Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates

Weather: Mostly sunny today with a high in the mid-60s and showers tonight.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended through Sunday; resumes Monday.

A fourth region of upstate New York has met the criteria to start gradually reopening, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday.

The North Country, the sparsely populated northern region that includes the Adirondack Mountains, has achieved the seven benchmarks required to partly reopen construction, manufacturing and curbside retail by Friday.

On Monday, Mr. Cuomo said three other regions — the Finger Lakes, including Rochester; the Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania; and the Mohawk Valley, west of Albany — could take those steps.

The announcement that a fourth section of the state was poised to reopen came as Mr. Cuomo reported 166 new virus-related deaths, the third straight day the figure was under 200.

The number of new hospitalizations has also continued to stay at the levels that preceded Mr. Cuomo’s statewide stay-at-home orders. The governor reported 416 new virus-related hospitalizations and 2,176 new confirmed cases.

Of the cases being investigated by the state, 71 percent resulted in children being admitted to intensive care units, and 43 percent of the patients remained hospitalized, Mr. Cuomo said.

New York City will ban traffic from nearly a dozen more miles of streets starting on Thursday, a move that comes as residents enticed by warm weather and weary of isolation have begun to flock outside in large numbers.

Worried that New Yorkers seeking fresh air would violate social-distancing guidelines, the city has been closing some streets to car traffic. City officials have also taken steps to limit crowds at popular parks in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The city will open 7.6 miles of streets in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and 2.8 miles of streets adjacent to parks in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens and on Staten Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his daily news briefing on Wednesday.

An additional 1.3 miles will be opened in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens in partnership with community groups, he said.

Throughout May, 9.2 miles of additional protected bike lanes will be created in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, Mr. de Blasio said. The first lane is set to open on Thursday, on Broadway in Manhattan.

“This is important,” he said. “Many, many New Yorkers are choosing to use bicycles to get around more than ever as part of their everyday life.”

New York City has barred employers from requiring job applicants to take pre-employment tests for marijuana, with some exceptions. [Associated Press]

Across the city, trash collections were down 5.7 percent last month. [The City]

Crematory operators at Green-Wood Cemetery are working 17-hour shifts to process the backlog of bodies from the city’s Covid-19 death toll. [Gothamist]

The Times’s Jessica Bennett, Daniel Jones and Anya Strzemien write:

As millions of people grapple with isolation in a pandemic, those who live alone face a particular kind of solitude.

More people live alone now than at any other time in history, a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one fueled largely by women’s economic rise.

Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, of course, and many people who live by themselves spend little time alone. Until, perhaps, a pandemic hits.

Weeks or months into the stay-at-home orders worldwide, The Times wanted to know how solo dwellers were faring. What were they doing to keep themselves occupied? What did they most long for? What did they feel liberated to live without?

More than 2,000 readers, including many New Yorkers, shared their stories. Claire Manship, 28, of Harlem, was one of them. She wrote:

I knew a singalong wasn’t likely to become a neighborhood pastime. I wanted to sing anyway.

And so, one evening, I leaned out my bedroom window and started singing a rendition of “New York, New York.” My voice was ringing down the alley, and by the end of the song, neighbors were applauding from their windows and calling for an encore.

I sang for my neighbors every night for the rest of the week. I had been so alone in my apartment that it didn’t even occur to me there were hundreds of other people, sitting alone in theirs, just a few feet away.

Dear Diary:

At 7 p.m. on a Sunday some time ago, I found myself on an open dance floor in Gowanus surrounded by 50- and 60-year-olds. They were all excellent dancers, adults who had been club kids in the golden eras of disco and house music.

I was feeling emotionally gutted from a difficult conversation with a man I was dating. The sadness manifested as a physical heaviness, and I knew I needed dance to shed the weight. In good times and bad, I love Sunday dance parties that span the afternoon and early evening. To dance with abandon, connect with others and make it to bed by 10 is a luxury.

On this Sunday I was lucky to meet Thomas, whose movements had a grace, energy and coolness I did not expect in someone 30 years my senior. He said people called him Quickfoot, and I could see why.

Thomas, in gold chains, do-rag and fanny pack, stuck with me on the dance floor, and I felt honored when he expressed admiration for how I moved through the space.

“Keep that energy flowing, use it well and you will stay young at heart,” he said as he was leaving.

Toward the end of the night, a man took off his shirt and lay down in the middle of the floor. He passed incense he had found at the D.J. booth around his head, across his body and over each limb.

As he excised whatever inner turmoil plagued him, I danced with others in the space around him. We were strangers, yet entwined in the same task: to find joy, shed pain and be cleansed for the week ahead.

— Andrea Silverman

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