Latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic for March 27, 2020

LIVE BLOG - FOX 5 NY is updating this blog with the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak so you can get the information in one spot.

10:49 PM: The ASPCA says that there has been a 70 percent increase in pet fostering in New York City and Los Angeles, as people look for a non-human companion to help them ride out the coronavirus crisis.

10:13 PM: Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that he wants to salute 750 clinicians staffing 3-1-1 day and night, answering 23,000 calls just this week.

9:59 PM: Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that New York City has 26,697 coronavirus cases and 450 deaths.

9:35 PM: The Vatican says Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Week ceremonies in the confines of Vatican City, including a Good Friday Way of the Cross service on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica instead of at Rome’s Colosseum as is customary.

9:05 PM: Spiritual leaders the world over are facing a conundrum as the death toll from the coronavirus mounts, leaving the faithful in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere struggling to amend ancient burial practices to follow government recommendations. Some funerals are not being held at all, or limited to gatherings of 10 or fewer people.

8:45 PM: At a press conference on Friday, President Trump warned the leaders of hard-hit states not to cross him, saying “I want them to be appreciative,” of the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

8:23 PM: The NYPD has announced that a civilian member of the service has become the department's second coronavirus death.

6:21 PM: Dr. Katz says NYC public hospitals are participating in trials where antibodies are harvested from people who have recovered from COVID-19 are then given to current patients; hopes to have more news about these trials soon.

6:12 PM: Dr. Katz responds to question about employees of public hospitals saying they don't have safety supplies and are wearing garbage bags, etc.: says hospitals have enough supplies right now but situation is changing and supplies could run out in a week or so.

6:06 PM: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues a Level-3 travel notice; U.S. residents should avoid all nonessential international travel due to the "widespread ongoing transmission" of COVID-19; "All international travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing," CDC advises. 

5:55 PM: Johns Hopkins University: The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States now exceeds 100,000; more than 1,500 have died.

5:52 PM: Dr. Katz says he expects other public hospitals to be in a situation similar to what is happening at Elmhurst.

5:38 PM: City officials urge New Yorkers to stay at home even if you have symptoms, get rest, drink lots of fluids; however, Dr. Mitchell Katz, CEO of Health and Hospitals Corp., says if you develop shortness of breath, you should seek care as soon as possible; Dr. Oxiris Barbot, NYC health commissioner, says that if you have a serious underlying health condition—such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, cancer, a weakened immune system—and develop symptoms, you should call your doctor. [Some CDC guidelines here.]

5:28 PM: Mayor de Blasio has spoken to religious leaders, who have been very supportive; a small number of religious communities at some churches and synagogues are still ignoring the rules banning gatherings; city agencies will shut down services; if groups do not comply, the congregations could be fined and the buildings could be closed.

5:26 PM: Mayor de Blasio: Vast majority of people using city parks are doing the right thing by keeping distance and moving along; but we've seen some problems in last few days; as weather gets better, we may have to step up enforcement to break up groups and even issue penalties; "I don't want to penalize" people in these hard times but I need them to listen. 

5:24 PM: Mayor de Blasio: We will continue to release inmates where appropriate; at least another 75 will be released by tonight.

5:19 PM: Mayor de Blasio: Health and Hospitals Corp. sent 64 more clinicians (RNs, NPs, PA, docs) to Elmhurst Hospital today; 105 more nurses on Saturday.

5:17 PM: Mayor de Blasio: We have enough PPE to get us through about Sunday, April 5, but we need more; trucks are on the road bringing supplies to NYC.

5:15 PM: Mayor de Blasio is glad to see President Trump ordered GM to make ventilators; wants Trump to use "full" power of Defense Production Act and mobilize the military to help even more.

5:12 PM: Mayor de Blasio says he will work with state lawmakers to suspend the rent-stabilization process for 2020; if that happens, the rents for NYC's approximate 1 million rent-stabilized apartments would be frozen. 

5:10 PM: Mayor de Blasio: Passage of the federal stimulus package is good but it isn't enough.

5:08 PM: Mayor de Blasio: 366 NYC residents have died so far; total cases: 25,573.

5:03 PM: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds an update on the city's response to the coronavirus crisis | WATCH LIVE:

5:00 PM: NYPD says 442 uniformed members and 70 civilian members of the department have tested positive for the coronavirus; on Friday, March 27, 4,111 NYPD uniformed employees were on sick report, which is 11.4% of the uniformed workforce.

4:50 PM: New York City is setting up makeshift morgues and deploying refrigerated trucks outside hospitals in case coronavirus-related deaths surge. 

4:35 PM: President Donald Trump signs an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package into law. 

4:27 PM: President Trump orders General Motors to make ventilators under the Defense Production Act.

4:20 PM: The Western States Endurance Run, considered the most prestigious ultramarathon in the U.S., is canceled; "We feel that moving forward with plans for a race in June is not aligned with what our government, medical experts, and society is asking us to do," the organizers of the 100-mile race in California said in a statement.

4:17 PM: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva says the global economy has entered a recession that could be as bad or worse than the so-called Great Recession.

4:10 PM: U.S. stocks close lower for the day but hold onto gains made this week as Congress moved to pass rescue bill.

4:00 PM: Fairfield County's Community Foundation raises $1 million in pledges to help nonprofits in Fairfield County, which is the hardest-hit county in Connecticut.

3:18 PM: Gov. Murphy: I hope I'm wrong but I don't see how this doesn't bleed into May.

3:08 PM: Commissioner Persichelli: We believe we have enough ventilators for now but we requested more to have in reserve.

2:35 PM: Commissioner Persichelli: We expect to see a surge of cases in mid-April; but the peak could come later.

2:32 PM: Judith Persichelli, health commissioner: New Jersey has conducted 24,843 tests; 33.4% positive rate; the testing backlog means that some results take up to a week; this means we aren't yet seeing the effect of social distancing; we must continue social distancing to flatten the curve and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our state.

2:28 PM: Gov. Murphy: We will get through this together; not unscathed, not without making mistakes, but we will get through it.

2:23 PM: Gov. Murphy: Google has given the state a grant for advertising so we can get urgent information out to more people.

2:20 PM: Gov. Murphy: If you have medical experience and can help us, please sign up to volunteer at

2:18 PM: Gov. Murphy: We're working with Army Corps of Engineers to stand up 3 mobile hospital sites at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

2:16 PM: Gov. Murphy says several corporations are donating much-needed essential supplies and money.

2:13 PM: Gov. Murphy: We are hearing too many reports of businesses not complying with orders to prevent the spread of the virus; you can report them here:

2:08 PM: Gov. Murphy: REMINDER—Saturday, March 28, the testing sites at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center will be reserved for only symptomatic health care workers and first responders with valid credentials.

2:05 PM: Gov. Murphy: Testing the "worried well" and the asymptomatic would not help us and would waste precious supplies; "Our best metric for ensuring that our testing resources are being properly disbursed—and that our greater medical resources are being put to their best and highest use—comes from testing the right people, those who are symptomatic."

2:02 PM: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: 1,982 new positive tests since Thursday (state total: 8,825); 27 more people died (108 deaths total); "These are not abstract numbers; these are our friends, our nrighbors."

1:43 PM: The USNS Mercy is now at the Port of Los Angeles; the hospital ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to hospitals on shore.

1:41 PM: Immigration judges and attorneys are asking the Trump administration to stop in-person hearings and close all immigration courts.

1:24 PM: Latimer: About golf, we have stated one person per golf cart. We are trying to enfoce this as best as we can. I'm more concerned in the larger places like our Kensico Dam.

1:20 PM: Latimer when asked how people will handle stay-at-home order as the weather gets nicer: We are trying to offer people options to get exercise where you don't run into large quantities of people. Enforcement is intended to be light at this time. Go out in the right paraments. Don't cluster. If we have to enforce it more rigorousy we will.

1:17 PM: Latimer: Westchester County residents can email with any coronavirus related questions.

1:15 PM: Latimer: Westchester County Center will be fitted for additional hospital beds. 

1:12 PM: Latimer: We have kept our county parks open. But it has become increasingly difficult to enforce social distancing at these facilities. You must show a certain amount of discipline and practice social distance.

1:11 PM: County Executive Latimer discusses the 2020 census.

1:09 PM: Latimer: We wish we didn't have any more deaths to report but we will.

1:08 PM: Latimer: At the current percentage of people sick, we have enough hospital rooms. But that number can change.

1:07 PM: Latimer: 73 Westchester residents are hospitalized right now. There have been 10 deaths in Westchester County.

1:06 PM: Latimer: There is a significant spread across the board and Westchester County.

1:05 PM: Latimer: There are 136 positive cases in Mount Vernon and 98 positive cases in White Plains.

1:03 PM: Latimer: There are 301 positive cases in Yonkers; 284 positive cases in New Rochelle and 173 positive cases in Greenburgh.

1:01 PM: Latimer: We now see that there are 7,187 positive cases in Westchester County. It exceeds all jurisdictions in New York State except for New York City.

1:00 PM: Westchester County Executive George Latimer holds news conference regarding coronavirus response in the county. WATCH LIVE:

12:56 PM: Nova Scotia, Canada, reports 17 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 90 confirmed cases; health officials say most of the cases are connected to travel or a known case.

12:49 PM: WHO official: We should commend countries for testing; part of the rising numbers are due to better/wider testing; we should not "punish" countries for testing.

12:33 PM: These 4 sites could be used for mobile hospitals if the president approves: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, CUNY College of Staten Island, and New York Expo Center in the Bronx; Gov. Cuomo will tour the sites on Saturday.

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island, and the NY Expo Center in the Bronx

12:20 PM: Gov. Cuomo: I signed an executive order saying that for 90 days a landlord cannot evict you for non-payment of rent; rent is often 40%-50% of someone's income and unemployment insurance typically won't cover all expenses.

12:18 PM: NYC health officials are warning residents that scammers are trying to take advantage of the fear about the coronavirus; do not respond to callers claiming to set up coronavirus testing.

12:15 PM: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO holds a media briefing.

12:11 PM: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran: As of Thursday evening, the county has 696 COVID-19-related hospitalizations (167 people on ventilators/194 in critical condition), 27 deaths (8 new fatalities).

12:08 PM: Gov. Cuomo: If these numbers (confirmed cases) increase, you will see hospitals reach capacity; that's why we're building these mobile hospitals and why I'm asking the president to authorize more.

12:05 PM: Gov. Cuomo says to the members of the National Guard: "When other people played it safe, you showed up" and "I bring you thanks from all New Yorkers" and "I say this to you, my friends, we go out there today and we kick coronavirus ass."

12:00 PM: Gov. Cuomo thanks the Army Corps of Engineers, Javits staff, and National Guard for building a mobile hospital inside the convention center in a week; thanks Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy of the National Guard Bureau.

11:54 AM: Gov. Cuomo: Cases are rising but the rate is slowing; this is some good news; we put out a call for medical volunteers and we got 60,000 responses; we also asked for mental health volunteers—"this is a stressful, taxing situation for everyone"—and 10,000 are stepping up.

11:51 AM: Gov. Cuomo: New York has 44,635 positive cases, 6,481 hospitalized (1,583 in ICU), 2,045 discharged, 519 deaths.

11:49 AM: Gov. Cuomo: 519 people have died; "That will continue to go up and that is the worst news I could possibly tell the people of New York"; the longer you are on a ventilator, the more likely you will die; some patients have been on a ventilator for more than 20 days. 

11:45 AM: Gov. Cuomo: The USNS Comfort hospital ship (with 1,000 beds) should dock in New York Harbor by Monday; we are looking at dorms, hotels, and nursing homes that could serve as overflow hospitals.

11:42 AM: Gov. Cuomo: We are going to Plan B because we need more beds; we are going to build another 4 temporary hospitals; we are looking at sites with the Army Corps of Engineers; I will ask the president to authorize more mobile hospitals; I want to set up one temp hospital in each borough, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.

11:40 AM: Gov. Cuomo: We need so many ventilators because this disease attacks pulmonary system (respiratory illness); patients need to be on a ventilator much longer than for many other illnesses.

11:38 AM: Gov. Cuomo: We said schools would remain closed through April 1 and then reasses; that is only a few days away and keeping them closed for another 2 weeks beyond that seems prudent. 

11:36 AM: Gov. Cuomo: We took action to try to "flatten the curve" and save lives; "We are battling a deadly virus. Is there an intrusion on daily life? ... movement? ... economy? Yes." 

11:34 AM: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers an update on the state's response to the crisis. WATCH LIVE:

11:28 AM: Mayor de Blasio told ABC's "Good Morning America": "When the president says the state of New York doesn't need 30,000 ventilators, with all due respect to him, he's not looking at the facts of this astronomical growth of this crisis."

11:18 AM: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says more than half the city's 8-million-plus population could be infected by the coronavirus at any one time; says the city could be shut down through May.

10:15 AM: A healthcare worker was found dead in her Georgia home with her child beside her after she passed away from coronavirus, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

9:18 AM: From the NYC Office of Emergency Management: If you believe an employer is violating COVID19 related labor laws, call 311 & say “Paid Safe and Sick Leave” or visit ‪ 

8:35 AM: U.S. equity futures are trading lower before the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the coronavirus aid bill. The major futures indexes are indicating a decline of 1.6 percent, or about 350 Dow points, when trading begins on Friday.

7:22 AM: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but remains in charge of the U.K.'s response to the outbreak.

7:12 AM: Closures of four streets to vehicular traffic in NYC will go into affect later this morning to allow pedestrians to head outdoors while maintainging social distancing norm. Click HERE for details.

7:00 AM: Watch 'Good Day New York' for the latest on the pandemic. Click HERE.

5:52 AM: Service changes are in effect for mass transit across the NYC region. To check on MTA updates click HERE. For NJ Transit click HERE.