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N.Y.C. May Open Beaches in June: Live Updates N.Y.C. May Open Beaches in June: Live Updates
(30 minutes later)
New York City is seriously considering letting beachgoers into the water in June, should the pandemic continue to ebb.New York City is seriously considering letting beachgoers into the water in June, should the pandemic continue to ebb.
City lifeguards have been called into pools for their annual training and testing, said Henry Garrido, executive director of the lifeguards’ union, District Council 37. “They’re being trained to get ready to open the beach early in June,” Mr. Garrido said.City lifeguards have been called into pools for their annual training and testing, said Henry Garrido, executive director of the lifeguards’ union, District Council 37. “They’re being trained to get ready to open the beach early in June,” Mr. Garrido said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his Friday briefing, “The fact is we are getting the lifeguards ready right now.” He declined to give a reopening date, but a spokeswoman for him said the lifeguard training was in anticipation of a possible June reopening.Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his Friday briefing, “The fact is we are getting the lifeguards ready right now.” He declined to give a reopening date, but a spokeswoman for him said the lifeguard training was in anticipation of a possible June reopening.
The city traditionally opens its beaches for wading and swimming on Memorial Day weekend. But this year, the ocean had been declared off limits, with gatherings on the sand also sharply restricted.The city traditionally opens its beaches for wading and swimming on Memorial Day weekend. But this year, the ocean had been declared off limits, with gatherings on the sand also sharply restricted.
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.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.
On Friday, the mayor said that “hundreds of officers” will be at the beaches this weekend to back up parks workers on enforcing restrictions. On Friday, the mayor said that “hundreds of officers” would be at the beaches this weekend to back up parks workers on enforcing restrictions.
“If there are gatherings, if there are people trying to go in the water, parks is going to take the lead, but if they need support from N.Y.P.D., they will have it,” Mr. de Blasio said.“If there are gatherings, if there are people trying to go in the water, parks is going to take the lead, but if they need support from N.Y.P.D., they will have it,” Mr. de Blasio said.
New York City’s surrounding neighbors are taking a different approach. Most beaches on Long Island and in New Jersey are open this weekend, including for swimming, though social distancing rules will be in force everywhere. New York City’s neighbors are taking a different approach. Most beaches on Long Island and in New Jersey are open this weekend, including for swimming, though social distancing rules will be in effect everywhere.
Officials in those places fear a flood of New York City residents eager to access the water and some are imposing restrictions aimed at keeping outsiders away. Officials in those places fear a flood of New York City residents eager to access the water, and some are imposing restrictions aimed at keeping outsiders away.
It remains unclear which city beaches may open in June or what restrictions will be imposed. 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.It remains unclear which city beaches may open in June or what restrictions will be imposed. 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.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.
Janet Fash, a veteran lifeguard at the city-run Rockaway Beach, said that the training and certification, which having to swim 440 yards in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, has caused consternation among lifeguards who are reluctant to swim in a pool for fear of the virus. Janet Fash, a veteran lifeguard at the city-run Rockaway Beach, said that the training and certification, which includes having to swim 440 yards in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, has caused consternation among lifeguards who are reluctant to swim in a pool for fear of the virus.
Some have not swum since the outbreak began, she said.Some have not swum since the outbreak began, she said.
“We have great ocean swimmers, great ocean lifeguards, who haven’t been able to train in a pool for two months,” Ms. Fash said. “They’re not going to swim the times they’re capable of.”“We have great ocean swimmers, great ocean lifeguards, who haven’t been able to train in a pool for two months,” Ms. Fash said. “They’re not going to swim the times they’re capable of.”
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey said on Friday that the state would allow outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people and let campgrounds reopen.Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey said on Friday that the state would allow outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people and let campgrounds reopen.
“I’m proud we are able to take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism to the start of summer,” Mr. Murphy said.“I’m proud we are able to take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism to the start of summer,” Mr. Murphy said.
Social distancing would still be required at outdoor gatherings, which had been limited to 10 people, and at campgrounds. Face coverings are not required outside, but state officials recommend them.Social distancing would still be required at outdoor gatherings, which had been limited to 10 people, and at campgrounds. Face coverings are not required outside, but state officials recommend them.
“If you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout, you may do so,” Mr. Murphy said, “so long as social distancing and personal responsibility remain the order of the day.”“If you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout, you may do so,” Mr. Murphy said, “so long as social distancing and personal responsibility remain the order of the day.”
Outdoor dining at restaurants remains forbidden in New Jersey, though Connecticut began allowing it on Wednesday; indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people, Mr. Murphy said.Outdoor dining at restaurants remains forbidden in New Jersey, though Connecticut began allowing it on Wednesday; indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people, Mr. Murphy said.
New Jersey also reported 146 new virus-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 10,985.New Jersey also reported 146 new virus-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 10,985.
Long Island and the suburban counties north of New York City could begin reopening next week if the number of virus-related deaths continued to decline and local officials set up strong contract-tracing programs, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Friday. Long Island and the suburban counties north of New York City could begin reopening next week if the number of virus-related deaths continued to decline and local officials set up strong contact-tracing programs, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Friday.
Anticipating the trends would hold, Mr. Cuomo said that construction staging could resume next week in both Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester and Rockland counties. Anticipating the trends would hold, Mr. Cuomo said that construction companies could start staging building sites on Friday in both Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester and Rockland counties. Construction cannot resume until the regions are cleared to reopen.
As of Friday, all of the state’s 10 economic regions had started the reopening process except for New York City and the two suburban regions, which have yet to meet the seven criteria required by state officials to start easing restrictions on businesses.As of Friday, all of the state’s 10 economic regions had started the reopening process except for New York City and the two suburban regions, which have yet to meet the seven criteria required by state officials to start easing restrictions on businesses.
Both Mr. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have said that New York City was unlikely to begin reopening until June. The city has met four of the seven required metrics, as outlined on a dashboard charting each region’s progress toward meeting the standards.Both Mr. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have said that New York City was unlikely to begin reopening until June. The city has met four of the seven required metrics, as outlined on a dashboard charting each region’s progress toward meeting the standards.
New York City still needs to have at least 30 percent of its hospital beds and at least 30 percent of its intensive-care-unit beds available before the state will allow it to reopen. As of Friday morning, it had 27 percent of hospital beds and 26 percent of its ICU beds available. New York City still needs to have at least 30 percent of its hospital beds and at least 30 percent of its intensive-care-unit beds available before the state will allow it to reopen. As of Friday morning, it had 27 percent of hospital beds and 26 percent of its I.C.U. beds available.
Mr. de Blasio has also pegged the city’s path to reopening on three metrics: the number of new hospital admissions for illness resembling Covid-19, the number of patients in critical care and the percentage of positive coronavirus tests.Mr. de Blasio has also pegged the city’s path to reopening on three metrics: the number of new hospital admissions for illness resembling Covid-19, the number of patients in critical care and the percentage of positive coronavirus tests.
Mr. de Blasio said Friday that the city will not reopen until it sees a 10-to-14 day period with under 200 daily hospitalizations of suspected Covid-19 patients, fewer than 375 patients in intensive-care units in the city’s public hospital system, and fewer than 15 percent of city residents testing positive for the virus. Mr. de Blasio said Friday that the city would not reopen until it saw a 10-to-14-day period with under 200 daily hospitalizations of suspected Covid-19 patients, fewer than 375 patients in intensive-care units in the city’s public hospital system, and fewer than 15 percent of city residents testing positive for the virus.
Though New York has met the thresholds for hospital admissions and positive tests, the number of those in intensive-care units was still too high, at 451 patients, Mr. de Blasio said.Though New York has met the thresholds for hospital admissions and positive tests, the number of those in intensive-care units was still too high, at 451 patients, Mr. de Blasio said.
Both city and state officials have said that their metrics were likely to go hand in hand, and that they would coordinate in their decisions on reopening. But on Friday, Mr. Cuomo suggested that the state’s guidelines took precedence.Both city and state officials have said that their metrics were likely to go hand in hand, and that they would coordinate in their decisions on reopening. But on Friday, Mr. Cuomo suggested that the state’s guidelines took precedence.
“It’s not up to the local officials,” Mr. Cuomo said of reopening. “It’s a statewide decision across the board.”“It’s not up to the local officials,” Mr. Cuomo said of reopening. “It’s a statewide decision across the board.”
Mr. Cuomo also announced 109 new virus-related deaths in the state, marking a fifth straight day that fatalities were just above 100.Mr. Cuomo also announced 109 new virus-related deaths in the state, marking a fifth straight day that fatalities were just above 100.
New York City will ramp up efforts to fight de facto outdoor gatherings outside the city’s restaurants and bars, after photos of large gatherings spread across the internet last weekend, Mayor de Blasio said on Friday.New York City will ramp up efforts to fight de facto outdoor gatherings outside the city’s restaurants and bars, after photos of large gatherings spread across the internet last weekend, Mayor de Blasio said on Friday.
“Take out, don’t hang out,” Mr. de Blasio said at his daily news briefing.“Take out, don’t hang out,” Mr. de Blasio said at his daily news briefing.
Bars and restaurants have been closed except for takeout and delivery for the last two months, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Under New York State’s stay-at-home orders, nonessential gatherings of any size are banned.Bars and restaurants have been closed except for takeout and delivery for the last two months, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Under New York State’s stay-at-home orders, nonessential gatherings of any size are banned.
But with warm weather arriving and traffic on city streets severely diminished, residents have been grabbing food and drinks to go and then consuming them outside businesses.But with warm weather arriving and traffic on city streets severely diminished, residents have been grabbing food and drinks to go and then consuming them outside businesses.
With a three-day weekend ahead, Mr. de Blasio said that the Police Department would increase its presence in neighborhoods where people improperly congregated last weekend.With a three-day weekend ahead, Mr. de Blasio said that the Police Department would increase its presence in neighborhoods where people improperly congregated last weekend.
The city will also provide more open space for pedestrians and cyclists across the five boroughs, closing 13 more miles of streets to traffic on Saturday.The city will also provide more open space for pedestrians and cyclists across the five boroughs, closing 13 more miles of streets to traffic on Saturday.
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 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 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 to use civilians to encourage people to follow social distancing rules.Violence prevention groups, like Ms. Sekou’s Street Corner Resources, are part of a broader effort by City Hall to use civilians to encourage people to follow social distancing rules.
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.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.
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.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 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.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.
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.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.
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.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.
“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.“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.
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.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.
Mr. Ma’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.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.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.
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 Maria Cramer, Michael Gold, Corey Kilgannon, Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein, Ashley Southall and Katie Van Syckle.Reporting was contributed by Maria Cramer, Michael Gold, Corey Kilgannon, Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Dana Rubinstein, Ashley Southall and Katie Van Syckle.