A health care worker conducts testing at South Ocean Care in...

A health care worker conducts testing at South Ocean Care in Freeport on Monday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

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

What's happening:

Monday evening updates

Watch our daily coronavirus wrap-up:

Southold Town police sergeant retirement party appears to break pandemic protocols. Experts worry nationwide protests could further spread COVID-19 in minority communities. And nice weather doesn’t mean social distancing guidelines don’t apply. Here’s the latest in Monday's daily coronavirus wrap-up video. Credit: Newsday staff; Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Monday afternoon updates

Bellone: Numbers show county is making progress on battle with COVID-19

Suffolk County Steve Bellone said the county continues to show indicators that the pandemic is declining in the last month.

He said hospitalizations are down to 253 people, with a decline of 16 in the last 24 hours.

Bellone said 25 people were discharged and five people have died, bringing the Suffolk death toll to 1,906.  

He said 39,705 people have tested positive for the virus, not including the more than 13,000 who were positive on antibody tests. But 62 tested positive in the last 24 hours, which, compared to the number in the beginning of May is substantial progress, he said.

Bellone also said drive-in movies will be permitted in Suffolk, with the county sponsoring one at Smith Point County Beach on June 20. The movie will be "Jaws" which is now in its 45th anniversary, he said. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's update:

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's press briefing:

 Cuomo: Going to speak to de Blasio about curfew

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at his news briefing Monday that he and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be speaking Monday about a curfew for the city. "Legally, I can impose a curfew," the governor said, adding he's not there yet. The governor also said, "A curfew is not a silver bullet, by the way."

De Blasio said earlier Monday that he is considering imposing a curfew in New York City, as other cities like Los Angeles and Chicago have done. – NEWSDAY STAFF

Cuomo: Violence, looting threatens change

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said those who are looting and violent while others are peacefully protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd are a threat to progress.

“The violence, the looting, the criminality, will play right into the hands of those who don’t want progressive change,” the governor said.

 “They don’t want people seeing the video of Mr. Floyd’s death … they want people to see the video of people looting,” he said.

“I believe there are people who are using this moment and using the protest for their own purpose.” "We have the National Guard on standby," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he supports a positive reform agenda, including a national ban on excessive force and chokeholds and independent investigations of police abuse.

The governor said in order to change society and change “the Tale of Two Cities” reforms must be made, among them education equality, an anti-poverty agenda and “a real national affordable housing plan.” – NEWSDAY STAFF

Cuomo: Concerned about COVID spike after gatherings

Saying they could potentially infect hundreds and hundreds of people, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned New Yorkers about the mass gatherings in the state in protest to the death of the Minnesota man in police custody.

Calling the video of the death of George Floyd "horrific" and saying "I stand with the protesters," the governor cautioned about the possibility of COVID-19 infections spreading after “we went from the worst situation on the globe” to reopening in 50 days. "We are doing better than we have ever done before," the governor said, citing the lowest number of coronavirus deaths since the beginning of the lockdown in New York, with 54 new deaths on Sunday.

Cuomo said 50,000 COVID-19 tests were done on Sunday with less than 1,000 positive results. -- NEWSDAY STAFF

Monday morning updates

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

Northwell: Numbers drop all but one day in May
Northwell Health said Monday the number of COVID-19 patients fell dramatically throughout May, dropping every day of the month but one.

The New Hyde Park-based health system said it had 575 COVID-19 patients Monday, down 65% from May 1. It's also down 15% from the same period a week ago.

Northwell said it has seen large decreases in coronavirus patients throughout its health system. For example, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset has 106 COVID-19 patients, the most in the system. A month ago, North Shore had 306.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center fell from 277 patients to 97 coronavirus patients. Southside Hospital in Bay Shore has 28 patients, down from 157 on May 1.

"Every number is showing positive signs," said Terry Lynam, a Northwell spokesman. He said the total number of COVID-19 related admissions on Sunday was 14, which averages out to less than one new coronavirus patient per hospital. Northwell owns and operates 19 hospitals.

Northwell had been reporting around 25 admissions daily last week, and had 44 admissions May 1. – DAVID REICH-HALE

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