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N. J. Allows gatherings and opens campsites: Live updates

N. J. allows outdoor gatherings of 25 people and leaves campsites open.

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy said Friday that the state would allow outdoor crowds of up to 25 people and allow campsites to reopen.

“I am proud that we are able to take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism to the start of the summer,” Mr. Murphy.

Social distancing would still be required at outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people and at campsites. Face clothing is not required outside, but state officials recommend them.

“If you look forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout, you may be able to do so,” said Mr. Murphy, “as long as social distance and personal responsibility remain the order of the day.”

New Jersey also reported 146 new virus-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 10,985.

A man is drowning at Rockaway Beach as N.Y.C. considering when to open its beaches.

A 24-year-old man drowned in the ocean at Rockaway Beach in Queens Friday while trying to swim without lifeguards on duty.

Three men were pulled out of the water by medical staff, police said, and one was taken to St. Louis. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, where he was pronounced dead.

The drowning came the same day Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City was considering opening its beaches for swimming in June if the pandemic continues to ebb. (Under a typical summer plan, lifeguards wouldn’t have worked on the city’s beaches until Saturday.)

Mayor de Blasio offered compassion to the man’s family in a tweet Friday afternoon, reiterating his calls for people to stay out of the water at the city’s beaches while no lifeguards are on duty.

That drowning underscored the concerns of leaving beaches unattended by lifeguards. New York City Council spokeswoman Corey Johnson said it would not be dangerous to create dangerous situations.

“I’m not sure it’s realistic to think people won’t try to swim,” Mr. Johnson, “and we don’t want to arrest people in the middle of this pandemic.”

City lifeguards have been called into pools for their annual recertification, said Henry Garrido, executive director of the Lifeguard Association, District Council 37. “They are being trained to get ready to open the beach in early June,” Mr. Garrido.

Mayor de Blasio declined to give a reopening date on his briefing Friday morning, but a spokeswoman for him said the lifesaving training was pending a possible reopening in June.

The city traditionally opens its beaches for swimming and swimming during Memorial Day weekend. But this year, the sea had been declared off limits, with crowds on the sand also severely limited.

Mr. de Blasio has warned New Yorkers not to take mass transportation to the beach, saying that beaches are currently only intended for those living near them.

New York City’s neighbors are taking a different approach. Most beaches on Long Island and New Jersey are open this weekend, including swimming, although social distance rules will apply everywhere.

Friday morning at. 7:15, the doors will open at the Aliya Institute, a synagogue in the Hasidic stronghold of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Exactly 10 men filed – no more, at the governor’s order and no less at the orders of a higher power. And morning prayer known as Shachrit began.

The synagogue was voluntarily closed on March 10, days ahead of the state home visitation order as the virus spread through the community, said Rabbi Moishe Faiglin, who heads the congregation.

The number is significant for Jewish congregations, where a minyan, defined as 10 people over the age of 13, is required for a worship service.

Usually, Schachrit in Aliya draws a crowd of 20 to 30, Rabbi Faiglin said.

“It was a little difficult to perform the service,” the rabbi said. “Relying on 10 is very difficult because a person doesn’t always show up. If you now have more than 10, turn them away. And you don’t want to turn anyone away from the synagogue. “

For the assembly of about 35 families, lockdown has been a stressful time.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air that we’ve even been able to get out of our houses,” he said. “Some people have prayed in their kitchen with six to 10 children around them at the same time. This is a huge relief. “

In Hasidic synagogues, women pray in a separate room than men. Women will not be able to return to the synagogue until restrictions are lifted.

Long Island and the suburban counties north of New York City could begin reopening next week if virus-related deaths continue to decline and local officials created strong contact-tracking programs, statesman Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday.

Prior to that the trends would last, Mr. Cuomo said construction companies could begin staging construction sites on Friday in both Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester and Rockland Counties. Construction cannot be resumed until the regions are approved to reopen.

Both Mr. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have said New York City is unlikely to begin reopening until June. The city has met four of the seven metrics.

It is still necessary to have at least 30 percent of its hospitals and intensive care beds available. As of Friday morning, it had 27 percent of hospital beds and 26 percent of I.C.U. beds available.

Mr. de Blasio has tied the city’s path to reopening in three different but related metrics: the number of new hospital admissions for disease similar to Covid-19, the number of patients in critical care, and the percentage of positive coronavirus tests.

Mr. de Blasio said Friday that the city would not open again until it experienced a 10 to 14-day period with less than 200 daily admissions, fewer than 375 patients in intensive care in public hospitals and a positive test rate below 15 percent.

The number of these intensive care patients was still well above the 451 threshold, Mr. de Blasio, but the city met the other two criteria.

Both city and state officials have said their measurements would likely go hand in hand and that they would coordinate their reopening decisions. But on Friday, Mr. suggested Cuomo that state guidelines took precedence.

“It’s not up to the local officials,” Cuomo said of the reopening. “It’s a state-wide decision everywhere.”

Mr. Cuomo also announced 109 new virus-related deaths in the state, marking a fifth straight day that fatalities were just over 100.

N.Y.C. cracks down on crowds outside bars.

New York City will improve efforts to fight de facto outdoor parties outside the city’s restaurants and bars, after photos of crowds scattered across the internet last weekend, Mayor de Blasio said Friday.

“Take it out, don’t hang out,” Mr. de Blasio on his daily newsletter.

Bars and restaurants have been closed except for pickup and delivery, and under New York State’s stay-at-home orders, all non-essential collections are prohibited.

But with hot weather arriving and traffic in the city streets lessened, residents have taken food and drink to walk and then devoured them outside businesses.

Mr. de Blasio said the police department would increase its presence in neighborhoods where people improperly gathered last weekend.

The city will also provide more open space for pedestrians and cyclists across the five boroughs, closing 13 miles more streets for traffic Saturday.

N.Y.C. man lied in a bid to get $ 20 million in pandemic-related loans, prosecutors said.

A Manhattan man lied about applications for more than $ 20 million dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds, saying they were needed to support hundreds of employees he did not have, federal prosecutors said.

The man, Muge Ma, 36, a citizen of China, was charged with bank fraud and wire fraud, according to a criminal case that was not sealed Thursday in Manhattan Federal District Court.

According to the complaint, Mr. claimed Ma, that he ran two businesses that paid millions of dollars in salary. One was identified as a “patriotic American company,” while the other claimed it would “help the country reduce the high unemployment rate caused by the pandemic,” the complaint says.

Mr. Ma applied for loans earmarked for small businesses through programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program, intended to help businesses meet their payroll during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, the complaint says. But Mr. Ma seemed to be the only employee of both companies.

“Mom’s alleged attempts to secure funds earmarked for legitimate small businesses in serious financial difficulties are as daring as they are uncanny,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a declaration.

Mr. Ma also falsely claimed his New York International Capital firm was working with the state of New York to acquire Covid-19 test kits and personal protective equipment to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the complaint says.

Are you a health worker in the New York area? Tell us what you see.

As the New York Times tracks the spread of coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We will talk to doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency workers, hospital leaders – anyone who can share what is happening in the region’s hospitals and other health centers.

A reporter or editor can contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.

Reporting was contributed by Maria Cramer, Michael Gold, Corey Kilgannon, Andy Newman, Joel Petterson, Dana Rubinstein and Katie Van Syckle.

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