NY infections growing faster than expected

Bill Collins talks with his wife, Helen, on a cellphone outside...

Bill Collins talks with his wife, Helen, on a cellphone outside his room at Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center in West Islip.  Credit: Catholic Health Services

New York’s cases soared by about 5,000 overnight to 25,665 as the crisis appeared to be veering into a cataclysmic stage

Cuomo said the state, now one of the worst global hot spots in the coronavirus outbreak, and its epicenter in the United States, has not been able to slow the rate of infection as it had hoped.

The speed of the spread of the COVID-19 virus has now shifted from that of a “freight train” to a “bullet train," he said. 

An impassioned Cuomo struck out at the federal government for failing to come through on deliveries of critical health care equipment — especially ventilators needed to aid patients in respiratory distress — as hospitals face an impending wave of patients. 

The numbers as of 4 p.m.: 2,869 confirmed cases in Nassau, 1,880 in Suffolk, 14,904 in New York City and 25,665 statewide.

Suffolk DA tests positive

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini has tested positive for the coronavirus but has no symptoms and is working from home, according to one of his aides.

Sini has been in self-quarantine for about a week under advice from the county’s Department of Health, said his chief of staff.

Cracking down on social distance violators

Local village officials broke up large gatherings of bicyclists they said were blocking traffic and putting themselves and others in danger of contracting coronavirus in recent days. One village threatened to seize bikes. Another said a rider became unruly and coughed on an official who confronted her.

One Long Island town is asking residents to report those who are not following the recommendation against congregating in groups using this 24-hour emergency hotline

Hospitals could run out of supplies within days

David Dai, left, donates boxes of medical supplies including N95 masks...

David Dai, left, donates boxes of medical supplies including N95 masks at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Tuesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hospitals overwhelmed with treating coronavirus patients could run out of supplies and money within a few days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

 "Our hospitals, in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the hospital, are gonna be stressed to the point that they cannot provide the kind of health care we're used to, unless we can get them a huge resupply of equipment, supplies, personnel," he said.

"And our hospitals, bluntly, are gonna start to go broke." 

Close to deal on $2 trillion relief package

Congressional and White House officials said Tuesday a deal appears to be at hand to provide sweeping aid to businesses and workers facing ruin from the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the top Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, said agreement appeared near on the nearly $2 trillion package.

“I don't see any issue that can't be overcome within the next few hours," Schumer said. "Last night I thought we were on the five-yard line. Now we're on the two."

The optimism led to a massive stock rally.

Keeping seniors safe and happy

William Manthey Bristal Assisted Living staff wear protective masks as...

William Manthey Bristal Assisted Living staff wear protective masks as they help residents celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Credit: Courtesy of the Bristal Assisted Living

Long Island’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities are using innovative approaches — including the latest technology, introducing novel visiting policies and altering daily interactions — to keep residents safe, engaged and happy despite the coronavirus threat.

More to know

Doctors are warning that drugs touted as promising treatments for COVID-19 can cause serious side effects or overdoses without proper medical guidance.

Visitors are now banned, including spouses, from accompanying delivering mothers at hospitals belonging to two of New York's largest health systems, including one on Long Island.

NY's presidential primary and other special elections could be postponed as the state Board of Elections on Tuesday formally asked lawmakers to move them from April to June.

Long Island real estate is slowing due to the pandemic, with many open houses canceled last weekend, but it’s also adapting, as listing agents use technology like virtual tours to serve buyers and sellers.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus. 

News for you

Amy and Steven Schombs of East Northport threw a Zoom...

Amy and Steven Schombs of East Northport threw a Zoom happy hour for friends, and plan to repeat it each Sunday.  Credit: Amy Schombs

Virtual parties: So, how’s your social life? Long Islanders are finding creative ways to safely connect with friends and family, including online cocktail parties and game nights, a rolling neighborhood dance party, a 24-hour virtual birthday party, even a livestreamed wedding.

Some playgrounds, beaches closed: Beaches in one community are closing after officials say too many people were congregating there, and many towns have shut down their playgrounds, along with other facilities and services. See what's open and closed in your town.

Get the facts: How can "essential" workers keep their own families safe? How long will stay-at-home restrictions last? Visit our coronavirus FAQ page for answers to these and other common questions.

Tired of cooking?: If you need a break from quarantine meal prep, here are 16 local places that will deliver artisanal pizzas to you. And if you're a health care or hospitality worker, or first responder, these restaurants are offering discounts and remain open for curbside pickup, takeout and delivery.

The "combo" pizza-calzone, with pepperoni at The Gristmill in East Rockaway.

The "combo" pizza-calzone, with pepperoni at The Gristmill in East Rockaway. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Why does God allow the coronavirus?: The God Squad's Rabbi Marc Gellman takes on this question in today's column. Send him yours at godsquadquestion@aol.com.

Plus: Is dressing for work over? Should we care about how we look while doing our jobs from our homes? From a CEO and senior manager to fashion influencers, get tips from these six Long Island women.

Michelle Madonna Charles, 31, of Brookville, is opting for "cute...

Michelle Madonna Charles, 31, of Brookville, is opting for "cute and comfortable." Credit: Michelle Madonna

If the familiar "dun-dun" of "Law & Order" brings you a sense of comfort right about now, you have 180 opportunities this week to watch the crime drama and its various spinoffs.

Some businesses and homeowners who received government disaster-relief loans after superstorm Sandy are catching a break. Because of the virus, they can defer further payments, officials said.

And you can now pause two student loan payments, but should you?

Commentary

A pandemic of misinformation: About a week ago, a friend sent us a post from Stanford University about how to self-diagnose the coronavirus and kill it once it enters the body, writes Howard Schneider, executive director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy and a former editor of Newsday. The diagnosis included holding your breath for at least 10 seconds to test your lung capacity and urged frequent drinking of water to drive the virus into the stomach, where it would be killed.

A short time later, the post, by now widely circulated, was disavowed by Stanford. The advice was bogus. 

If we are now truly at war, we must be ready to fight on two fronts. We need to contain the biological virus, but also an information virus that’s traveling even faster, carrying with it misguided messages, conspiracy theories, rumors, and magical remedies that can sow confusion and undermine everyone’s safety.