(NEWS10) — Hey there, Capital Region! We made it through another week.
It’s Friday, March 27 and here are some things you should know to start your day. Looking forward to the weekend? Scroll down for some free online activities you can do!
1. Updated coronavirus numbers in The Capital Region: The number of confirmed cases in New York State continues to rise. The numbers have been changing rapidly due to the high rate of testing conducted in the state. These are the local numbers as of Friday morning, according to researchers at John Hopkins University.
New York State has a total of 39,140 confirmed cases and 457 deaths as of Friday morning. 365 of those deaths are in New York City.
On Thursday, the United States surpassed every other country in the world for the most number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 85,991 cases of the virus in the nation. For reference, China currently has 81,828 cases and Italy has 80,589 as of Friday morning.
Of the world’s 532,000 confirmed cases, more than 122,000 people have recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.
To read more on coronavirus cases around the globe: CLICK HERE.
For the most up to date numbers, check out the coronavirus tracking map: CLICK HERE
2. Influx of downstate visitors causing concerns: Many in the Capital Region and other upstate communities are concerned about the number of visitors coming from downstate possibly causing further spread of COVID-19.
Several county officials already taking steps to restrict visitation by asking property owners to stop posting listing on sites like Airbnb. This is causing tourism and hospitality companies turmoil as many listings in upstate New York advertise “an escape from COVID-19”
NEWS10ABC found a resort in Rhinebeck posting an offer on Instagram, soliciting reservations for those wishing to Shelter in Place away from New York City where they have the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases out any other any city in the country.
Read more on the struggle between trying to ‘flatten the curve’ and tourism businesses trying to survive: CLICK HERE.
3. St. Peter’s hospitals not allowing visitors from Greater NYC-area: On Thursday a new policy was announced and immediately took effect in all facilities affiliated with St. Peter’s Health Partners. The hospital is no longer allowing visitors from the Greater New York City area inside their facilities.
It’s a measure taken by the hospital to help prevent the spread of the virus. They said no exceptions will be made to the policy.
Earlier this month, the hospital also restricted visitation rights to its facilities. They said some exceptions would be made on a case-by-case basis.
To read more on the latest policy restricting NYC resident visits: CLICK HERE.
To read more about the previous visitation policy: CLICK HERE.
3. Vermont schools to close for remainder of school year: Governor Phil Scott directed schools to remain dismissed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year on Thursday. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction and be required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning.
NEWS10 has received multiple messages and calls to the station asking if Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to make a similar move in New York State.
The answer is currently unknown but stay tuned throughout the day, the Governor usually makes his daily update around 11 a.m.
4. REAL ID deadline pushed back: The October 1, 2020, REAL ID deadline has been pushed back a year to October 1, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the acting secretary for Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
Wolf said this is due to the steps officials are taking to flatten the curve. The closures of Department of Motor Vehicles in the states will prevent many from applying and receiving a REAL ID.
He said the deadline change will help the Department of Homeland Security to work with Congress to make needed changes to speed up the process of obtaining a REAL ID once the public health crisis ends.
5. For local homeless, staying home isn’t possible: Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, a housing society in the Capital Refion is working to get homeless into shelters and, in some cases, isolation.
The organizations executive director Liz Hitt said for the homeless, staying home is definitely not an option and places they frequent like libraries of community centers being closed its crucial to get the homeless the help they need.
Places are rising to the occasion to help out. The New York Department of Social Services and local motels are some of the places helping isolate homeless who may test positive for the virus.
To find more information and how you can help: CLICK HERE.
Other notable news that’s happened…
- UAlbany postpones May graduation ceremonies: The school sent a message to the Class of 2020 that May Commencement ceremonies have been postponed. A new date has not yet been set. Locally, other universities are making the same move.
- NYRA officials said the Saratoga Racecourse Season will start as scheduled: The Saratoga Season should start on time on July 16, according to their Communications Director Pat McKenna.
- Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week: That’s more than four times the last record which was set in 1982. READ MORE.
- Happening Today: The House of Representatives is expected to vote on on the Stimulus package deal. READ MORE.
As you head into your weekend, these are some things you can do at home:
- Learn a new skill: AlbanyCanCode is offering free lessons on online coding, making it easy for anyone to learn how to code! Check it out.
- Get off the couch and work out: Here’s a list of all the free fitness classes popping up on social media. NO EXCUSES.
- Watch a living room concert: Headliners Elton John, Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish and the Backstreet Boys will host a concert Saturday night from 9-10 p.m. TUNE IN.
And as always, the Capital Region continues to give back…
- The Clifton Park town supervisor and his wife donate N95 masks to help emergency personnel in Saratoga County, including the Town of Clifton Park, Clifton Park-Halfmoon EMS, Ballston Lake EMS, and Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services.
- Child care for essential workers: Staff at Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton and Essex BOCES continue to work to help out with child care for families of essential workers. Find out how they are finding creative ways to keep children entertained while practicing social distance.
The Times Union Center joined in on the #518RainbowHunt. They posted this image on their Facebook page to help spread cheer:
Missed any of these weeks #FiveThingsToKnow?
Have a great weekend!