When New Yorkers began cheering for essential workers in March, Scott Hightower joined the raucous daily 7 p.m. chorus, sounding an air horn and shaking a tambourine from the terrace of his apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

In recent weeks, that chorus has become significantly smaller in tandem with the steady decline of local coronavirus cases and deaths. But Mr. Hightower has continued the tradition with a few others on his block, saying he still wants to support those who have been on the medical front lines...

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