Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Posted at 4:57 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 14:40:57-05

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

12:30 p.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shares the latest on COVID-19 in NY. Watch in video below.

Daily Indicators

  • NY positivity rate with cluster over sample: 2.7%
    • NY positivity rate without clusters: 2.3%
    • Micro-cluster zones alone: 4%
  • NY COVID-19 hospitalizations: 2,276
    • ICU: 1,400
    • Intubated: 200
  • COVID-19 fatalities in NY: 31
  • NYC at 2.5% positivity

Micro-cluster zones in NY

  • Rockland County expands zones
  • Orange County adding yellow zone to certain areas
  • Westchester County adding yellow zone to Yonkers, Tarrytown, Peekskill, New Rochelle

Utility companies

  • PSC did an investigation, DFS (Dept. of Financial Services) to join
  • Closed investigation. Three utilities have been penalized $137 million
  • Companies have the right to contest.


  • School closure vs. indoor dining and getting nails done
    • Schools are safer than the surrounding community, and the trigger for the schools in NYC is lower than the trigger for indoor dining.
    • Orange zone is triggered at 3% in a microcluster. A school closes at 3%, but a school can “test out” at an orange zone.
    • There is no provision for business to test out.
  • What are the discussions for decision-making on thresholds and COVID hot zones?
    • These are more localized decisions. When you’re looking at a locality, you’re looking at other factors.
    • State looks at where in the area cases are coming from, etc.

10 a.m.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the latest COVID-19 updates as schools go all remote. Watch in video below or click here.

Schools closing in NYC

  • We are going to work to reopen schools safely.
  • We need test consent forms filled out.
  • Learning Bridges will be open
  • Free meals will be available at NYC school buildings. More info.

NYC entering an orange zone

  • We are approaching an orange zone.
  • “It’s just a matter of time.” NYC will enter an orange zone, likely in the next week or two.

Equitable Ownership Plan

  • New requirements will ensure a certified M/WBE or nonprofit has an ownership stake at any affordable housing developed on public sites.
  • Benefits:
    • Reduce industry barriers for M/WBE and non profits
    • Provide growth opportunities through greater ownership and financial stake in development projects on public land.
    • Expand and diversify the city’s real estate sector
    • Allow affordable housing spending to serve a greater diversity of New Yorkers.

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 115 (34.45% positivity rate)
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average: 1255
  • Percentage tested positive: 2.36%
  • 7-day rolling average: 3.01%


  • New standards for getting schools reopening etc. What other standards aside from disinfecting and additional testing.
    • We’re looking at anything and everything that can make it safer for students as positivity levels continue growing. Testing is crucial.
  • Could this shutdown be longer than anticipated?
    • I am certain people are making those adjustments. The restrictions of us entering an orange zone will help change behavior.
    • We believe we can compensate for the tougher dynamic. But as other restrictions come, it could help.
  • Will there be any exceptions for special needs children who can’t do remote learning?
    • Special needs families needs school to reopen. We’re in talks with stakeholders and state officials.
  • Have you been in contact with Cuomo, did you tell him schools were closing?
    • Mayor: I let him know the number reached 3% and it would activate the closure. We talked about what would happen next as well as the orange zone.
    • It was a given that NYC would enter an orange zone.
    • As he was entering his presser, that’s when we received the info to let schools know they had to prepare for the shutdown.
  • 3% threshold: Was there an agreement with the UFT about school closures, etc.?
    • We heard from a huge number of educators about being in person with students. Before school reopenings this fall, we had talks with officials and set tough standards. It was not a discussion with union, more with health officials.
  • Message to restaurants and gyms about anticipated closures.
    • The notion that they'll be shut down for another period of time is hurtful. The facts, the science, the data are just screaming at us that we have a huge challenge.

8:35 a.m.
MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye discussed the agency's "doomsday" budget amid the pandemic. Watch interview in video below.

MTA chairman discusses 'doomsday' budget, service cuts

8:05 a.m.
Public advocate Jumaane Williams criticized the mayor's "lack of leadership" over school closures. Watch interview here.

7:45 a.m.
NYC Councilmember and education chair Mark Treyger spoke to PIX11 about the mayor's decision to close schools. Watch interview here.

7:15 a.m.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza spoke about the city's decision to close schools and how they're helping students without devices. Watch interview here.

Schools in NY

  • Berner Middle School in Massapequa moved to "full distance learning" Thursday after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Happening today:
New York City public schools are closed to in-person learning starting today after the city's seven-day positivity rate hit 3%, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Read more here.

The latest official numbers:
As of Thursday, there were 579,382 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26,255 confirmed fatalities in New York, according to the Department of Health.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here