The latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic for March 30, 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.

6:45 PM: NYPD says 824 uniformed members and 106 civilian members of the department have tested positive for coronavirus; on Monday, 5,199 uniformed members (14.4% of uniformed workforce) were on sick report.

6:15 PM: The Suffolk County SPCA says it is still on the job investigating animal abuse; the group says it is "dire need" of N95 masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for its volunteers and peace officers.

5:30 PM: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey imposes stay-at-home order; grocery stores, pharmacies to remain open.

4:40 PM: The CDC issues details on its domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut; "The CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days. ..."

4:01 PM: Gov. Andrew Cuomo orders the WTC spire to be lit red, white and blue Monday night; "I am directing the World Trade Center spire to be lit red, white and blue tonight as a symbol of our commonality — we are all Americans and we will fight this war and get through this difficult time together."

4:00 PM: U.S. Stocks rally; health care companies make big gains after annoucing developments that could help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

3:26 PM: Gov. Murphy says he feels better about the number of ventilators the state has but he isn't comfortable yet; "We are in the fight of our lives, let there be no doubt about it."

3:22 PM: Commissioner Persichelli says she believes the state will have enough ventilators and ICU beds but is concerned about not having enough PPE.

2:58 PM: Gov. Murphy: No plans to allow motorists to pump their own gas.

2:56 PM: Gov. Murphy: We have asked for 2,000 more ventilators from the federal stockpile and we are also trying to buy more ventilators on the open market.

2:53 PM: Gov. Murphy: In a perfect world, we'd want to test as many people as possible like South Korea has done but right now we have limited resources (collection kits, PPE, staff) and cannot test people who aren't showing symptoms.

2:51 PM: Commissioner Persichelli: If we can lower the curve as much as possible, hospitals may not need to "co-vent," which is putting 2 patients on 1 ventilator.

2:44 PM: Gov. Murphy: Taking an average rate of social-distancing compliance based on previous pandemics, we can "crush the top of that curve"; everyone has to play their part.

2:41 PM: Commissioner Persichelli: Private labs report 40,806 tests with 15,582 positives; positive rate: 38.19%.

2:37 PM: New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichelli: Social distancing is our best tool to help flatten the curve; we have asked hospitals to increase their critical care capacity.

2:35 PM: Gov. Murphy: State attorney general, state comptroller, and U.S. attorney have formed a joint federal-state task force to "investigate and prosecute misconduct including unlawful hoarding of medical supplies, price gouging, charity scams, procurement fraud, and more"; you can report tips to: 866-720-5721 or

2:32 PM: Gov. Murphy: Real estate agents can show homes to prospective buyers either 1-on-1 or to immediate families; open houses are still banned.

2:30 PM: Gov. Murphy: Golf courses will remain closed.

2:28 PM: Gov. Murphy: Auto dealerships can sell cars remotely (online/by phone); dealers can deliver vehicles directly to customers or can arrange for curbside or service lane pickup at a dealership.

2:26 PM: Gov. Murphy: In light of federal guidance issued over the weekend, firearms retailers may open for business by appointment only.

2:25 PM: Gov. Murphy: If you have PPE you can donate, you can go here:

2:23 PM: Gov. Murphy: If you have prior medical experience and are willing to "join our frontline army against COVID-19, you can sign up at

2:18 PM: Gov. Murphy: Bergen Community College drive-through testing site will be open Tuesday, March 31, at 8 AM for all residents exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness; PNC Bank Arts Center testing site will be closed Tuesday.

2:15 PM: Gov. Murphy says his administration is working to reopen closed hospitals to "bring online an additional 1,300-plus beds"; also asking Army Corps of Engineers to build three regional field medical stations capable of adding another 1,000 beds; "We will do everything we can to get the beds we need."

2:08 PM: Gov. Murphy: Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok of the New Jersey National Guard has died from COVID-19-related causes; he was a physician's assistant by profession; originally from Jackson, N.J., he was a Pennsylvania resident and died in a hospital there (so he is not part of N.J.'s case count).

2:05 PM: Gov. Murphy: 37 more people have died since yesterday; state death toll is now 198; 3,347 new positive tests; state total is now 16,636.

2:04 PM: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy holds an update on the state's response to the coronavirus crisis:

1:56 PM: Cuomo: They (doctors) should have every piece of equipment that they need, that's the least we can do.

1:54 PM: Cuomo asked about centralizing equipment distribution: It will be a central stockpiling and will distribute by need.

1:49 PM: Cuomo: Elmhurst Hospital is struggling. I have asked other hospitals to help and pitch in and they have agreed.

1:47 PM: Cuomo: We have said that no one can legally be evicted for three months, period. You cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent.

1:45 PM: Cuomo: I told the President when you do good things for my state I will say thank you. If you're doing the right thing by New York, I'll say it. But I'm not going to engage in politics and not because I'm afraid to tangle, it's anti-American. Forget the politics. There is no red and blue there is only red, white and blue.

1:43 PM: Cuomo: The 2,500 beds at Javits and the 1,000 beds on the Comfort are for non-COVID patients. There function will be an overflow valve. They can take non-COVID patients.

1:40 PM: Kenneth Raske, President/CEO Greater New York Hospital Association: We are acting like a hospital family as opposed to separate hospitals making their own decisions.

1:36 PM: Cuomo when asked about President Trump's suggestion that equipment sent to NY isn't being sent to the hospitals: First of all, There is a warehouse in Edison, New Jersey. We are creating a stockpile. Using the equipment today from the stockpile defies the definition of planning. If you are not preparing for the high point you are missing the entire point of the operation. It is a fundamental blunder to only prepare for today. We have behind this virus from day one.

(About President Trump's statement)

I don't know what he's trying to say by that.

1:35 PM: Cuomo: This virus does not discriminate. It attacks everyone. Let's show a commonality and a unity that this country hasn't seen in decades.

1:33 PM Cuomo: Listen to the scientists. Listen to the health care professionals and follow the data. That's what we're doing in New York.

1:22 PM: Cuomo: There are 2,739 deaths across the country with 1,218 total deaths in New York State, up from 965 yesterday.

1:20 PM: Cuomo: There are 6,984 new cases bringing the total to 66,497 in New York State. There are 9,517 people hospitalized with 2,352 people in ICU and 4,204 discharged to date up from 632.

1:17 PM: Cuomo: There are 2,500 beds here at the Javits Center. It will become operational today.

1:17 PM: Cuomo: Happy National Doctors Day.

1:16 PM: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state officials update the public on the coronavirus response in New York. Watch LIVE at this link:

12:29 PM: De Blasio: Thank you, everyone. It's a good day for New York City.

12:27 PM: Mustin: We can be ready to start taking patients tomorrow.

12:27 PM: De Blasio asked about the 750 beds he said were available right away on the Comfort and when it would begin accepting patients. I want to make sure they're fulled docked first.

12:24 PM: De Blasio when asked about the need for PPE: The supply today is sufficient. It will take us into next week. What I am worried about today is ventilators. We need that so we can get to April 5 OK. It's the day I'm very concerned about equipment and personnel. After ventilators and PPE, my next biggest worry is the need for more doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists to operate the ventilators.

12:21 PM: De Blasio when asked on the distribution of the ventilators: We are all working together. For example, the other day, we sent 100 to the public hospitals and 300 to the private and independent.

12:19 PM: De Blasio: We need to get to 60,000 beds, It's like adding 40 US Comforts.

12:17 PM: Von Essen when asked if Madison Square Garden would be turned into a morgue: There is no plan to do that. We will get more help for New York here.

12:16 PM: De Blasio: I still feel that the worst will be in the beginning of May and not April.

12:14 PM: De Blasio when asked about why parks are not close: I don't think taking away parks is a good idea unless we see evidence that people are not taking this seriously. If we see people 

12:11 PM: De Blasio when asked about how patients and their loved ones will learn about where they will be treated: We are literally in a wartime situation. We're working out those protocols right now. The normal rules will not apply. We are always going to try to respect famiies but the normal rules about going to a hospital are not going to apply in this environment.

12:09 PM: De Blasio: We have to make whole hospitals into intensive care units. The USNS Comfort allows us to keep a health care system going while we convert the hospital system into something we've never done.

12:08 PM: De Blasio talks about medicaid and urges the state not to cut funding.

12:05 PM: De Blasio: (when asked by a reporter how he felt as the Comfort came into NYC) I felt a deep emotion.. it gave me a sense ... a beacon of hope. My message to the President is thank you and we need more help.

12:04 PM: Mustin: We bring a message to all New Yorkers: now, you're Navy has returned and we are commited to this fight. Mr. Mayor, everyone aboard this ship stands ready to help you this fight.

12:01 PM: Rear Admiral John Mustin: Let us not fail to recognize that the doctors and nurses across America are heroes. This ship represents all that is good about the American people. This great ship will support our fellow Americans in these times of need.

11:58 AM: Von Essen: FEMA is working to get as many people here as we can. We are doing the best we can. It is an honor to be back in the middle of such a tought battle. In Septemeber 11, it felt like everyday we were getting better, but with this it seems like it's not getting better.

11:55 AM: Thomas Von Essen, Regional Administrator of FEMA Region II (former FDNY Commissioner during 9/11): I had a flashback.. to 9/11... we had the USNS Comfort. We needed it to house federal workers and give them food. I was told it was here in 1918- their predecessors- they've always been here for us- the Army, the Navy. And, here they are again. This is real personal for me. When Sept. 11 happened it was personal. That's what's happening now. A friend, a relative.

11:53 AM: De Blasio makes a few remarks in Spanish. "Para la ciuidades que nos han ayudadao, vamos a estar para Uds como Uds han estado ahi para nosotros." ("To other cities that have helped us, we will be there for you the way you have been there for us.")

11:51 AM: De Blasio: The toughest weeks are still ahead.

11:50 AM: De Blasio: We need to triple our hospital bed capacity by May. Adding the USNS Mercy is like adding another hospital to NYC.

11:49 AM: De Blasio says that dredging in New York Harbor that would normally take two weeks due to the size of the USNS Comfort was completed in eight days.

11:48 AM: De Blasio thanks the federal government for sending the USNS Comfort to NYC. 

11:45 AM: Mayor Bill de Blasio updates the public on the coronavirus response in New York City. Mayor de Blasio is speaking from Pier 90 in Manhattan where the USNS docked Monday morning.


10:54 AM:  Britain’s health service is asking airline cabin crew who have been laid off to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients

10:48 AM: USNS Comfort arrives at Pier 90 on Manhattan's West Side.

The USNS Comfort docks at Pier 90 in Manhattan. (March 30, 2020)

9:35 AM:  #USNS #Comfort- a 1,000 bed floating hospital- is entering NY harbor.  The Comfort will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients to free up space in city hospitals.



9:18 AM: From @NotifyNYC 'NYC students can pick up 3 free meals from 7:30AM-1:30PM Monday through Friday at 400 NYC sites. '

8:37 AM: From @NYCGov 'Hundreds of new beds are opening at the Coler Center and Roosevelt Island to ensure New Yorkers get the medical care they need throughout the COVID-19 crisis.'

8:01 AM: Instacart shoppers planning to strike on Monday say the grocery delivery company isn't doing enough for its gig workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

7:48 AM: U.S. stock futures are trading cautiously after paring gains overnight, as efforts to contain the coronavirus remain a priority across the globe and as President Trump announced that social distancing guidelines will remain in place until April 30 at least. Equity futures are searching for direction.

7:55 AM: Tokyo Olympic organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021.  The rescheduled closing ceremony will be on Aug. 8, 2021.

7:36 AM: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy talks with 'Good Day New York' about the mortgage relief program enacted in the state. "We were able to reach an agreement with a lot of the big lenders, the mortgage banks, to give folks a 90-day holiday. We're saying to every landlord, if you're getting a holiday and you got tenants, you've got to return the favor. You have to give these people breathing room. And that looks like it's happening." 

The banks are mostly adding the payments to the end of the 90 days.

7:11 AM: A new, drive-thru testing site is up and running in Co-Op City in the Bronx, by appointment only. Call 888-364-3065.

7:00 AM: Watch FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York' at this LINK:

6:59 AM: A message of gratitude from 'Good Day New York' co-anchor Rosanna Scotto:

5:58 AM: Spain has 85,000 coronavirus cases, becomes 3rd nation to surpass China in infections after the US and Italy.

5:26 AM: USNS Comfort is expected to dock at Pier 90 later today..The 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship is staffed with 1,200 doctors, nurses, and medical personnel. Check out this preview:

(LIVE BLOG MARCH 29, 2020)