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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates from June 30

Gastón Robert of Brooklyn rides his Onewheel board

Gastón Robert of Brooklyn rides his Onewheel board at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon on Tuesday. Credit: Barry Sloan

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

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Tuesday afternoon updates

Transit system responding to pandemic’s impact

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to install a dozen vending machines that will dispense personal protective equipment, or PPE, across 10 subway stations in New York City. The machines will sell items including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

MTA officials on Tuesday also gave the media a first glimpse at new protective barriers being installed on city buses to protect drivers. Some buses will get polycarbonate sliding panels, while others will get clear vinyl curtains.

The new precautions aim to shield bus operators from riders, while also allowing for the resumption of regular fare collection, which has been disrupted in recent months as the MTA has directed passengers to board using rear doors.

“I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise to anyone, particularly given our financial situation, that we need to go back to collecting the fares,” MTA New York City Transit acting president Sarah Feinberg said during a news conference at a Manhattan bus depot. “It’s time to start paying the fare again.”

In related developments, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in unveiling his proposed 2021 budget for the city, revealed plans to cut $65 million in funding for the MTA’s Fair Fares program, which provides half-priced MetroCards to low-income riders. De Blasio called it an “effective, important” program, but also one that has been “disrupted profoundly” by the MTA’s ridership decrease during the pandemic.

Danny Pearlstein, spokesman for the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group, said the Fair Fares program provides “a lifeline for 200,000 subway and bus riders living in poverty.” — ALFONSO A. CASTILLO

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Bellone: COVID-19 patients drop below 70 in Suffolk

For the first time since March, the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 dropped below 70, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in his daily virus briefing.

Nine people were discharged from the hospital and the overall number of those hospitalized dropped by six to 66, Bellone said.

He said the numbers reflecting the decline of COVID-19 are still “very good” but noted that the infection rate climbed up slightly.

Of the 3,312 residents tested in the last 24 hours, 46 tested positive for the virus, making for a 1.4% infection rate, up slightly from recent days.

In total, 41,385 Suffolk residents have tested positive and 19,127 tested positive for virus antibodies.

Hospital occupancy is generally at 67% of capacity and intensive care beds are at 59%.

Two people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, unlike Monday, when that number was zero. The death toll in Suffolk is now 1,981. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

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COVID-19 patients decline at Northwell hospitals

Northwell Health said it had 155 COVID-19 patients at the 19 hospitals it owns and operates, as the number of coronavirus patients continues to decline throughout its health system.Northwell had about 3,400 COVID-19 patients at its peak in April.The New Hyde Park-based health system also adjusted who it counts as a COVID-19 patient. It had been counting patients who had tested positive, gone home and then were readmitted later for COVID-related complications even if they no longer tested positive.Now, if the last positive test was more than 21 days ago, a readmitted person is no longer is listed as a coronavirus patient, said Terry Lynam, a Northwell spokesman.Northwell said it had 9 admissions, 20 discharges and two COVID-19 deaths, one of which was on Long Island, over the last 24 hours. — DAVID REICH-HALE

 

List of states on quarantine list grow for NY visitors

Travelers from eight more states must self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday, bringing the total to 16 as New York tries to fend off a resurgence of the virus around the country.The new states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.The eight states already on the list were: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. —BART JONES

Curran: Positive coronavirus test rate at .5%

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday that the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus is .5%, with 26 new cases since Monday morning.

She called the rate good news: “That’s moved three decimal points since we were at our peak, with 50% of everyone testing positive,” she said.

There were 55 COVID-19 patients in the county’s 11 hospitals, Curran said, and increase of two from the previous day. Thirteen patients were in intensive care, a daily decline of three.

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the county, Curran said. She said there have been 41,780 coronavirus cases in the county dating back to the first indexed case on March 5. – NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's news briefing

Tuesday morning updates

SUNY temporarily suspends testing requirements

The state university system has temporarily suspended SAT/ACT standardizing testing requirements for high school students intending to enroll for the 2021-22 academic year, officials with the State University of New York system announced this week.

The change in admission eligibility requirements applies only to the spring 2021, fall 2021 and spring 2022 cycles. For SUNY applicants who already have taken or will take the SAT/ACT and wish to submit scores, the campuses will include those official scores as part of their review.Several colleges nationwide have announced similar plans in recent months.

The College Board had canceled spring testing dates due to the pandemic, and, if safe from a public health standpoint,  the organization will provide additional SAT administrations every month, beginning in August. – JOIE TYRRELL

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