Coronavirus Impact Reports: Week of May 25

Rachel Hollander | May 29, 2020

THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus to help everyone understand the disease and emergency response measures, and the behaviors that are best for your – and others’ – health. Here is the latest from infectious disease doctors, medical professionals, officials and journalists who cover coronavirus news. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

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MetroFocus Interviews

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus airs weeknights at 6pm (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestreams; listen weeknights on 88.3 WPPB at 11pm.

May 29: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries Calls on Congress to Take Action

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is a leading voice in Washington calling on Congress to pass more coronavirus stimulus relief. He and fellow House Democrats recently approved the HEROES Act, which would send another round of stimulus checks to Americans, provide billions for state and local governments and help renters and homeowners alike. But will Senate Republicans get on board with at least some of what Democrats are calling for? And what could it all mean for the future of New York?

May 28: Church, State & Coronavirus

Last week, President Trump declared houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques, “essential places” and urged Governors to “allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now.” Governor Cuomo responded with a new state policy allowing houses of worship to resume religious gatherings under strict safety guidelines. This week, Mayor De Blasio joined the conversation saying he supported both of Cuomo’s directives but that he and faith leaders across the city, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, do not agree that large scale religious services should be permitted here. The Cardinal, along with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Brooklyn-Queens diocese have laid out a five-phase “Faith Forward” plan for reopening church services. Tonight, Father Sam Sawyer, an Executive Editor of America Magazine, examines the plans in a candid discussion on navigating church, state and coronavirus.

May 27: Food Banks Face Unprecedented Demand

Island Harvest Food Bank is leading the fight against food insecurity on Long Island. It has distributed the equivalent of more than two million meals since mid-March and reports that nearly half of those served have never accessed emergency food assistance programs. The organization recently received state aid from Governor Cuomo and teamed up with rock star Jon Bon Jovi to tackle hunger in the Hamptons by opening a new food bank in the region. As part of the Chasing The Dream initiative on poverty and opportunity in America, Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank, joins us to discuss the struggles facing food banks today.

May 26: Why Were Nursing Homes Hit Hard By the Pandemic?

New York State government officials have known since the onset of the pandemic that nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19. Nevertheless on March 25, the state health department issued a directive requiring nursing homes to accept those recovering from virus, even if they might still be contagious. Critics decried the policy as “reckless,” and a “fatal error.” The mandate was eventually rescinded, but critical questions remain. Why issue the directive in the first place? Why were facilities unprepared to deal with the threat? And what long term effects will this tragedy bring about? New York Times investigative reporter Julia Harris joins the program.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

Left to right: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company airs Monday – Friday at 11pm; repeats at 4pm. Watch broadcast or livestream.

May 28: Sen. Chuck Schumer: America Hasn’t Changed

As the country re-opens freedom is under threat both at home and abroad. Minneapolis is burning after the tragic death of George Floyd, while on the other side of the world, protests have erupted once again in Hong Kong, after the Chinese parliament passed a new law that undermines the city’s autonomy. To discuss, Christiane speaks with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

May 27: Mike Bloomberg Donates $10 Million to Testing and Tracing

In order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial to test and track the virus, and to warn citizens who may be infected to self-isolate. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $10 million to this effort. His close aide and former presidential campaign manager Kevin Sheekey joins the show to discuss.

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7pm and weekends at 6pm and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WPPB weeknights at 6pm. See PBS NewsHour Essential Coronavirus FAQ.

May 28:  Could the Pandemic Usher in a New Era of Working From Home?

Many Americans are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear when people will or should return to the workplace. The shift toward more remote work could have significant repercussions for employees, companies and the marketplace. Economics correspondent Paul Solman explores these transformations — and their advantages and drawbacks — in a two-part series.

May 25: How COVID-19 Reshapes Our Views on Life, and Loss

Many Western societies have not had to face death at the scale of COVID-19 since World War II, nearly 75 years ago. Could the grim reality of the coronavirus pandemic change the way we deal with life and loss?

May 24: ‘Massive Numbers of People’ Needed to Do Contact Tracing

State governments across the country are hiring thousands of people as contact tracers to track the spread of COVID-19 and to help bring it under control. The data collected from contact tracing can help researchers better understand how the virus spreads, and what mitigation methods work. ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen joins Hari Sreenivasan with more.

May 23: How to Form a COVID-19 Social “Bubble” or Quaranteam

As the country begins to open up, more people may be considering expanding their social circles beyond their immediate household. MIT Technology Review’s Gideon Lichfield recently broke two months of isolation to form a “bubble” or “quaranteam” with friends, and wrote a guide about how to navigate this new reality for some.

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer, a renowned political scientist, entrepreneur and bestselling author, shares his perspective on recent global events and interviews the world leaders, experts and newsmakers. Watch Saturdays at 10:30am or stream now.

May 30: Open Tables: COVID-19 Cripples the Restaurant Industry

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic impact globally, few industries have been as hard hit as restaurants and hospitality. In the U.S. alone, losses north of $225 billion are projected over the next three months. On the show today, Danny Meyer, who’s opened some of the most successful restaurants in New York City, and also founded Shake Shack, assesses the damage.

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

Firing Line is broadcast Fridays at 8:30pm and streams live.

Hotlines and Information

Stay-in-the-know about what’s on-air and online at THIRTEEN. Sign-up for free weekly eNewsletters, including on coronavirus reports.

Government Sites and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.

New York City

For text updates from New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with helpful behavior tips and news related to the coronavirus. Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

NYC’s official COVID-19 site with health information, resources for New Yorkers (including rent and housing and more) and business, and announcements:

NYC Workplace Laws and Protections
Employers and employees can visit or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for labor law information and more.

New York City Public Schools and Learning
Create a NYC Schools Account to sign up for Department of Education notifications and track your child’s education. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have announced remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Read their message to families, here.

NYC Department of Education-specific instructional resources for students in grades Pre-K through 12, messages for families, and more are found at More information about Google classroom, iPads, meals, and other core services are posted at

New York State

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
For all New York State updates, and announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo, see the state COVID site.

The New York State Department of Health posts a daily COVID 19 case tally by county.

New Jersey

NJ State Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.
The official State of New Jersey coronavirus hubis

Media and Independent Sources

The New York Times is providing free access to its most important updates and most useful guidance on the coronavirus.

NJTV News and NJ Spotlight provide daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.

Covid19.NYC is an independent website offering public health information to New Yorkers, aimed at centralizing and aggregating info from a range of medical authorities. All information is sourced from WHO, CDC, NYS Department of Health and NYC Department of Health websites and guidelines.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

Programs for remote learning air on THIRTEEN, WLIW21, WLIW WORLD and NJTV to better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Let’s Learn NYC!, for children in grades 3K through second grade, offers lessons to supplement remote learning episodes. Weekdays at 11am on THIRTEEN through the end of the school year. See program details and schedule information. You can also livestream episodes at
  • WORLD At Home Learning for grades 6-12 airs Monday-Friday from 12 noon – 5 p.m. See program details and schedule information for science, history and English language arts programming.
  • WLIW21 at Home Learning for K-12 airs Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. -4 p.m., and focuses on all major school subjects, drawing from WNET’s vast archive of PBS and locally produced content. See schedule.
  • NJTV Learning Live airs weekdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., featuring on-air classes taught by some of New Jersey’s finest public school teachers. NJTV’s on-air classroom lessons are livestreamed and archived on

Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.