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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates from July 6

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone expressed their frustration at those refusing to comply with state-mandated social distancing and face-covering rules, singling out Fire Island. Newsday's Cecilia Dowd has the story. Credit: Howard Schnapp; Facebook / Governor Andrew Cuomo, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone; Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

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

What's happening:

  • Newsday interviewed two Long Island doctors about the dos and don'ts on wearing masks.
  • Workers across businesses on Long Island have returned to buildings with cubicles spaced farther apart, Plexiglas partitions installed to separate office workers from the public, and employees wearing face coverings.
  • Jimmy Buffett, DMB, Norah Jones and eight more acts are offering streaming concerts. Here's the rundown.

Monday afternoon updates

Bellone: Beachgoers conduct on Fire Island 'just dumb'

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said beachgoers at Fire Island last weekend engaged in behavior that was “unacceptable” and “just dumb," flouting rules about social distancing and face coverings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The images from Fire Isoland were so disturbing…people were essentially ignoring all the rules on social distancing….seemingly going out of their way to violate those rules,” Bellone said in his daily virus briefing.

He called the behavior “a slap in the face to all of the people who have sacrificed” and vowed more enforcement on Fire Island by the Suffolk County Police marine Bureau.

“We will be enhancing patrols,” he said, and if necessary establishing a fixed post there.

He said police did enforce the rules over the weekend but “once police left the scene” the behavior began again.

Bellone called the conduct “just dumb” and said “the way to undo all the progress we have made is to stop using common sense.”

He said the numbers reflecting the decline of the virus are “very good” as of now.

After 2 straight days of zero deaths in Suffolk, there was one fatality in the last 24 hours.

The county continues to have an infection rate of slightly more than 1% after 43 people test positive for the virus out of 3,812 tested.

There are 63 people in the hospital and 16 in intensive care veds, with 13 discharged.

In total, 41, 685 in Suffolk have tested positive, as well as 19,978 who tested positive for virus antibodies. --NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s press briefing:

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s press briefing:

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Cuomo: A fall reopening for schools still uncertain

Schools across New York State are readying plans to reopen, but it’s still unclear whether they will welcome students in the fall, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday.

“Every school district is coming up with a plan to reopen,” Cuomo said during a news briefing in Manhattan. “That doesn’t mean they are reopening.”

Cuomo said the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and other important metrics have continued to decline in the state, but warned New Yorkers about becoming complacent when it comes to social distancing and wearing face coverings.

“The last thing we need is to see this virus spike again,” Cuomo said. “You look at the festivities around July Fourth. You see gatherings that are not socially distant. You see it on Manhattan. You see it on Fire Island. I don’t know how else to say it. Actions have consequences.”

Cuomo said 817 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state – the lowest number since March 18.

Nine people died from COVID-19 on July 5, he said. That’s a slight uptick from eight on July 4 and a decrease from 11 on July 3. -- LISA L. COLANGELO

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

Northwell reports decrease in patients

Northwell Health on Monday said it was down to 131 COVID-19 patients at the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, down from around 155 early last week. The health system had about 3,400 COVID-19 patients at the pandemic's regional peak in the first half of April.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park has 32 COVID-19 patients, followed by North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset had 24 and Glen Cove Hospital at 12. The health system reported only one death over the last 24 hours.

Northwell hasn't reported a death on Long Island since July 2, when it said one person died in Suffolk County within 24 hours of that report. The largest health system in the state added it had six admissions over the previous 24 hours. -- DAVID REICH-HALE

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