Coronavirus Impact Reports: Week of September 21

Rachel Hollander | September 25, 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, as areas reopen. 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.

Recent COVID News and Numbers

Click for Hotlines and Information Sources

Last week the CDC rescinded guidance that discouraged coronavirus testing for people who have no symptoms. Governor Cuomo reported on Sunday the statewide coronavirus infection rate remains below 1 percent; the total of positive cases is nearly one-half million: 449,900.

We’re offering updates via email or mobile on the coronavirus now through the duration of the pandemic. Sign up for email alerts here, or text UPDATES to 30644 for mobile notifications.

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 WLIW-FM at 11pm.


PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7 p.m. and weekends at 6 p.m. and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WLIW-FM weeknights at 6 p.m.

September 24: Will Trump’s Health Care Executive Orders Have an Impact?

Amid coronavirus and Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, health care is becoming an even more prominent issue in the presidential race. The Affordable Care Act’s fate could be determined by the Supreme Court right after the election. Now, President Trump has issued two health-related executive orders. But do they have real impact? William Brangham talks to The Washington Post’s Paige Winfield Cunningham.

September 23: News Wrap: Fauci Rejects Rand Paul’s Claims on Herd Immunity

In our news wrap Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed cautious optimism during a Senate hearing about the outlook for a reliable coronavirus vaccine. But when Republican Sen. Rand Paul argued that herd immunity is working, Fauci shot back, “if you believe that…you are alone.”

September 22: What We Know About Coronavirus Transmission Through Air

A growing body of evidence indicates that airborne transmission is the main way people are becoming infected with the novel coronavirus. Given that understanding, how should we change our behavior to reduce our risk of infection? William Brangham talks to Virginia Tech’s Dr. Linsey Marr about aerosols vs. droplets, ventilation and more.

September 22: How Focus on Surface Cleaning Can Distract from Virus Spread

Our understanding of how the novel coronavirus spreads is still evolving. Early in the pandemic, there was great concern about the potential for infection from surface contact. But since then, evidence has pointed to human-to-human transmission as the primary vehicle of infection. Yet this research is not necessarily being broadly communicated to the American public.

September 21: With 200,000 Dead, How U.S. Can Change COVID-19 Trajectory

Over the past six months, we have tried to capture and convey the heartbreaking loss of American life due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the country passes a somber threshold, with 200,000 people killed by COVID-19, Amna Nawaz talks to Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, and Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University.

September 21: Understanding the Magnitude of U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll

The United States is approaching another tragic marker of the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 200,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 and related complications. The magnitude of the loss is difficult to comprehend. We examine how the virus has spread across the country, deeply affecting communities of all kinds, and evaluate this somber occasion in historical context.

September 20: As U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Reach 200K, What Have We Learned?

The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. is nearing the 200,000 mark, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center. Even though the death rate is lower than it was in the spring, 850 people on average are dying every day of the disease in the country, according to The New York Times. ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen joins to discuss.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

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

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

September 22: The Possibility of Another Lockdown in the UK

Britain’s chief scientific adviser today warned that there could be 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October if action isn’t taken. Under fire for his response to the virus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering another, smaller lockdown to try to interrupt transmission. Sir Jeremy Farrar is part of the panel that advises the UK government on the pandemic. He joins the program from Oxford.


NJTV News airs weekdays at 5:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN. See the NJTV News Coronavirus hub for coverage of the disease and its impact on New Jersey.

September 24: Public Health Expert on Combatting ‘Pandemic Fatigue’

Public health expert Dr. Perry Halkitis spoke about the causes, risks and strategies to combat “pandemic fatigue.”

September 24: Dr. Anthony Fauci: New Jersey Can Keep Reopening

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a Facebook chat with ⁦Gov. Phil Murphy⁩, said New Jersey’s in a good place battling COVID-19. But he warned young adults are “inadvertently” spreading the virus. He asked folks to put aside “divisiveness nonsense” over wearing a mask.

September 23: Which COVID Test is Best? | Pilot COVID-19 Notification App | Nonpartisan COVID-19 Commission | & More

At three full weeks into New Jersey’s milestone phase three of reopening government leaders have yet to see any coronavirus outbreaks stemming from gyms or indoor dining. Governor Murphy hinted his administration may move to increase capacity at those establishments if the lack of outbreaks remain. The health department is reporting another 430 positive test results totaling to nearly 201,000.

September 21: NJ Fights New Flare Ups, as CDC Yanks COVID Advisory

NJ health officials are fighting to tamp down COVID-19 hotspots that keep flaring up. Especially in counties like Ocean, where Lakewood’s once again seeing a spike. This, as critics charged the CDC with caving to political pressure, when the health agency yanked a new advisory about airborne transmission of COVID-19.

September 21: Learning Pods Create Classroom Feel for Remote Students

In place of a classroom, some families are forming learning pods so remote students can still learn as a group, providing the social support many are missing being out of school. Screened-in patios are a common location, allowing students to be sheltered while still in an outdoor setting.

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 6:30 p.m. or stream now.

Saturday, September 26: Europe’s United Pandemic Response

The coronavirus threatened to bring Europe’s economy to its knees. Then something remarkable happened: member states came together. On the show today, the woman at the heart of that response: European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

September 19: Why We Still Need the United Nations

With climate change becoming a reality and a pandemic ravaging much of the world, the work of the United Nations might be as important today, and as unpopular, as any time in its history. This week: an interview with its Secretary-General, António Guterres.

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 information on testing, 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.

The return to school 2020-21 plan of the NYC Department of Education is here.

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

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

To better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic, The WNET Group offers At Home Learning educational programming.

WLIW21 is the home of a weekday broadcast block starting at 9 a.m. Grades 3K-Grade 2 are served by Let’s Learn, NYC!, followed by a NJTV Learning Live lesson for 3rd graders at 10 a.m. and one for 4th graders at 11 a.m. Learn more about the broadcast lineup on WLIW21.

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