Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: The Latest

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It’s Friday. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, officials are urging a reduction in gatherings. As such, we are temporarily suspending our event listings.

Weather: Rainy in the morning, clearing and windy in the afternoon, with a high in the mid-60s. Cooler and mostly sunny over the weekend.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until April 9 (Holy Thursday).


In his most sweeping effort yet to contain the coronavirus, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State would restrict most gatherings of more than 500 people. Soon after, Mayor de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City.

Across the state, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and public transit will be exempt from the restrictions on gatherings, which will go into effect for most venues today at 5 p.m., Mr. Cuomo said.

[Read our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in the New York area.]

The announcement was an especially heavy blow to the theater industry, a crown jewel of New York City’s tourist trade, and came after cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art said they would suspend visits and performances.

As of yesterday afternoon, New York State had at least 328 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the governor said. The city, which had 95 confirmed coronavirus cases as of yesterday, could have 1,000 by next week, the mayor said.

Here’s what else you should know:

In his news conference yesterday, Mr. de Blasio cited the potential for major job losses. He also noted the possibility of large-scale evictions of renters, mass business closings and even food shortages.

Among the steps the mayor said the city could take under a state of emergency were closing public transit, ordering people off the streets and rationing supplies. Curfews could be imposed and streets could be closed to vehicles, he said.

[Riders are ditching the subway as fear spreads.]

New York City, for the first time, closed some public schools. Yesterday, Mr. de Blasio announced the closings of two schools in the Bronx. He said that other schools would remain open but that assemblies, plays, after-school sports and other activities would be canceled.

Also, the Archdiocese of New York said it would close its elementary schools next week. The move will affect more than 19,000 students.

The state enacted restrictions in a “containment zone” in New Rochelle. The zone is a one-mile radius around a synagogue believed to be at the heart of New York’s coronavirus outbreak. The National Guard was deployed in the area, primarily to deliver food and to clean and sanitize buildings.

The New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade was postponed: It is the first time the parade has been rescheduled in its more than 250 year history.

The N.B.A. and N.H.L. have both suspended their seasons. Also, the first game of the Big East tournament quarterfinals tipped off as scheduled at noon yesterday at Madison Square Garden, but the N.C.A.A. tournament was canceled at halftime, with St. John’s leading Creighton, 38-35.


The Times’s Aaron Randle writes:

Barbershops have become so culturally integral to black communities that they have been the setting of a blockbuster movie franchise, the focus of rigorous academic study and, most recently, the backdrop for LeBron James’s talk show.

But not everyone experiences the barbershop in the same way.

“To many queer individuals,” said Khane Kutzwell, who owns a barbershop in Brooklyn called Camera Ready Kutz, “the barbershop can be hell.”

Before she became a barber, Ms. Kutzwell said, she had heard horror stories from her friends about getting haircuts. Women described male barbers who refused to execute styles they deemed “too manly.” Gay men spoke of being forced to sit, stone-faced and anxious, as homophobic slurs were used in the shop.

Ms. Kutzwell, who identifies as queer, is one of several barbers catering to L.G.B.T. clients. She uses social media to connect with them.

Each week, Ms. Kutzwell sends her Camera Ready Kutz barbers emails discussing social strategy, and she asks them to tag their Instagram posts with hashtags that potential customers are likely to use when looking for shops: #QueerBarbers, #BlackBrooklynBarber and #LGBTSafeSpace.

Ms. Kutzwell said her customers come to her looking for more than just a haircut.

“I sell self-esteem,” she said.

It’s Friday — hold your head up high.


Dear Diary:

I found a great solid-wood side chair on the street many years ago. It was perched on top of a pile of black garbage bags.

I was on my way to work, so I took it into the office and then back to my apartment at the end of the day, happy to have made such a great find on the street.

Clearing some of the clutter out of my apartment recently, I decided that the chair had served its purpose and I reluctantly took it to the recycling room in my building.

Some time later, I bumped into my new neighbor in the hallway. His apartment is next door to mine. He asked if I’d like to come in and see his new table.

We were admiring the table when my eyes fell upon a familiar piece of furniture.

“That’s my chair,” I blurted. “Where did you find it?”

Outside the building, he said, perched on top of a pile of black garbage bags.

— Connie Norkin


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