More than 1,000 families in the Uniondale Union Free School...

More than 1,000 families in the Uniondale Union Free School District received meals Monday morning during a drive-thru food distribution bank at Turtle Hook Middle School. The initiative is part of a partnership between district staff, Nassau County and Island Harvest in efforts to help the growing number of Long Island residents who were furloughed or lost their jobs and are struggling with food insecurity due to COVID-19. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca

Newsday is providing all readers with access to this breaking news blog on important developments about the coronavirus and our community.

What's happening today:

Monday evening updates

Trump releases 'blueprint' to integrate federal and state pandemic efforts

President Donald Trump on Monday released a "blueprint" designed to integrate federal and state efforts to boost testing and rapid response programs nationwide.

At a White House briefing, members of Trump's coronavirus team said the blueprint will be launched in three stages and will include the federal government helping states increase testing for the coronavirus as well as getting more supplies for laboratories doing the testing.

The plan will also focus on mobilizing private research efforts, expanding public and private testing, and enhancing point-of-care testing for at-risk individuals and those in remote areas. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch President Trump's briefing in the Rose Garden:

Monday afternoon updates

CVS Health to offer testing

CVS Health will start offering self-swab diagnostic COVID-19 tests at locations in May, the company announced Monday. The tests – available to individuals meeting CDC criteria – will take place in parking lots or drive-through windows, according to a statement by CVS Health. Those tested will be required to make appointments online in advance.

The company hopes to have 1,000 locations operating by the end of May, with an eye on processing 1.5 million tests per month. The company did not say when the testing would reach Long Island.

"Employees participating in the test collection process will maintain safety using personal protective equipment and follow sanitization protocols after each test," the company said in a statement.


Bellone: Suffolk virus deaths up but hospitalizations decline

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said deaths from the virus continued to rise with 32 people losing their lives in the last 24 hours, bringing the total deaths in Suffolk from COVID-19 to 1,102.

He said hospitalizations are declining though, with 69 people leaving the hospital in the last 24 hours.

There are 33,286 COVID-19 positive patients now in Suffolk, an increase of 464 over the past 24 hours.

Bellone stressed the need to maintain social distancing, the wearing of masks and aggressive testing to set the stage for the county's reopening under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposal.

He warned that if there is a second wave of the virus, along with the flu, this fall, it could make for an even worse situation.

"We can reopen … but all of us have to continue to do our part," he said. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's briefing:

Nassau in 'striking distance' of reopening, Curran says

Nassau County is within "striking distance" of beginning to reopen its economy, County Executive Laura Curran said Monday.

"Given our current trajectories, our daily improving numbers, and without any unexpected hiccups, it is my opinion, and I am saying this as my opinion, we are within striking distance of reopening parts of our economy, like some outdoor construction," Curran said Monday during her daily coronavirus briefing.

Curran also expressed concern with "quarantine fatigue," a watch word that she said joins the coronavirus lexicon, and such terms as "social distancing" and "flattening the curve."

"There is a new term: 'quarantine fatigue.' I talk to people every day. People are feeling fatigued, they are feeling depressed, they are feeling anxious. I hear it, and I completely understand it. As human beings, as social creatures, we are not built for this sort of lockdown. We are not built to be staying home and to not work."

Ultimately, it will be Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo who makes the final decision on when counties and regions re-open. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Cuomo: Evaluating need to keep makeshift hospitals

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at his daily briefing Monday that he had spoken earlier to President Donald Trump regarding the status of the makeshift hospitals in the state.

Cuomo said, in light of a possible "second wave" of COVID-19, or a combination of the coronavirus and the flu appearing in the fall, they discussed keeping leaving some of the hospitals created by the Army Corps of Engineers in New York, like the ones at Stony Brook University and SUNY Old Westbury, after the governor appealed to the federal government for help obtaining more hospital beds to deal with the pandemic's victims.

Cuomo said the Army Corps and the president both acted quickly to grant that request, and he and the president are talking about the possible need to retain some of those hospitals in New York State. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Cuomo: COVID-19 deaths hit lowest number since end of March

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday at this daily news briefing that there were 337 deaths due to COVID-19 in New York State on Sunday — the lowest one-day total since March 31 — down from 367 on Saturday.

Of those deaths, 313 were in hospitals and 24 in nursing homes, the governor said. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Cuomo: Coronavirus NYS infection rate close to 15%

New York's coronavirus infection level is nearly 15% after the state expanded its baseline of people tested to 7,500 residents in seeking a more precise measure of when, where and how to reopen the economy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said during his daily briefing on Monday.

That updated figure on antibody testing, yielding 14.9% positives, represented an increase of 1% in infections with the COVID-19 virus since survey results were first released on April 22.

The preliminary estimates also show more men infected than women, 16.9% to 13.1%, and a significantly higher infection rate in New York City, with 24.7% testing positive. On Long Island, the antibody survey showed 14.4% testing positive. Westchester and Rockland counties tested positive at 15.1%. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Gov. Cuomo's press briefing:

LIRR looking at 'ramping up' plans

Long Island Rail Road president Phillip Eng signaled that the LIRR, too, is preparing for a return of its ridership, which has plummeted by more than 95% as compared to the same period last year. In response to the reduced demand, the railroad has been operating a reduced schedule since March 27.

"We're looking at several different plans in terms of ramping up service, as ridership returns. It will probably be gradual at first," Eng told WALK 97.5 FM radio.

He noted that several measures taken by the railroad to protect employees and riders, including increased sanitizing of trains and stations and the use of face masks, will continue.

"Because as we ramp up, we need to make sure we keep the workplace safe. And then the other key part will be the communication with our riders so they know what to expect," Eng said. "That communication will be very robust as we've been doing." — ALFONSO CASTILLO

Monday morning updates

Northwell down to 2,016 COVID-19 patients

Northwell Health said it had 2,016 COVID-19 patients Monday morning. That's down a little more than 20% in the last week.

Northwell said it has not been below 2,000 COVID-19 patients since March 29. — DAVID REICH-HALE

De Blasio announces 'easier process to testing'

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at his news briefing Monday that the city is unrolling a new and easier process for testing for COVID-19. The mayor said as of Monday morning there will be eight testing sites across the city that will have self-swab testing available. That will include the nasal swab as well as a saliva test.

"It means when you go to one of the community testing sites, instead of the health care worker having to be all suited up to administer the test, the health care worker will now explain to the patients how to test themselves," he said.

The mayor said the patient goes into a room for the self test. There will be a window in the room, one of the doctors at the news briefing said, where a health care worker can safely observe the patient doing the self test and the samples will be collected and sent out for testing.

De Blasio said testing as many people as possible will "make us even more ready to go into May with the testing and tracing process" which is going to be "game changing." — NEWSDAY STAFF

Mayor: Looking to hire contact tracers

Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his Monday news briefing that the city is looking to immediately hire 1,000 new contact tracers.

"We are looking for talented, experienced health workers," the mayor said, who will be responsible for interviewing the patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, finding out who they were directly in contact with, interviewing the key contacts, and getting them tested and isolated.

"Expand testing rapidly, more and more of the contract tracing … that's what May is going to look like," de Blasio said. "One day, if we do this right, we'll be able to reach everyone we need to on any given day."

The mayor said there has been progress seen in the number of daily new COVID-19 hospitalizations with the total down from 144 on Sunday to 122 reported on Monday. The number of patients in ICU has dropped from 768 to 766, and of those testing positive, 29% are in stable condition. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Plan to reopen some streets

Switching gears, the mayor said alternate side of the street parking has been suspended to May 12.

De Blasio said that, taking into account the warmer weather that is expected in the near future, he has been working with the city council on a plan to create a minimum of 40 miles of open streets over the next month, aiming to get up to 100 miles of open streets during the remainder of the pandemic. The focus will be on streets in or around parks, he said. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Sunday night and evening updates

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