed cases and 3,200 deaths (904 more cases and 5 more deaths since last week).

  • The city as a whole has 265,598 cases and 24,021 deaths (5,051 more cases and 41 more deaths since last week).

Experts say seven-day averages are a more reliable indicator:

There’s lots to worry about in the rest of the country OTHER than election results. The New York Times reports: “The United States on Wednesday recorded over 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time since the pandemic began, bursting past a grim threshold… The total count of new infections was at least 107,000, according to a New York Times database. Twenty-three states have recorded more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch… Deaths related to the coronavirus, which lag behind case reports, have increased 21 percent across the country in the last two weeks.”

This spike clearly fulfills Dr. Anthony Fauci’s prediction that “We are in for a whole lot of hurt.”

This web infographic about how COVID-19 spreads through the air, published by Spain’s El País newspaper, is outstanding.


More than 2.8 million New York City residents voted in the general election, with votes cast in three ways:

  • 1,119,056 – early in person (238,581 in Manhattan)

  • 1,227,246 – in person on Election Day

  • 551,501 – by absentee ballot (199,352 from Manhattan, according to the Board of Elections’ unofficial total of returned absentee ballots by congressional district)

Give your feedback on voting absentee, early in person and on Election Day during the NYC Campaign Finance Board’s Voter Assistance Advisory Committee virtual hearing on Wednesday, 12/9 at 5:30 pm. I hope that parents who were upset about the use of public schools for early voting sites will participate. Register here.

I’m optimistic we’ll see some final presidential results from the outstanding states (five, according to the Associated Press) in the next hours and days, and I’m hopeful that there will be no endless court challenges– and a peaceful outcome.


Here’s a quick peek at NYC’s voting future: what the Maine ranked choice ballot looked like.

A little bit of non-election, non-pandemic fun: The Plastic Bag Store, a public art installation and immersive film by artist and director Robin Frohardt “employing humor, craft, and a critical lens to our culture of consumption and convenience,” has opened under pandemic rules (timed admission tickets are available here.) It’s free and open through Saturday (11/7).


The Monday before Thanksgiving, 11/23, at 6 pm, my office is cosponsoring a virtual Tenants Resource Fair with the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development and local elected officials. Learn about tenant protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ongoing protections for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and those in rent-regulated apartments. Also learn more about the City’s affordable housing lotteries using the “Housing Connect” portal. Use this link to register for the Zoom meeting (download the Zoom application for Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS here).

Buried in the run-up to Election Day, Gov. Cuomo announced new rules for travel to New York State last weekend, eliminating the 14-day quarantine requirement for dozens of states.

Instead, under the new rule, travelers to New York from out of state must prove they tested negative within three days before their arrival. They must then quarantine for three days upon arrival and take another test on the fourth day. If THAT test is also negative, then they are released from quarantine (if that test is positive, obviously, they must remain in 14-day quarantine). New Yorkers traveling outside of NYS for more than 24 hours must test negative within four days of their return. Travelers from the states bordering New York (NJ, CT, PA) are exempt from these new rules. Gov. Cuomo said airports and county health departments would handle enforcement.

The Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute launched, a digital toolkit featuring more than 35 barrier designs, HVAC guidelines and outdoor learning strategies to aid safe reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each tool was created by neighborhood-specific working groups as part of Neighborhoods Now, a rapid-response initiative launched by the Forum and Van Alen in June. The initiative has now raised more than $100,000 to implement these designs and strategies in the coming weeks.


Public school parents have 10 more days to opt in to blended learning this year. Complete the learning preference survey by next Sunday, 11/15 to select a mix of in-person and remote learning.

The Winter Village at Bryant Park is now open through Sunday, 3/7/2021. New this year, ice skating reservations must be made online, and the Holiday Shops are more spaced out.

To be eligible for City contracts, Manhattan businesses, including Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, should register in the City’s free Payee Information Portal system. Contact my technology and economic development policy analyst, Daniel Alam, for assistance.

The COVID-19 Immigrant Resource Guide is available in 26 languages, from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

As the New York Public Library moves into phase 2 of its reopening this Monday (11/9), researchers can make in-person appointments at research libraries and borrow materials from research collections.

Jumpstart a career in healthcare support services through Strive’s upcoming training course for 18-24-year-olds with a high school diploma or GED. Attend an information session this Monday (11/9) or Tuesday (11/10) at 10 am, Zoom meeting ID 95152381566.

Drop off food scraps in East Harlem at two sites:

Apply for a $1,000 residential rental assistance grant from PA’LANTE (People Against Landlord Abuse and Tenant Exploitation).

Monday (11/9) is the last day to apply to the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Open City Fellowship, open to Asian, Muslim and Arab emerging writers.

Next Friday, 11/13 is the last day women making films about disability can apply for a $7,500 Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant from New York Women in Film and Television.

Applications (or nominations for others) for the David Prize close Friday, 12/4. The David Prize awards $200,000 to five visionary New Yorkers seeking to better the city through transformative projects.

Free financial counseling is available by phone through the NYC Dept. of Consumer and Worker Protection. Book an appointment online or by calling 311.

Youth ages 10-18 can apply for the Youth Advisory Council of the Civilian Complaint Review Board by Monday, 11/30. The YAC advises the CCRB on how to improve relations between the NYPD and young New Yorkers. Apply here.

The Shed’s film “November,” which is about white male privilege and Black joy and was shot in the weeks leading up to the election, is free to stream through Saturday (11/7). I enjoyed this great film.

For families with children and adults with disabilities, Lincoln Center’s Passports to the Arts offers accessible performing arts programs via Zoom. Register for the free fall season here.



Tonight (11/5) at 6 pm, youth advocacy organization NYC Youth Civics Initiative hosts a kickoff event, featuring a panel of youth activists and opportunities for students and organizations to get involved. Register here.

Tonight (11/5) at 6:30 pm, Dept. of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza holds a town hall with East Harlem parents, hosted by Community Education Council 4. Register at the above link.

Tomorrow (11/6) at 11 am, State Senator Jose Serrano distributes masks and hand sanitizer at the NW corner of 72nd St. and Broadway.

Tomorrow (11/6) from 11 am – 3 pm, get a free flu shot at the Douglass Houses playground (830-840 Columbus Ave.), sponsored by Rep. Adriano Espaillat, the Douglass Houses Resident Council and Mt. Sinai. Register at 646-740-1911.

Saturday (11/7) from 9 am – 2 pm, the United Federation of Teachers hosts a “Virtual Citywide Parent and Family Conference” and a teen summit with workshops for students and their families. Register here.

Saturday (11/7) at 10 am, the Broadway Mall Association hosts a clean-up of 155th – 168th Sts. and Mitchel Park. Meet at Mitchel Park (btwn 167th/166th Sts. and Broadway). Register at

Saturday (11/7) from 10 am – 2 pm, Council Speaker Corey Johnson hosts free document shredding on W. 26th St., between 8th and 9th Aves.

Saturday (11/7) at 11 am, the Hell’s Kitchen Litter Legion hosts a community clean-up. Meet at the NW corner of 51st St. and 9th Ave.

Saturday (11/7) at noon, “Clean Up Wagner Day” features a community clean-up of East Harlem’s Wagner Houses followed by basketball drills, sponsored by the NYPD Housing Bureau, the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety and Exodus. Meet at 2271 3rd Ave. at noon.

Sunday (11/8) from 11 am – 3:30 pm, the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety hosts “Human Resources Administration One Shot Deal” to help with applications for benefits like rental assistance and SNAP (NYCHA Polo Grounds Towers, Frederick Douglass Blvd./155th St., btwn buildings 2971 and 2937). Click the title for more information and to register.

Monday (11/9) at 1 pm, Cornell University’s online platform, eCornell, hosts “Effective Leadership Through Crisis: Navigating the Long-Term Impact of COVID-19.” Click the title to register.

Monday (11/9) at 6 pm, the 70 Mulberry Street Advisory Committee hosts a virtual town hall for public comment about a shared vision for 70 Mulberry’s future. Tuesday (11/10) at 6 pm, the committee hosts a public workshop to develop rebuilding scenarios for 70 Mulberry.

Monday (11/9) at 6 pm, Community Board 8 (covering the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island) hosts “Discussing New York State’s Contact Tracing App” on Zoom. Register here.

Tuesday (11/10) from 10 am – 2 pm, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Jose Serrano host “Free West Side Shred Day.” Bring up to three boxes of documents to AM Rosenthal’s office (230 West 72nd St., suite 2F).

Wednesday (11/11) from 1-5 pm, Children’s Aid hosts a virtual “Post-Secondary Pathway Fair” with information about continued education after high school. Register here.

Next Thursday (11/12) from 10 am – noon, Council Member Bill Perkins will set up a hand sanitizer refill station (bring your own bottle) and distribute PPE at the Harlem State Office Building (163 W. 125th St.).

Next Thursday (11/12) at 2 pm, the National Museum of the American Indian hosts a Zoom conversation about the identity and the “warrior” stereotype of Native Americans in the military. Register here.

Next Thursday (11/12) at 3 pm, SUNY Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center hosts a virtual information session about free academic and career training programs. Register here.

Next Thursday (11/12) at 4 pm, the Dept. of City Planning hosts a Zoom workshop for Lower Manhattan and the West Side about the next NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Platform. Register here.

Next Thursday (11/12) at 5 pm, the Municipal Art Society of NYC hosts “The Future of Open Green Space.” Click the title to register.

Next Thursday (11/12) at 5 pm, process the election during Women Creating Change’s November “Table Talk.” Register here.

Save the date for the Thursday, 11/19, 8:30 am Manhattan Borough Board’s monthly charter-mandated convening of the Borough President and all of Manhattan’s Council Members and Community Board Chairs. Register here.

Stay Safe.