Hillside Islamic Center serves as the central food-packages pick-up location...

Hillside Islamic Center serves as the central food-packages pick-up location for Zakat Foundation of America volunteers, June 7, 2020 in New Hyde Park, N.Y.  Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

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

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

Cuomo: Safe to ride subway again

As New York City starts to re-open, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told New Yorkers it will be safe to ride the subways, and dismissed worries that increased ridership could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

He himself rode the No. 7 subway Monday morning.

"New York City and the MTA are reopening, and today I took a ride on the 7 Train because if the subway isn't safe for me, then I wouldn't ask anyone else to go on the subway," Cuomo said at his daily briefing. "The MTA has done phenomenal work — the subway cars are cleaner than they have ever been in my lifetime and they are disinfecting the cars every single day.”

The agency carried out about 30,000 station cleanings and 500,000 car cleanings since May 6, he said.

He called such intense cleansing — using UV light technology and application of anti-microbial treatment to surfaces — “almost a bizarre task … So many years they couldn’t figure out how to get the newspapers and coffee cups out of subway cars. Now they’re disinfecting.” — BART JONES

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s press briefing:

Cuomo: LI still on track to enter Phase 2 Wednesday

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at his daily briefing Monday, day 100 of the coronavirus crisis, that Long Island is still on track to start Phase 2 of reopening on Wednesday, while of the more than 58,000 COVID-19 tests done on Sunday, only 702 came back positive.

The results, the lowest number of positive tests since March 16, included only 1% of positive results on Long Island, down from the 3% who tested positive two weeks ago and a decline from 55% at the peak of the crisis nine weeks ago, the governor said.

Cuomo said looking at these numbers, “that’s why I have confidence saying to 19 million people, yes, we can do this,” he said regarding the reopening of New York City today and the continued reopening of the state. --NEWSAY STAFF

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

No ‘significant spikes’ seen in COVID cases after protests

The protests over the death of George Floyd that have roiled New York for almost two weeks do not appear to have contributed to a spike in coronavirus cases, Department of Health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said Monday as the city took its first steps to reopen its economy.

“To date, thankfully, we have not seen any significant spikes in the number of people that visiting emergency departments for COVID-19 like illness but we are paying really close attention to that,” Barbot said at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily briefing. 

Barbot said the fact that the protests have been held outdoors has helped slow the spread of the virus that has infected more than 206,000 city residents but she urged protesters to wear face coverings and frequently use hand sanitizer.

“We are still in what I would say is a moderate transmission phase, meaning that there are on a daily basis still hundreds of people that are newly diagnosed with COVID-19,” Barbot said. 

Drop in coronavirus patients continues at Northwell
Despite warmer weather, protests and the reopening of many areas of metro New York, Northwell Health continued to report a drop in COVID-19 patients at the 19 hospitals in owns and operates.

The New Hyde Park-based health system said it had 426 hospitalized coronavirus patients, a 26% decrease from last week.

"This is good news, because there was a bit of concern about the virus being spread because of protests," said Terry Lynam, a Northwell spokesman. 

Northwell saw an increase of 15 COVID-19 patients from Sunday to Monday, but Lynam attributed that to fewer discharges. Lynam added Northwell had 17 admissions over the last 24 hours, an average of less than one per hospital.

In Manhattan, Northwell's Lenox Hill had 16 COVID-19 patients, down by nearly half in the last week. 

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, with 78, has the most COVID-19 patients at its health system. That's down 26% in the last week.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park has 77 COVID-19 patients, down 21% week over week.

Northwell reported four deaths at its health system in the last 24 hours, two of which were on Long Island. — DAVID REICH-HALE


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