Empty Grand Central in CoronavirusTransit hubs are becoming increasingly empty

Hello readers, like us, we know you are all processing everything related to the coronavirus COVID-19 situation here in the New York City region, trying to get your hands on reliable, accurate information. We will put together a digest of information each morning, with relevant coronavirus news (and hopefully some uplifting things too). The rest of our publication schedule will be dedicated to other regular content, though cognizant of the context of what’s happening in New York City, the nation, and the rest of the world.

Getting Accurate Numbers on Coronavirus

A high school junior from Mercer Island, Washington state, created the website https://ncov2019.live/ when the disease was still isolated in China. You can find updated numbers of cases and deaths from coronavirus by country and by state/region within countries. It pulls from official resources like the W.H.O., Center for Disease Control, and other sources, and is updated every few minutes. You can read an interview with creator of the website, Avi Schiffman, on Democracy Now.
If you are looking for information by state, visit the New York State Department of Health website for numbers for the state, by county. As of now, there are 729 cases in New York State. 329 in New York City, 400 in the rest of hte state.

NYC Schools Are Closed

Pressure was mounting at the end of the week and into the weekend regarding whether schools should be closed. In the end, the decision was made on Sunday to close the schools until at least April 20. Expect non-public institutions to follow suit, if they have not done so already.

Restaurants and Bars Get Major Restrictions

As of tomorrow morning, only take out is possible at New York City’s restaurants and bars. Movie theaters and small venues must also close. Monday morning, Governor Cuomo announced coordinated restrictions across New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut starting 8 PM tonight. Meanwhile, many large retailers have already made the decision to shut down their stores, including Apple.

Flattening the Curve

There is as lot of things going around about “flattening the curve,” encouraging each individual to take responsibility for not spreading the virus. The C.D.C. came out with recommendations on that front this weekend. For the next 8 weeks, the C.D.C. recommends that events of more than 50 people should be cancelled or postponed. Even for smaller events, the recommendation is to go virtual if possible “Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populationshand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.”

First Mobile Testing Facility in New York Opened in New Rochelle

On Friday, the first mobile testing center opened in New Rochelle, one of the epicenters of New York State’s coronavirus epidemic. It is aiming to test 500 people per day, with the company BioReference and Northwell running the center. BioReference will be testing 5,000 people in total per day. New Rochelle Residents need to call 888-364-3065 to make an appointment.

Timely Book on Pandemics Released

Frank M. Snowden, a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale released the book “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present” last fall. According to the New Yorker, where you can find a Q&A with the author, the book “examines the ways in which disease outbreaks have shaped politics, crushed revolutions, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination. Epidemics have also altered the societies they have spread through, affecting personal relationships, the work of artists and intellectuals, and the man-made and natural environments.”

Global Response

Europe stepped up restrictions this weekend. France has closed all non-essential businesses (this includes bars and restaurants). Germany has closed its borders to surrounding countries. Spain has ordered confinement at home for its residents. Italy’s prime minister announced that its current efforts are not enough. Read more on the New York Times.

Wondering How to Prepare?

The New York City Office of Emergency Management has long had a web page about how to be ready for disruption. Though the go-bag is more connected to natural disasters, it is very helpful for what essentials are needed besides your food supplies. The New York Times also has a page on what to prepare.

Untapped New York Update on Tours

Here is today’s statement from Untapped New York founder Michelle Young. Tours will be postponed for the next two weeks but we are doing everything we can to sustain the business and support our guides. Read more about our actions here.

Daily Cello Performances by Our Founder

Our founder Michelle Young was trained at the Juilliard School for cello, starting at the age of 11. She went on to do other things besides music (though she performed in a successful rock band in the mid to late aughts). She’s bringing out her cello in this self-isolation time, performing for her family and recording a piece a day which she will put on Instagram and Twitter. First up yesterday was Arioso by J.S. Bach.
Please stay safe, readers. We are thinking of you. If you are able, you can support Untapped New York through these challenging times by reading and sharing our content, and dream about future tours by getting a gift card!
Please reach out to us with any questions, comments, or ideas — we’ve heard from many of you directly and the messages have been very heartening. The best way to reach us is through email, as our customer service phone line has been inundated. For questions about tours, contact [email protected]. For questions regarding our Insiders member events, you can email [email protected]. For editorial and general comments and questions, email [email protected].