How LI businesses are handling reopening
Seventy-nine days after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared the lockdown, Long Islanders will be able to get a professional haircut, wander into an auto dealership to kick the tires or simply go shopping in Phase 2 of the economy's reopening.
That's not to say the world will resemble the pre-pandemic days. Outdoor dining will be permitted, but waiters will have face masks, as will hair stylists, retail clerks and real estate agents, who also are being freed to ply their trade. Crowding remains prohibited, with occupancy generally capped at 50%.
After more than 4,000 deaths, steep declines in COVID-19 hospitalizations and other metrics put Long Island on the path to reopen. But some observers caution they see evidence of backsliding, people forgoing face masks and crowding beaches and other venues.
"Social distancing doesn't seem to be visible," warned Herman Berliner, provost and professor of economics at Hofstra University. "People have to realize, you can have another hard stop to the economy. It really could happen again."
Still have questions? Read the FAQs on the rights and responsibilities of those set to reopen Wednesday.
State's focus shifts to new positives
Cuomo gave his official “green light” to Long Island to enter the second phase of reopening, while announcing an intensified focus on testing and tracing as the state enters a new stage of the battle against the coronavirus.
As regions reopen their economies, the state is shifting emphasis to track new viral infections, monitoring COVID-19 positives from tests taken the previous day, he said.
The aim is to detect any resurgence of the virus early on and step up contact tracing efforts to tamp down the spread, he said.
“We are in a new phase, we are feeling good, we’ve done great, but we have to stay smart, because reopening resets the whole game," Cuomo said. "In some ways, you go right back to Day One” as regions reopen and more people interact with each other.
He noted that Long Island reported just one death since Monday due to COVID-19, compared to previous periods when “we were losing over 100 at one time.”
The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 33 in Nassau, 49 in Suffolk, 340 in New York City and 683 statewide.
The chart above shows the total number of people who have been tested for coronavirus in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in cases, hospitalizations, deaths and more.
Pressures put home health aides in short supply
Tamara Chase said she’s nervous every day.
The Roslyn Heights woman, a home health aide, is concerned about the elderly client she looks after, diligent about wearing her personal protective equipment and careful to wipe down surfaces after visits by her client’s family members, some of whom, she says, don’t take stringent safety precautions.
But that’s the life of a home care professional in the age of COVID-19 — front-line workers being paid at or around minimum wage, whose ranks are thinning just at the time people might need them the most.
The result on Long Island is a big push to fill these roles, and a hope that high unemployment numbers will entice people to consider a job in a government-subsidized field that will continue to require a steady workforce, regardless of what happens to the economy.
“It’s not just a New York crisis, or a Long Island crisis, it’s a national crisis,” said Janet Koch, CEO of Life’s WORC, a Garden City nonprofit that provides aid to those with developmental disabilities. “But there is something just beautiful about forming relationships and having that human connection and just seeing that you made someone happy and it’s part of your daily job to do that.”
What you should know before outdoor dining starts tomorrow
Nearly three months since Long Islanders were able to eat at restaurants, Wednesday is the day many have been waiting for: Outdoor dining reopens.
When diners returns to visit patios and brand-new outdoor spaces — some of them tented, many of them hastily erected or rearranged — the experience won't be quite as they remembered. Restaurants must comply with new guidelines issued by the state last week in a 13-page document.
Read up on what you can expect with outdoor dining, from fewer seats to a new way of ordering.
Sticking with takeout? Reference this Islandwide guide to some restaurants ready to serve you at home.
More to know
Sympathy cards and other “care and concern” cards can be hard to find these days because of high demand and supply upsets, contributing to shortages at some Long Island stores.
Suffolk County began accepting applications on Monday from small businesses in the county for free reusable face masks and hand sanitizer.
Betting on live horse racing at Belmont Park has seen a marked increase from this period last year, even though no fans are being admitted to the giant grandstand, NYRA announced.
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced plans to mount an exhibit on the coronavirus and its impact on Long Island, and it's seeking items to be displayed.
Baseball could be back as soon as July 8 on Long Island, as the Town of Brookhaven is taking registrations to host a high school baseball tournament July 8-12.
News for you
Who are the "fairies" of Long Island? Multiple Facebook groups have been bringing people together to deliver all kinds of treats directly to Long Islanders' doorsteps. Some call themselves the "Wine Fairies," surprising others with wine as "fairy dust."
Get creative with your backyard. Spending more time in your backyard during the warmer weather? You might try some of these inventive ways to improve your outdoor space.
The show must go on. Long Island dancers who were working toward performing in a recital are seeing a different end to the season. Dance studio owners are turning to other recital options either online or outdoors.
Only reruns of "Jeopardy!" The game show halted production and has run through its inventory of episodes, according to TVLine.com. Per unnamed sources, the website said the last current new episode will air on Friday.
Pop-up Italian food. As Manhattanites flee to the Hamptons, this restaurant is following. Carbone, located in Greenwich Village, opened a pop-up in Southampton. It took over a catering hall and is offering a modified version of its Manhattan menu.
Plus: Speaking of reopening, join us tomorrow for a free webinar with the Long Island Association on how to set up your business as we enter Phase 2. Save your spot.
Being an actor during a pandemic. Broadway might be dark, but actors like Spencer Glass are adapting to the pandemic and getting ready for what comes next.
Episode 28 of the “Life Under Coronavirus” podcast features an interview with Glass, originally from Merrick, who has played characters from Buzz Lightyear to Will Ferrell’s Christmas elf on stage.
During the episode, Glass discusses show business during the coronavirus.