New York mayor declares city 'epicenter'

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Image: An Indonesian police officer sprays disinfectant in the Baiturrahman grand mosque, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Banda Aceh
An Indonesian police officer sprays disinfectant in the Baiturrahman grand mosque, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Banda Aceh on March 20, 2020.Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP - Getty Images

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Wall Street took another dive Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk by 916 points and saw 18 percent of its value disappear over the course of the week.

The Dow saw all the gains made since President Donald Trump took office erased.

Also in New York City, the suspended presidential campaign of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg told staffers Friday there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 at its Times Square headquarters, a campaign official confirmed to NBC News.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday evening the city has 5,151 coronavirus cases and 29 deaths associated with the virus. "We are now the epicenter of this crisis" in the United States, he said.

In California the number of cases, more than 1,000, has doubled in three days. Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous, reported it now has a total of 292 cases.

There are now more than 250,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Cuomo orders new restrictions in New York state: Nonessential businesses must cease

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order Friday calling for all nonessential businesses to cease work outside the home. He also put new requirements in place for all New Yorkers.

“Your actions can affect my health, that is where we are," Cuomo said.

Here's what's new:

  • Nonessential businesses, which had been reduced to partial workforces, must cease work.
  • Vulnerable people — those over 70 or with underlying health conditions — must follow a set of rules, including staying inside the home except for solitary exercise and avoiding public transportation.
  • All New Yorkers should practice careful social distancing, staying inside the home as much as possible.
  • Restrictions will be enforced with civil fines and mandatory closures of businesses not in compliance.

The governor also asked for people to sell or lend ventilators to the state. “Ventilators are to this war what missiles were to World War II,” Cuomo said.  “We need ventilators, that is the key piece of equipment. We can get the beds, we’ll get the supplies by hook or by crook.”

Cuomo said the state would pay businesses to make medical supplies. "I’ll fund a new business if you can make these products,” he said. "If you’re making clothing, figure out if you can make masks. I’ll fund it.”

Cuomo also announced that New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants, expected to go into effect Sunday evening. He said his administration is working out what's considered essential business services and working with tech companies to lift data caps for customers at no charge. 

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Photo: Early morning shopping for seniors

Joseph Nathan loads toilet paper into the trunk of his car after shopping at a Stop & Shop supermarket that opened special morning hours to serve people 60-years and older due to coronavirus concerns on Friday in Teaneck, N.J. For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.John Minchillo / AP

What's the new deadline for filing U.S. taxes?

Tax Day is being pushed back until July while the nation copes with the effects of the coronavirus, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Friday.

"At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties," Mnuchin said in a pair of tweets.

"I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money."

NYC Mayor de Blasio: City to run out of medical supplies in 2-3 weeks

In a Friday morning appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is running dangerously low on critical medical supplies amid onslaught of newly confirmed coronavirus cases. 

"We will run out of basic medical supplies because of the intense strain that's being put already on our hospitals by this crisis," de Blasio said. "We literally will not have the things we need to save people's lives."

De Blasio said New York City now has 4,000 confirmed cases and is currently an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

The mayor said he has asked the federal government for help procuring ventilators for hospitals and surgical masks for both medical professionals and first responders like police and fire fighters.

"We've been saying it over and over to the federal government," de Blasio said. "Nothing."

Tulips from Amsterdam? Not in an outbreak

Empty racks are seen at flower auctioneer Royal FloraHolland in Aalsmeer, Netherlands on Thursday.Peter Dejong / AP

It is the peak spring season as fields around the Netherlands burst into vibrant colors as tulips and other flowers bloom. But with border restrictions and lockdowns spreading around the globe to fight the pandemic, even the pope will have to go without his usual Easter donation of Dutch flowers this year. He’s not the only one.

"The coronavirus is a disaster for the Dutch flower industry ... 85% of the turnover at our marketplace … is gone,” said Michel van Schie, press officer at Royal FloraHolland — a cooperative of growers that trades some 12 billion plants and flowers each year.

That's a huge hit for the Dutch flower industry, whose exports last year were worth more than 6 billion euros (about $6.5 billion). Instead, some Dutch farmers to give away tulips to health care workers as a token of appreciation for their work.

Wall Street jumps briefly as investors hedge a nervous return to optimism

Wall Street jumped briefly on Friday for the second straight day, with investor confidence slowly returning after massive emergency action from central banks and governments across the world to shore up the global financial system.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 130 points at the opening bell, while the S&P 500 was up by just under 1 percent, before both averages began a slow descent.

The Nasdaq outperformed, notching up gains of close to 2 percent after hitting the "limit up" threshold in premarket trading, halting activity. The tech-heavy index is seeing heightened interest, with investors confident the sector can survive any economic downturn.

NBC News employee dies after testing positive for coronavirus

A longtime employee of NBC News died Thursday after testing positive for the coronavirus, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said in an email to staff.

Larry Edgeworth, who had been working in an equipment room at NBC News' 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York, also suffered from other health issues, according to his wife. He had previously spent 25 years at NBC News working as an audio technician, where he was well-known to many network correspondents who traveled with him around the world.

"Many of you were fortunate enough to work with Larry over the years, so you know that he was the guy you wanted by your side no matter where you were," Lack wrote Friday morning.

Morning roundup of coronavirus coverage

The doctor who helped defeat smallpox explains what's coming [Wired]

Why the coronavirus kills far more men than women [The Washington Post]

Fleeing virus for resort homes, some find welcome mat yanked [The Associated Press]

What it's like to be a college senior in the middle of a pandemic

Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Photos Courtesy of Isabela Espadas Barros Leal

A little over a week ago my classmates and I were huddled in libraries studying for our midterms the way we did every semester. But on the evening of March 8, the night before many of our first exams, an email from Columbia University’s president confirmed what we had previously thought to be just a rumor: The entire university would be moving to online instruction as a result of the growing threat of the coronavirus in New York City.

Read the full essay at NBC News THINK.

NY, NJ, CT, PA govs order closure of barbershops, nail and hair salons

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are directing the temporary closure of barbershops, nail and hair salons, and other personal care service businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The order goes into effect on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

"All barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail salons, hair removal services, and related personal care services will be closed to members," the governors said in a joint statement, "as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance."