Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates

Weather: Foggy in the morning, and a chance of drizzle through the day. High in the low 70s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended through June 7.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo met with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday, and the governor said they discussed major infrastructure projects that he viewed as crucial to restarting the region’s economy.

“It was about how do we supercharge the reopening, especially in New York, which has been hardest hit,” Mr. Cuomo said at his daily news briefing.

Among the projects on the agenda was the plan to build new rail tunnels under the Hudson River, a project known as Gateway; the expansion of the Second Avenue subway; and an AirTrain to La Guardia Airport.

The governor has said the projects will be critical factors in helping New York’s economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have major infrastructure projects in New York that are ready to go, that are desperately needed, that were desperately needed 30 years ago,” Mr. Cuomo said on Wednesday. “Build them now. Supercharge the reopening. Grow the economy.”

The governor said that all of the projects that were discussed would require some level of federal funding or approval, and he urged Mr. Trump to help “get the bureaucracy to move faster” so work could begin.

Mr. Cuomo also reported 74 additional deaths from the virus in New York, about the same as the day before.

Beginning on June 1, the company will provide what a spokesman called “a limited schedule” of trips between New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, although New York City remains on a state-mandated “pause” that has kept nonessential businesses closed and many people inside their homes.

The spokesman, Sean Hughes, said that starting next week, the company will offer two round trips per day. By comparison, he said, Megabus ran more than 20 round trips during the same period in 2019.

In a statement, Mr. Hughes said the safety of passengers and employees was a “top priority.” The company said on its website that passengers would be required to wear face coverings while boarding, exiting and moving around the bus, and would also be encouraged to do so while seated.

Some budget transportation services like BoltBus have yet to restart service in the region; Greyhound is operational and is requiring customers to wear face coverings while onboard.

Since May 22, more than 118,000 people have been screened, with 5 to 7 percent of them testing positive for the virus, Mr. Murphy said at his daily news briefing on Wednesday.

Judith Persichilli, the state’s health commissioner, said that 900 contact tracers were working to determine who might have been exposed to a sick person. The goal, she said, was to have 20 to 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

New Jersey reported 148 new virus-related deaths on Wednesday, nearly triple the number on Tuesday. (The state’s daily death tolls fluctuate because they often include deaths from weeks ago that were recently confirmed.)

“It was like my son was crying out from the grave”: The mother of Eric Garner, who died in a police chokehold in New York, spoke about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. [Daily News]

When can New York City place someone under forced quarantine? [Gothamist]

A barbecue restaurant on Staten Island is turning a three-acre lot into a drive-in theater. [Staten Island Advance]

The Times’s Derek M. Norman writes:

New Yorkers always persevere. Even remotely.

Samantha Diaz, 21, had honed her signing voice in true New York fashion: by busking on subway platforms and trains to help support her family. Over the past few months, that hard work landed her as a contestant on “American Idol.”

“You know, we get on these trains — sometimes we’re tired, sometimes we’re hungry, sometimes we just don’t want to be there, but we are and we do it,” said Ms. Diaz, who goes by the stage name Just Sam.

But after she arrived in Los Angeles for “Idol,” the pandemic hit. The production was shuttered and, like so many other live events, was transitioned online. That left Ms. Diaz stuck in California, afraid to fly home and inadvertently expose her grandmother, Elizabeth, to the coronavirus.

So, quarantined in a hotel room, Ms. Diaz sang via livestream and won the competition on May 17. As the host Ryan Seacrest announced her win, Ms. Diaz clutched an iPad, the screen showing her grandmother’s reaction in real time.

The win during a time of crisis seemed to take on a special meaning for Ms. Diaz, who watched from afar as New York battled the virus. At first, she had hoped to stay in Los Angeles to work on music, but she decided to return to her grandmother and the Frederick Douglass Homes in Manhattan Valley, where they live.

“I want to be able to help people, especially New Yorkers, and everyone who is struggling throughout this time,” Ms. Diaz said. “I want to be able to spread joy, happiness and peace during this time. I’m a New Yorker, and I want them all to know: I love you guys. I got you guys.”

It’s Thursday — follow your dreams.

Dear Diary:

Two grackles perch
on a branch,
willing to entertain —
we’re all sitting around,
jumpy, fluttering.
They don’t seem hungry,
an odd peck or two at the bark —
nest built, babies fed,
it’s break time in grackle country.
A sparrow arrives,
apparently a member of the club —
they do not scatter
like they do
at pigeons.
Can they see me
through the glass?
They turn their heads,
turn again, turn,
their beaks a sudden gold
against black feathers.
they measure the sky.

— Marcia B. Loughran

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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