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Layoffs skyrocket on Long Island

LI companies cut thousands of jobs

A Newsday analysis of staff reduction notices filed with the state demonstrate the virus’ far-reaching impacts.

Companies employing 50 or more people — about 4% of the private sector businesses on Long Island — are required to file layoff notices, known as Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, which are posted online daily.

The roster of local businesses that have cut employees include the Garden City Hotel, with 290 layoffs; the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, with 311: and VSP Global, a vision health care insurance company in Melville, with 176. All either declined to comment or did not return calls.

Experts say this could only be a fraction of actual job losses. More than 175,000 Long Islanders have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks.

“I never envisioned I’d fill out a WARN notice,” said Crescent Duck Farm president Douglas Corwin, who temporarily laid off 46 of the 55 employees at his local processing plant — something his company has not done in his lifetime.

Small business owners are struggling to secure loans through two federal programs — the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Both have experienced maddening hiccups as record numbers of applications are submitted and now are out of money until Congress approves more funding.

'Breathtaking' pain as deaths remain high

While the state's rate of infection has fallen gradually, paired with an overnight decrease in hospitalizations, "the number of deaths, unfortunately, still refuses to come down dramatically," causing a "breathtaking" level of pain and tragedy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

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Long Islanders who have lost their lives to the virus include Victor Claxton, who planned to marry his fiancee this summer; Sgt. Joseph Spinosa, the first known local police officer to die from COVID-19; Rose Iamesi, who worked in the Copiague school district; and Michael Giangrande Sr., known as the unofficial "mayor of Bellmore."

Some 50 friends and neighbors of Giangrande found a way to pay homepage to him this week with a vigil outside his home. One-by-one they solemnly walked up the family's walkway and placed candles on the steps, careful to follow social distancing guidelines.

"We sat on the porch and … it was really heartwarming to see the community and neighbors coming together to show respect for my father," said Michael Giangrande Jr.

Read more stories of Long Islanders lost to COVID-19 here. And if you've lost a loved one to the virus, help us memorialize them.

The latest state figures show another 630 New Yorkers died Thursday.

The above chart shows total deaths in Nassau and Suffolk in recent days. See more charts and maps tracking hospitalizations, testing, cases by community and other statistics for Long Island. 

The numbers as of April 16*: 27,772 confirmed cases in Nassau, 24,182 in Suffolk, 123,146 in New York City and 222,284 statewide.

(*As of 3 p.m. today, the state Department of Health had not released updated figures.)

Nursing homes withhold information as death toll rises

As deaths at nursing homes and assisted living complexes on Long Island rose by nearly 200 in three days, most facilities refuse to publicly disclose positive COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Newsday this week emailed or called 79 nursing homes and 95 assisted living facilities, asking for their numbers of positive cases and deaths. Fully 152 of the 174 residences declined to provide specific data or didn’t respond.

Residents and family members say they are struggling to get information from within residences that have been closed to visitors for a month. 

From inside St. Catherine of Siena Nursing & Rehabilitation Care Center in Smithtown, Dottie McKinnon, 79, of Brentwood, described a climate of worried staff members and fearful residents amid scant information.

“They won’t talk to you,” she said.

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, assisted living facility or group home, check out these tips and answers to common questions you may have related to the pandemic.

Free lawn care for health care workers

A local teen is offering to cut grass at no charge for hospital workers during the pandemic. 

Michael Lindner, 17, said he was doing homework late one night when he thought about “all these health care workers, who can’t do anything because they’re busy.”

He decided to advertise his services in a community Facebook group.

“I didn’t think anybody would respond, but I got a good amount of people saying they wanted their lawn cut.” 

In less than a week’s time he has mowed five lawns, including those of two nurses. 

More to know

Cuomo's mandate to wear masks in public, in circumstances where you can't stay six feet apart from others, goes into effect today. We spoke with Long Islanders about complying with the order.

The closure of golf courses and marinas and boat launches for recreational boating by the state is putting thousands of employees out of work and prohibiting thousands more from warmer-weather pursuits.

President Donald Trump laid out his administration’s road map and guidelines for reopening the American economy.

Nassau police and other first responders still don't have access to 20,000 rapid results COVID-19 antibody tests the county purchased earlier this month, according to the president of Nassau's largest police union.

Long Island’s LGBTQ Pride march, originally scheduled for June, has been postponed indefinitely.

High school sports teams still have a chance at a spring season, but hopes were dimmed when Cuomo extended the state's stay-at-home policies to May 15.

News for you

Rediscover a hobby. Still unsure how to spend your days at home? Maybe it's time to jump-start a neglected hobby or start a new one. Here are six activities local residents are making their personal pastimes.

Discounts on wine. It’s rarely been a better time to find discounts on wine, even some rare bottles, and get it shipped to your house at no cost. Local wineries, restaurants and wine shops are offering deals.

Dance with a Rockette. Here's a fun reason to get off the couch and get the kids' moving. Tara Tubridy, a longtime Radio City Rockette, recorded this video from her Oceanside home, teaching a portion of the Rockettes' iconic dance number, "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." (On Tuesdays, the dance group leads live, at-home workout classes.)

Stream free movies. You can watch “The Hunger Games” and other movies from Lionsgate for free via YouTube in a partnership between the film studio and the ticketing service Fandango.

Plus: Have questions about wearing masks, how to get tested or the different ways the virus can spread? Get answers here.

Today's free Newsday webinar featured Sen. Charles Schumer detailing what the next federal package should include to help small businesses and answering questions live with Long Island Association president and CEO Kevin Law. If you missed it, you can watch the replay.

Stay connected with real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog, and watch the latest daily wrap-up video.

Commentary

The National Guard physician assistant. Major Warren Sheprow of the New York Army National Guard once cared for soldiers on a remote forward operating base in Iraq, but now he faces a new challenge: keeping them coronavirus free in New York.

In the latest episode of Newsday Opinion's "Life Under Coronavirus" podcast, Sheprow, a Port Jefferson native, talks about being on active duty at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Manhattan and keeping members of the military healthy for all their tasks.

“I took an oath to help those guys. And that's why I'm here.”

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