Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates

Weather: A frigid morning starts off a blustery day with some sun and a high in the low 50s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended through Tuesday. Meters are in effect.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo met with President Trump at the White House on Tuesday, describing the conversation afterward as a “productive” step toward helping New York increase its ability to test for the coronavirus and, eventually, to restart its economy.

The governor said the two men, whose relations during the virus outbreak have swung from antagonistic to conciliatory and back, discussed the role the federal government could play in increasing testing capacity, and whether more stimulus money could be made available to New York and other financially battered states.

Mr. Trump was supportive on both fronts, Mr. Cuomo said.

“The meeting went well and I think it was productive,” the governor said during a telephone interview on MSNBC. “The big issue was testing.”

At a news conference, Mr. Cuomo said the president had committed to helping New York State double its capacity for both the coronavirus and the antibody tests to 40,000 a day. He did not specify when the state would achieve that goal.

“It will take several weeks at best,” Mr. Cuomo said. “This is an enormous undertaking.”

The governor noted that it had taken the state about a month to get to where it could do 20,000 tests day, which he called the “current system at maximum.” He and other governors have said that increasing testing capacity was critical to lifting lockdown restrictions that have brought many aspects of life to a halt.

Other measures of the virus’s spread in the state were also flat or falling, Mr. Cuomo said.

The number of hospitalized patients fell for the eighth day in a row, and the number who were newly admitted was the lowest in more than three weeks.

The number of intubated virus patients — the most seriously ill people — fell by 127, the steepest one-day drop to date, and is now below 4,000.

It was considered the “probable” cause of death for another 4,865 people who died without being tested for the virus.

But public health experts said there were many more deaths that might be indirectly attributable to the virus: people who died because they were not able to get adequate health care from a system overwhelmed by virus patients.

The analysis, by the data reporters Jin Wu and Allison McCann, compared the number of people who died in New York City from March 11 to April 18 with the number who would normally have been expected to die during such a span.

People died in New York City during that time at about four times the normal rate, the analysis found.

Some New York City Council members are questioning whether any official actions taken during remote meetings will hold up in court. [New York Post]

The police raided a marijuana party of more than 40 people. [NBC New York]

The Brooklyn landlord who canceled rent for tenants appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and received a $25,000 donation in his name to a local soup kitchen. [Greenpointers]

The Times’s Laurel Graeber writes:

It seems hard to celebrate the natural world when you’re sheltering in place. But even though many Earth Day events have been canceled, several New York institutions are honoring the holiday’s 50th anniversary online.

These virtual festivities are free. Below are three highlights; find more possibilities here.

The American Museum of Natural History has a festival that starts this morning with family workshops in botany and glacial physics. It also includes a virtual flight to Venus and to Mars that explores the solar system’s “Goldilocks zone” and what those planets teach us about climate change.

The Staten Island Museum promises an interactive science fair: On Saturday, more than 20 instructional videos will go online and remain there indefinitely. Some teach practical environmental skills, like maintaining a worm compost bin or building rain barrels, while others offer more esoteric fare, like making ink with black walnuts.

The Prospect Park Alliance’s Earth Day webpage will provide instructions for at-home activities like making paper and growing a grocery garden from food scraps. Or register for The Trees of Prospect Park, a virtual journey: Today at 11 a.m., the forest ecologist Howard Goldstein will introduce sites including the Lullwater Cove and the Butterfly Meadow, and species like the Northern red oak and sweet birch.

It’s Wednesday — act natural.

Dear Diary:

I was uptown on a mid-March evening some years ago. I stopped into a wine shop, picked out a couple of bottles and absent-mindedly put down my briefcase to get to my credit card.

After paying for the wine, I walked out of the shop. I was about halfway up the block when a young woman ran up to me.

“You forgot your briefcase,” she said, nearly out of breath.

I looked at her just as the heavens opened up. We stepped into a confectionary shop as the rain poured down, and I thanked her.

She smiled so sweetly that I suddenly heard myself saying, “How about coming to a party with me; it’s couples and … ”

She laughed a little, then looked at me with her head cocked, perhaps trying to figure out if I was for real.

“OK,” she said. “Maybe just this once.”

— Scott Cameron

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