Coronavirus in N.Y.: Latest Updates

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It’s Tuesday.

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Weather: Sunny but chilly. High in the upper 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Thursday (Thanksgiving Day).

Credit…Mark Abramson for The New York Times

For months, New York City seemed to be keeping the virus at bay.

But now, public schools are closed, indoor dining could soon follow and restrictions continue to be imposed on more neighborhoods as cases tick upward. The seven-day average positive test rate in the city was 3.06 percent on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

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With the upcoming holidays, officials worry that increased gatherings and socialization could leave some areas battling a second wave for months. “That is a dangerous situation,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday. “And that is exactly where we are going.”

Here are five things to know about the outbreak in New York:

Since October, Mr. Cuomo has relied on targeted restrictions to contain virus outbreaks, dividing hot spots into tiered zones of red, orange and yellow based on their severity. Some areas in Upper Manhattan, including parts of Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights, will be designated a yellow zone, Mr. Cuomo announced on Monday.

The restrictions are the first in the borough under the tiered system. Indoor and outdoor dining will be capped at four people per table, while houses of worship will be limited to 50 percent capacity.

Less than three weeks ago, Mr. de Blasio announced that two ZIP codes on Staten Island had a concerning rise in test positivity rates. Now, the southern end of the borough will be classified as an orange zone.

In that area, which includes Tottenville, Great Kills and Bay Terrace, high-risk nonessential businesses such as gyms will close and indoor dining will be banned starting Wednesday. The borough’s northern side will remain a yellow zone.

Mr. Cuomo has also warned that hospitals on Staten Island are overburdened, and he said that an emergency hospital for virus patients would open in the South Beach neighborhood.

Mr. de Blasio offered few specifics on Monday about how the roughly 300,000 students who received some in-person instruction at the city’s public schools would return to classrooms after last week’s shutdown. “A lot of details have to be worked out between the city and the state,” he said.

He added, however, that the “most vulnerable” groups of students would be prioritized in plans for a return, especially younger children and those with special needs.

There are also worries over the virus numbers in upstate New York. Mr. Cuomo said on Monday that parts of Syracuse, Rochester and their suburbs would be designated as orange zones.

The state will now have dozens of zones under various levels of restrictions. Mr. Cuomo warned that the area around Buffalo, where test positivity rates in some suburbs are over 9 percent, is on track to become a red zone, the most stringent level of lockdown.

Mr. Cuomo also said parts of Great Neck and Massapequa Park on Long Island would become yellow zones.

For local officials, persuading New Yorkers to follow safety guidelines, particularly as the winter months approach and gatherings move indoors, has been a challenge. City sheriff’s deputies have regularly broken up large parties over the past few months.

Ahead of Thanksgiving and other holidays, both Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo again urged against travel and large celebrations. But between Friday and Sunday, more than 184,000 passengers went through the New York City area’s three major airports, according to the Transportation Security Administration. It was the most traffic since March.

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Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

A group of New Yorkers has come together to save Astor Place Hairstylists, which was set to close after nearly 75 years because of slow business during the pandemic. [New York Post]

Another person was pushed onto city subway tracks, the third incident in a week, as reports of felony assaults and other crimes among riders continue to rise. [NBC New York]

An appeals court rejected a bid to revive a battle against rezoning efforts in Inwood, likely ending the fight over the Manhattan neighborhood’s future. [The Real Deal]

John Freeman Gill writes:

In the moments after the presidential election was called in favor of Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Nov. 7, a jubilant crowd gathered spontaneously in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza to celebrate.

But right above where hundreds congregated, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch stood in need of repair: The roof of the 80-foot granite monument has failed. Invasive reeds are growing from the shattered roof tiles. In late 2018, mortar fell from around one of the arch’s nine-ton keystones.

To address the decay, the first full restoration of the arch in 40 years will be undertaken next year, funded by $6 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio. The project will stabilize and repoint the exterior envelope of the waterlogged monument, replace the roof and repair some of the interior iron staircases, among other improvements.

About $3 million will also go toward replacing the uneven paving around Bailey Fountain, in the plaza’s center, and restoring the planted berms around its periphery. The work is expected to be completed by 2022, after which the arch’s interior and roof will be open to the public on special occasions.

Jonathan Kuhn, the director of art and antiquities for the Parks Department, said that the most successful monuments are those that transcend their original function.

Over the monument’s long life, he said — from being envisioned as an elegant entrance to Prospect Park to becoming a locus of community gatherings for Black Lives Matter demonstrations —  it has “come to represent the borough.”

It’s Tuesday — know your history.

Dear Diary:

In 1971, I was 16 years old and living on the Coast Guard base on Governors Island. One Sunday morning I took the short ferry ride to the southern tip of Manhattan.

Directly across from the terminal was a cement stairway with high walls. The acoustics of the space were ideal for playing my soprano recorder. The area was mostly deserted that morning, as it usually was on Sundays.

After I had been playing for a few minutes, an older man in a fedora and a three-quarter-length coat appeared at the bottom of the steps. He was holding a violin case.

“What do you have there?” he said in a heavy accent.

Reflexively, I stood and pulled the recorder to my chest.

He made a gesture with his free hand toward his violin and spoke as if to a very young child.

“No, no, see?” he said. “I have my own.”

Detecting no threat, I handed him the recorder. He turned it over in his hands, studying it before handing it back.

“Keep practicing,” he said. And then he was gone as quickly as he had appeared.

— Steven Hanson

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