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Shutdowns and suspensions

'Community spread is our biggest danger'

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's order  banning all gatherings of 500 people or more does not impact schools, hospitals, mass transit and nursing homes, he said. “This is going to get worse before it gets better,” Cuomo said. “That was always the fact.”

"Try to avoid all social gatherings and public places," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. "This is a rapidly changing environment and the direction is changing."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said all parades would be postponed and the county health commissioner urged precautions.  “We need to remind the public that we are going to get through this," he said.

The numbers, as of 4 p.m. Thursday: 40 in Nassau, 16 in Suffolk, 62 in New York City and 328 in New York State.

Waiving testing copays

As the number of people infected with COVID-19 rapidly rises, insurers and government programs are taking steps to lower the costs of getting tested.

More than three dozen insurers said they would waive copays and other costs for testing, and the federal government announced testing would be covered as a mandatory essential health benefit for individual and small-group marketplace plans. 

But not everyone can assume the cost-cutting measures will apply to them. 

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Baseball, NCAAs, soccer, basketball ...

Major League Baseball cancelled spring training and delayed Opening Day for at least two weeks.  

The NCAA canceled both the men's and women's tournaments. The America East canceled its women's championship game scheduled Friday at Stony Brook.  Under conference guidelines, the regular season champs, SBU's Seawolves, would have gone to the NCAA tournament if it had been played. And the Big East canceled its men's tournament at halftime of the St. John's-Creighton game (St. John's was winning.)

Meanwhile, the NHL "paused" its season and Major League Soccer suspended its season for 30 days and CONCACAF suspended its Champions League competition.

Here's a list of canceled sports events.

Businesses try to cope

Some venues, such as play places for children, have become increasingly empty. To reassure parents that their businesses can still provide children with a clean, safe environment, they're turning to cleaning services — giving them a boost in the process. 

The Long Island-based owner of about 20 duty-free shops at Kennedy Airport has laid off a handful of employees and reduced the work schedules of others.

Walmart is among companies launching an emergency leave policy for its hourly U.S. workers that includes allowing its employees to not be penalized for taking time off if they feel uncomfortable working because of fear of the spreading coronavirus.

And Princess Cruises is suspending global operations through early May.

More to know

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since 1987, dropping more than 2,300 points, or about 10%.

A Brazilian official tested positive for COVID-19, just days after traveling to a meeting with President Donald Trump in Florida.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called for a sweeping national response to the coronavirus outbreak, chiding President Donald Trump for a response he said was woefully insufficient. Trump, who announced new measures and reassured the nation in a speech Wednesday night, said Thursday that he could restrict domestic travel to regions of the United States where the coronavirus becomes “too hot.”

LI's Chembio has partnered with a London firm to develop a better coronavirus test.  

Starbucks stores may go drive-thru only or limit seating temporarily.

News for you

What do you need to self-quarantine? Here’s some advice.  Have questions about coronavirus testing? We talked to experts and have answers. 

We also have a list of schools with closures, and  a list of Long Island performing arts venues that have canceled events.  

No one would blame you if you need some distraction right now, especially if you're stuck at home. Here are 14 shows to stream. 

Commentary

No escape in sports

The plot twist of this scary movie is a bit of a cliché, but an effective one: The central characters believe they have discovered an escape route, only to find a monster headed for them from the opposite direction, writes Newsday sports columnist Neil Best.

So it has come to pass with sports late in the winter of 2020, with a global health crisis unfolding and one of the globe’s traditional forms of “escapism” morphing into one of the very things we need to escape from.

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