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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates from June 29

Edward Fort and his son Edward Fort Jr.,

Edward Fort and his son Edward Fort Jr., 13, both from Delaware, take in some fishing at the Northport Harbor on Monday. Credit: James Carbone

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 afternoon updates

Bellone: Zero Suffolk virus deaths reported

Suffolk County reached a milestone Monday when there were zero deaths reported from COVID-19, County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Bellone in his daily virus briefing said the last time the county had reported no deaths was June 12.

“I hope and pray it will not be another 17 days for me to report zero deaths again,” he said.

The death toll now for Suffolk residents from the virus is 1,979.

Bellone said just 33 additional people tested positive in the last 24 hours out of 4,481 tested, making for an infection rate of .7, considered one of the lowest since reopening.

In Suffolk, 41,339 residents have tested positive with 19,074 showing antibodies for the virus.

He said 20 people were discharged from the hospital and there are now 72 people being treated for COVID-19 in local hospitals.

The general hospital occupancy rate is 68% generally and 62% for intensive care beds.

Bellone also said for those taking Suffolk transit buses, fare collection with cash is now back (it had been credit card only during the lockdown) and front row seating is now allowed but social distancing and masks are required and protective barriers have been installed. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

Cuomo: Trump should sign executive order for masks

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday at his news briefing said President Donald Trump should sign an executive order directing everyone to wear masks in public.

Also, Cuomo said the state recommends that all businesses and offices consider installing filters with MERV rating capable of filtering out COVID-19.

The governor added that both HEPA and MERV filters have been shown to help reduce the presence of COVID-19 in air filtration systems.

The filters with the MERV rating are capable of filtering COVID-19 particles or similar air exchange filters will be mandatory for large mall reopenings to help filter out the virus through air filtration systems, Cuomo said.

The governor also said Western New York will enter Phase 4 Tuesday. --NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s press briefing:

Northwell Health COVID hospital admissions drop to 3

Northwell Health on Monday said it only had three COVID-19 related admissions in the last 24 hours at the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, and none were in the five boroughs or Nassau County. The admissions were at Huntington Hospital and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

Northwell said it had 286 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, down from 326 at the same period a week ago. -- DAVID REICH-HALE

Cuomo may slow down NYC's entering next phase

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across New York has continued to drop, as the state continues to defy the national trend on the spread of the virus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said during a Monday morning interview. However, he said there are "troubling signs" in New York City of behavior that could hurt social distancing efforts to limit exposure to the coronavirus.

"Our numbers are good, very good right now, but there are troubling signs," Cuomo said during a telephone interview with the NY1's Mornings On 1 news show. "We still have large gatherings which are going on, which are not helpful. We went through the protests, and now we're seeing continued large gatherings. We're seeing large social gatherings on sidewalks, et cetera which is not helpful."

Cuomo said only that the state will continue to watch how the city residents are responding as the boroughs reopen their economic activity and loosens other restrictions, and may consider slowing down the process before the city enters its next phase. New York City was set to enter Phase 3 on July 6, but Cuomo said he will be speaking with city officials and business owners about malls and indoor dining. — NEWSDAY STAFF