Stephen Loverdy, a temporary warehouse worker for Long Island Cares,...

Stephen Loverdy, a temporary warehouse worker for Long Island Cares, sorts food for distribution at Long Island Cares - The Harry Chapin Food Bank in Hauppauge Thursday. Credit: Barry Sloan

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

What's happening:

Thursday afternoon updates

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's town hall:

Bellone: County infection rate drops to .7%

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the infection rate during the county’s reopening has dropped to .7 , which he termed “an excellent number.”He said 40 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, bringing the total testing positive for COVID-19 to 40,810 with another 17,269 testing positive for virus antibodies.There was a decrease of 3 people treated for the virus in county hospitals, bringing the total to 125, a number that Bellone said the county has been “hovering around” in recent weeks.He said 15 virus patients were discharged from hospitals and three people died from the virus.Hospital capacity is at 66% generally and 62% for intensive care beds.Bellone also reminded viewers that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an order saying those bars and restaurants that violate rules for reopening can have their liquor license revoked and are also responsible for monitoring the sidewalk where any outdoor dining takes place.NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Nassau Executive Laura Curran's daily press briefing

Thursday morning updates

Watch Gov. Cuomo's daily press briefing

COVID-19 patients decrease at Northwell

Northwell Health on Thursday said it had 330 COVID-19 patients at the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, an 11% decrease from the same period last week.

The health system said its volume is down 90% from its peak on April 7.

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, with 62, has the most COVID-19 patients, followed by Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, which has 56.Prior day admissions dipped into the single digits, after spiking to 17 the day before yesterday. – DAVID REICH-HALE

Hospital visitations begin at Mount Sinai South Nassau

Oceanside-based Mount Sinai South Nassau said it would begin allowing visitors on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.The hospital's new visitor's policy, released Thursday, is following guidelines recommended by the state Department of Health.

Those policies include: 

  • A patient can have one healthy visitor each day for no longer than four hours, beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Visitors must be 18 years or older.
  • Each visitor will undergo a symptom and temperature check upon entering the hospital.
  • A surgical mask is to be worn at all times; one will be provided, if needed.
  • Thorough hand hygiene must be performed before entering and upon leaving the patient's room.
  • Once in the facility, the visitor must remain in the patient's room throughout the visit, except when requested to leave by the staff.]

"We recognize that patients who have visitors generally do better and make a faster recovery," said Richard J. Murphy, CEO at Mount Sinai South Nassau. "This is another important step toward returning our hospital to more normal operations."

Meanwhile, Northwell Health said it has started to allow COVID-19 patients to receive one visitor per day as long as the patient is in a room without a roommate.

The health system said hours and policies for visitors of non-COVID-19 patients will vary, although generally, two visitors can be designated, but only one visitor can be present at a time. Strict protocols will be taken to protect patients and staff, Northwell said.

Stony Brook University Hospital said it was looking to "establish a safe process of visitation for our patients and families while continuing to maintain a safe environment. – DAVID REICH-HALE

De Blasio: NYC will start Phase 2 reopening on Monday

New York City will start Phase 2 of its reopening on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Thursday.

“Get on your mark, get set, because here we go on Monday,” de Blasio said at his daily news conference.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had said Wednesday that the city was on track to start Phase 2 on Monday.

De Blasio estimated a minimum of 150,000, and as many as 300,000, workers could return to the city. – NEWSDAY STAFF

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