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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates from June 25

Malls, movie theaters and gyms were expected to

Malls, movie theaters and gyms were expected to reopen under Phase 4, but Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday put the brakes on that for now. Local businesses react. Newsday's Cecilia Dowd has the story. Credit: Newsday / Cecilia Dowd; Howard Schnapp; File footage

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

Bellone: Infection rate of virus staying low in Suffolk

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the infection rate for COVID-19 is less than 1% in the county, with another 50 people testing positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

So far, 41,151 residents have tested positive in the county, with another 18,513 testing positive for virus antibodies.

There are now 85 people still being treated for the virus in Suffolk hospitals with 25 in intensive care beds.

Fourteen people were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours and two more people died, bringing the death toll in Suffolk to 1,974.

In his daily briefing, Bellone continued to advocate for county lawmakers to allow for a public referendum on two stabilizing funds that he said would help cope with the $800 million shortfall created by the virus lockdown.

He said using those funds would help avoid other more drastic cuts.

“We need to give the public the right to vote on these measures…they deserve that right in the midst of this crisis,” said Bellone. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

Thursday morning updates

Curran: 66 COVID-19 patients at Nassau hospitals

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced daily COVID-19 patient numbers Thursday that remain a small percentage of what they were at the height of the crisis.

Curran said there were 66 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county. “To put it in perspective, at our peak for COVID hospitalizations, we had about 2,500,” she said.

There were 18 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, a decline of two in the past 24 hours. At the peak of the crisis, there were 592 ICU patients, she said.

Five patients were on ventilators. “At our peak it was 505,” Curran said.

“We are seeing these small ups and downs that become a little more pronounced the smaller the numbers get,” Curran said. “But the numbers are remaining largely flat with a general trajectory going down, which is exactly what we want to see.”

There has been one new death reported, bringing the county’s total to 2,180 since the outset of the crisis. – NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's coronavirus press briefing

Fewer than 300 COVID-19 patients at Northwell hospitals

Northwell Health on Thursday said it had 294 COVID-19 patients at the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, down 11% from the same period a week ago.

At its peak, Northwell had about 3,400 COVID-19 patients. It's the first time Northwell has dipped below 300 coronavirus patients on a weekday morning.

Northwell added that Mather Hospital became its second on Long Island to not have a coronavirus patient after a patient was discharged there over the last 24 hours. 

For the last month, Northwell has kept COVID-19 patients out of Syosset Hospital, where it's been performing more surgeries. 

Three other Northwell hospitals on Long Island had fewer than 10 COVID-19 patients, while Huntington Hospital was down to 16 and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore dipped to 12. 

Finally, Northwell said it had three COVID-19 patients admitted over the last 24 hours, far lower than the average over the last week of about 10 per day. -- DAVID REICH-HALE

De Blasio: NYC on track to start Phase 3 on July 6

New York City is on track to start Phase 3 of its reopening -- which includes restaurants with limited indoor service and personal care like tattooing and nail care  -- as early as July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

City officials will work with the state to make the final decision but, de Blasio said, “The data is telling us yes right now.

”Phase 3 will also mean that some sports and recreation can restart in parks, de Blasio said.Sports that can resume include basketball, tennis, volleyball, handball and bocce. Dog runs would also reopen, according to a slide presented during de Blasio’s daily news briefing.

De Blasio said guidance regarding Phase 3 will be released Friday. – NEWSDAY STAFF