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Coronavirus in N.Y.: Live Updates N.Y.C. May Open Some Beaches in June: Live Updates
(about 1 hour later)
New York City is seriously considering opening its beaches in June, should the pandemic continue to ebb.
Lifeguards began training this week in anticipation of a possible June reopening, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Traditionally, New York City opens its beaches for swimming on Memorial Day weekend. But this weekend, for the first time in recent memory, beaches will be closed for swimming.
Mr. de Blasio has warned New Yorkers not to take mass transit to the beach and said that for now, beaches are intended only for those who live near them. He also said last week that the city would enforce strict limits on crowding at beaches and fence them off if necessary.
New York City’s less transit-dependent neighbors are taking a different approach. Many beaches on Long Island and in New Jersey will remain open this weekend. Officials in those places fear a flood of New York City residents eager to access the water. Several municipalities are imposing restrictions aimed at keeping outsiders away.
It remains unclear which beaches may open in June or what restrictions will be imposed upon them. Coney Island and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx and some of the beaches in the Rockaways are all operated by the city.
Riis Beach and Fort Tilden in the Rockaways are operated by the National Park Service, which has said it will follow the city’s lead on beach access.
When Iesha Sekou began passing out surgical masks and disposable gloves in Harlem early in the pandemic, some people laughed and said she was taking things too far. For many, it was an unfamiliar role for Ms. Sekou, the founder of a nonprofit that usually works to prevent gang violence.When Iesha Sekou began passing out surgical masks and disposable gloves in Harlem early in the pandemic, some people laughed and said she was taking things too far. For many, it was an unfamiliar role for Ms. Sekou, the founder of a nonprofit that usually works to prevent gang violence.
But as deaths from the virus mounted in predominantly black neighborhoods like the one where Ms. Sekou’s group operates, people started chasing her and her workers down the street to get supplies, she said.But as deaths from the virus mounted in predominantly black neighborhoods like the one where Ms. Sekou’s group operates, people started chasing her and her workers down the street to get supplies, she said.
Even young skeptics who “had their little theories” about the virus dropped their resistance after Ms. Sekou and her volunteers warned them that they might get infected and unwittingly pass the disease along to their grandmothers.Even young skeptics who “had their little theories” about the virus dropped their resistance after Ms. Sekou and her volunteers warned them that they might get infected and unwittingly pass the disease along to their grandmothers.
“That’s a soft spot that we were able to hit and get them to know that if you don’t want to do this for you, you don’t like the way it looks, do it for who you live with, whose couch you sleep on,” Ms. Sekou said.“That’s a soft spot that we were able to hit and get them to know that if you don’t want to do this for you, you don’t like the way it looks, do it for who you live with, whose couch you sleep on,” Ms. Sekou said.
People like Ms. Sekou are known as “credible messengers” or “violence interrupters” in their line of work, and city officials say they may be critical to overcoming resistance to social distancing rules in some black and Hispanic neighborhoods where there is distrust of the authorities.People like Ms. Sekou are known as “credible messengers” or “violence interrupters” in their line of work, and city officials say they may be critical to overcoming resistance to social distancing rules in some black and Hispanic neighborhoods where there is distrust of the authorities.
Violence prevention groups, like Ms. Sekou’s Street Corner Resources, are part of a broader effort by City Hall of using civilians to encourage people to follow social distancing rules rather than relying solely on police officers.Violence prevention groups, like Ms. Sekou’s Street Corner Resources, are part of a broader effort by City Hall of using civilians to encourage people to follow social distancing rules rather than relying solely on police officers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made that effort a priority after viral videos of heavy-handed arrests in black and Hispanic neighborhoods prompted public outrage and enforcement data showed stark racial disparities in arrests, leading to calls for change from elected leaders.Mayor Bill de Blasio made that effort a priority after viral videos of heavy-handed arrests in black and Hispanic neighborhoods prompted public outrage and enforcement data showed stark racial disparities in arrests, leading to calls for change from elected leaders.
Coronavirus has laid waste to another New York City tradition. A Manhattan man lied on applications for more than $20 million dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds, saying they were needed to support hundreds of employees he did not have, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.
The nation’s largest transit system delivered a stern message to New Yorkers Thursday night: Don’t even think about taking the train or the bus to the beach this weekend. The man, Muge Ma, 36, a citizen of China, was accused of bank fraud and wire fraud among other charges, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
“We understand people have been cooped up and are going to want to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but Essential Service remains for essential workers and those making essential trips only,” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman, Patrick J. Foye, said in a statement. “It is not for recreational travel to beaches.” According to the complaint, Mr. Ma claimed he operated two businesses that paid millions of dollars in wages. One company was identified as a “patriotic American firm,” while the other asserted it would “help the country reduce the high unemployment rate caused by the pandemic,” the complaint said.
Taking the train or the bus to the Rockaways, Orchard Beach or Coney Island is a summer rite of passage in New York City, where the beaches are free and open to the public. Mr. Ma applied for loans earmarked for small businesses through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, meant to help companies meet their payroll during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, the complaint said. But Mr. Ma appeared to be the only employee of either company.
This summer is different. Though many New Jersey and Long Island beaches are open, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that for now, city beaches are only for those who live near them. He warned against crowds on mass transit and on the beaches. “Ma’s alleged attempts to secure funds earmarked for legitimate small businesses in dire financial straits are as audacious as they are callous,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
To enable social distancing and keep trains and buses safe for health care providers, delivery workers and others on the front lines, the M.T.A. has asked everyone who is not an essential worker to find other means of transportation. Mr. Ma also falsely claimed his company New York International Capital was working with New York State to acquire Covid-19 test kits and personal protective equipment to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the complaint said.
“Our workforce is undertaking heroic efforts to keep our region’s heroes moving, and to keep the public safe,” the Long Island Rail Road president, Phil Eng, said in a statement. “We ask the public to help honor their efforts by avoiding public transportation.” Mr. Ma’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this month, two New England men were charged with fraud tied to the small business loan program as part of the Justice Department’s effort to prosecute coronavirus-related crimes.
New York State is investigating 157 cases of a severe inflammatory syndrome that is linked to the virus and affects children, a 53 percent increase in the past nine days, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Thursday.New York State is investigating 157 cases of a severe inflammatory syndrome that is linked to the virus and affects children, a 53 percent increase in the past nine days, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Thursday.
“The more we look, the more we find it,” Mr. Cuomo said at his daily news briefing. On May 12, the state was investigating 102 cases.“The more we look, the more we find it,” Mr. Cuomo said at his daily news briefing. On May 12, the state was investigating 102 cases.
The condition, which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, often appears weeks after infection in children who did not experience first-phase virus symptoms.The condition, which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, often appears weeks after infection in children who did not experience first-phase virus symptoms.
Instead of targeting the lungs as the primary virus infection does, it causes inflammation throughout the body and can severely damage the heart.Instead of targeting the lungs as the primary virus infection does, it causes inflammation throughout the body and can severely damage the heart.
Most the children found to have the illness in New York so far have tested positive for the virus or antibodies to it, Mr. Cuomo said.Most the children found to have the illness in New York so far have tested positive for the virus or antibodies to it, Mr. Cuomo said.
New York City health officials said on Thursday that there were at least 89 cases of the syndrome in the city that met the C.D.C.’s criteria. As of Wednesday, officials were investigating 158 potential cases. Twenty-six did not meet the C.D.C. criteria, and 43 were still being investigated, officials said.New York City health officials said on Thursday that there were at least 89 cases of the syndrome in the city that met the C.D.C.’s criteria. As of Wednesday, officials were investigating 158 potential cases. Twenty-six did not meet the C.D.C. criteria, and 43 were still being investigated, officials said.
As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers.As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers.
A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.
Reporting was contributed by Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein and Ashley Southall. Reporting was contributed by Michael Gold, Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein, Ashley Southall and Katie Van Syckle.