Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Thursday, October 15, 2020

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 4:46 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 13:00:30-04

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.

11:30 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a phone briefing with the latest COVID updates. Listen in video below.

Daily indicators

  • Infection rate in NY "red zones": 4.84%
  • NY state infection rate (with "red zones"): 1.09%
    • State without "red zones": 0.99%
  • NY had 13 coronavirus fatalities Wednesday
  • NY COVID hospitalizations: 897 (down 41)
    • 197 COVID patients in ICU
    • 95 COVID patients intubated

COVID in NY schools

  • 672 school districts submitted data Wednesday to the NY schools dashboard
  • 131 positive test results from 111 public schools
    • 95 on-site, 36 off-site
  • NYC showed 38 positive results Wednesday
    • 31 on-site positives from 28 different schools
    • Two NYC schools showed 2 or more students COVID cases
      • PS 131 in Queens and PS 194 in the Bronx
      • Per the NYC plan, this triggers a review of those schools, Cuomo said

COVID vaccine planning

  • National Governors Association is sending President Trump a letter today that says governors are ready to assist but will need guidance and clarification from federal government on vaccine distribution plan: Funding, supply-chain management and allocation process, etc.
  • Cuomo says states can't handle vaccine planning and distribution on their own.

NY COVID "cluster zones"

  • State has asked schools in "yellow zones" surrounding "red zones" to do extensive testing out of caution.
    • Some local governments said they don't have enough tests to do this
    • State sending NYC 200,000 test kits so they can do testing in their "yellow zone" schools
  • Cuomo says it's too soon to tell if the two-week partial shutdown in cluster "red zones" will need to be extended at all
  • When it comes to Orthodox Jewish community, Cuomo says most groups he's spoken with are cooperative and complying with the restrictions in their areas, but there is a small number who are not.
    • Cuomo says these outliers have likey never been complying with or enforcing COVID rules since pandemic began, not just the new "red zone" rules

10:15 a.m.
Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an update on COVID-19 in NYC. Watch in video below.

2020 Census

NYC testing efforts

  • City does more testing capita a day than some countries.
  • More than 17,000 new tests have been conducted in cluster areas since 9/30
  • 32 new testing sites, including 18 in red zones
  • New rapid testing site at Queens Public Library (Kew Gardens Hills Branch - 72-33 Vleigh Place, Flushing NY 11367)

NYC enforcement

  • 1,700 inspections 10/14, 25 summonses issued
  • Over 18,000 inspections in last two weeks
    • 288 summonses issued, including 11 for $15,000

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 88 (18.6% positivity rate)
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average: 499
  • Percentage tested positive: 1.31%
  • 7-day rolling average: 1.49%


  • Yeshivas operating even though they’re in the red zone:
    • We are working with all yeshivas to make sure they understand and follow rules.
    • There is a gray area when it comes to child care. We’re waiting for state guidance on that.
  • Cuomo’s threat to cut funding
    • You’ve seen all the efforts going on. People can talk in Albany and Washington, but the thousands of city workers doing their job deserve respect. Education, testing, enforcement is real.
    • “We have a job to do. The job is to protect New Yorkers. I am deeply concerned there that there is a threat of a second wave,” Mayor de Blasio said.
    • I focus on the people and what’s happening in the neighborhoods.
  • Dov Hikind and other Orthodox Jewish leaders will hold a rally — they argue the mayor and gov. Are targeting the Jewish community.
    • We’ve made constant efforts to address problems with communities. Danger of the second wave will affect all of us. Not just one community or another. “Let’s address the threat together and overcome it.”
  • What guarantees does the city have for students during snow days?
    • Any child who needs technology, we’re getting it to them. We know we have to purchase more. Any child needs something, they should notify their school or call 3-1-1.
  • Cluster zoned said to be “leveling off” — is that enough to end the shut downs over two weeks?
    • We’re not there yet — “end of the week” to the mayor means Sunday.
    • Right now it's a good start, but we still have a lot to do
  • Which clusters or microclusters seem to be most difficult?
    • What we’re seeing across the board is people are stepping up. As long as we’re reaching people at grassroots and progress is made, we can achieve a turnaround.
  • Reinfection- is it possible?
    • Dr. Chokshi: We are seeing some cases of reinfection across country and world. With respects to NYC, we’re actively looking at it.
    • We need to get into details of those cases to see if it means a real reinfection.
  • Early voting locations - is possible to get more across the city?
    • It’s run by the Board of Elections. The BOE has made progress in early voting sites.
    • Going forward after this year, we’re going to reevaluate what early voting should look like.
  • Uptick in crime
    • Mayor: We’ve seen people cooped up. NYPD has stepped up. What we needed was the consequences to come back and the court system to come back. It’s finally happening and will allow us to turn the tide.
  • Cuomo’s threat to cut funding: Are you concerned about this?
    • We do not have written standards from the state regarding how we handle the child care centers.
    • Focus should be on getting the work done.
    • What people want is for leaders to focus on solving the problems.
  • When can the media see attendance and enrollment numbers for students?
    • We’re dealing with a reality unlike any other. But hopefully we can get numbers sooner than later.
  • Testing in schools and shutdowns
    • We want info to be out to school community.
    • Testing in yellow zones: Over last three weeks: 3,100 test results, only four positive.

5:30 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo facing backlash and lawsuits after threatening to cut state funding in COVID "cluster zones" that don't follow and enforce new rules. Read more here.

The latest official numbers:
As of Wednesday, there were 477,940 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25,605 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