May 2, 2020
From Governor Cuomo @ 7:20 PM on April 2:
Starting May 6th, we are closing the NYC subway system for four hours at night from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. when the ridership is lowest. This has never been done before — but we need to do so now in order to allow the MTA to disinfect every subway car every 24 hours. This is a massive undertaking but we are taking this unprecedented step to protect the public, transit workers, and our essential workers. New Yorkers who need to use the subways and buses to get to work need to know that they're safe. The essential workers who have kept society functioning and who are doing an extraordinary job deserve nothing less. We will get this done because we need to.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. New York has completed our antibody testing survey. The results show that 12.3 percent of the state's population have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. The survey developed a baseline infection rate by testing 15,000 people at grocery stores and community centers across the state over the past two weeks. More results by demographics and by region are available here.
2. School board elections and budget votes statewide are delayed until June 9. Yesterday, I signed an Executive Order to push back these elections to keep New Yorkers safe amid the pandemic. The school board elections and budget votes will all be conducted by mail and all qualified voters will be sent an absentee ballot with return postage paid. The Executive Order also delays local special district and village elections until September 15, 2020.
3. New York will distribute $25 million to food banks across the state through the Nourish New York Initiative. This initiative is working to quickly reroute New York's surplus agricultural products to populations who need them most through the state's network of food banks. We are also asking any philanthropies that would like to help the state's food banks to email COVID19Philanthropies@exec.ny.
4. We need to protect our vulnerable communities, not just with words, but with actions. The state will distribute over seven million more cloth masks to vulnerable New Yorkers and essential workers across the state.
5. In New York City, seven miles of street have been opened up to only pedestrian traffic. To help with crowding and to maintain social distancing, the first streets that are part of New York City's "Open Streets" program opened today. The program aims to have 100 miles of street dedicated to only pedestrian traffic.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": New York City restauranteur Luca Di Pietro has raised over $1.26 million in donations to feed frontline workers through his Feed the Frontlines NYC Initiative. It never ceases to amaze me when New Yorkers come together to help one another.
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