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Public pools, playgrounds can reopen — with a catch

State leaves those reopenings up to localities

Cuomo gave the green light for public pools and playgrounds to reopen at the local governments' discretion, and said local authorities need to exercise caution and track the numbers of infections on a daily basis to guide their actions.

“If the positives are in a cluster, a neighborhood that has that pool, don’t open the pool," he said. “Well everybody wants to swim. I understand. But everybody doesn’t want to see a spike in COVID again. So use your judgment. Sometimes yes is not the right answer. It’s the easy answer."

While the state continued to see decreasing infections, hospitalizations and deaths linked to COVID-19, the virus is not gone and has reasserted itself in other states as they have returned to economic activity.

Cuomo said the number of cases is rising in 21 states, including 14 that are hitting new highs, while the numbers in New York are dropping to their lowest levels even as it reopens its economy and society.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 45 in Nassau, 48 in Suffolk, 399 in New York City and 736 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of hospitalizations in Nassau and Suffolk in recent days. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, cases, deaths and more.

Number of cases falling, but minority communities still affected

Two weeks after Long Island started reopening businesses and protests began, the region's COVID-19 numbers continue to drop. 

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Still, health care experts said it's too early for Long Island residents to let their guard down and that minority communities remain the most impacted.

"The numbers in this region, right now, are very, very good," said Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer at New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health. "But it's going up in other areas, and I've always said once people start traveling, there will be issues." 

The number of new infections identified on Long Island each day has declined dramatically since the peak on April 7 of 3,265 cases, which is 44 times the 73 cases identified June 9.

But as it has been since COVID-19 reached Long Island, minority communities are being impacted at a disproportionate rate.

The first look at the return of outdoor dining

Outdoor dining rolled into action early on Long Island Wednesday as restaurants reopened patios, courtyards and pop-up tents hastily erected in parking lots to serve patrons who haven't been able to eat out in nearly three months.

Huntington woke to the sound of something the town hadn’t heard since March: the clink of glasses and chatter of brunch patrons on New Street. On the patio at popular brunch spot the Shed, there were just six tables.

“It’s super exciting,” said Samantha Maneggio, the Shed’s regional manager. “We’ve been doing takeout, of course, and trying to do all these fun things like wave to our regular guests as they walk by, but we’ve been waiting a long time for this moment.”

In the alley behind Tim’s Shipwreck Diner on Main Street in Northport, about a half-dozen diners were in place by 11 a.m., while nearby, Maria Maroni of Maroni’s Cuisine readied her portion of the same alley for Wednesday’s dinner service.

Some had to get creative. Catch up on how the first day of outdoor dining went across Long Island.

'Total family guy' lost to COVID-19 at 36

When Yoni Bradin walked into a room, you knew it. He had a laugh you could hear from miles away, and he could talk to anyone like he had been a friend for years.

An Israel native, he moved to the United States when he was 4, growing up in upstate Suffern. Most recently, he lived in Hauppauge with his wife and two children: Bella, 3, and Noah, 1.

“He’s the total family guy,” his wife, Jennifer, said. “We always did everything together, as much as we could.” 

Bradin died of COVID-19 on April 20, after a month in the intensive care unit at Stony Brook University Hospital. He was 36.

Read Yoni Bradin's story. See more stories about Long Islanders we've lost to the virus.

More to know

Grocery prices in the metropolitan area rose a whopping 7.1% last month compared with a year ago on the higher cost of meat, poultry, fish, eggs and milk during the pandemic.

Some hair salon owners in western Nassau County said they booked appointments with several Queens residents, who cannot yet get haircuts in their home borough.

A telehealth model for substance abuse counseling is being permanently incorporated into Babylon Town’s treatment center after being used successfully during the pandemic.

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering.

Southold officials have directed the town attorney to retain an independent investigator to review allegations from residents that police dismissed phone calls about a heavily attended retirement party last month for a veteran police sergeant.

Former Hempstead Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino's date to surrender to federal prison was postponed by a federal judge, citing the former official's fear of contracting the coronavirus, court papers say.

News for you

What's open on the East End? We've got you covered. Spending a socially distant day can still bring good food and fun. Visit a local beach, stop by a farm stand or play mini golf with these open options

Food truck Fridays. The food trucks are back at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. About six trucks will gather in the parking lot of the church for a “food truck party” on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.

Decluttering your kitchen. If you're struggling to get a grasp on organizing the kitchen, consider it handled with these tidy-up tricks.

Buying and selling your home. Join us tomorrow for our free webinar with real estate experts for advice on buying and selling homes while being mindful of the health, safety and legal concerns from the pandemic. Reserve your spot

SeaWorld is back. Two more Florida theme parks were opening after being closed since mid-March. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay were opening their gates with new restrictions.

Plus: Thinking about adopting a pet? These Long Island shelter dogs are looking for forever homes. Check out the updated list. For those who already have pets, check out these pet pampering tips you can follow at home.

Get real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog and watch our latest daily wrap-up video, which recaps the first day of Long Island entering Phase 2.

Commentary

Decide if money is worth risk. A letter writer asked, “Shouldn’t ballplayers’ pay take into account that they would be placing the health and lives of themselves and their families in danger every time they enter a ballpark?” writes reader George A. Szarmach of Dix Hills in a letter published by Newsday Opinion.

He also asks, “Are we being fair if we expect them to take on extraordinary health risks and cede more of a piece of the pie to baseball owners?” Wow!

Does the writer know that, according to spotrac.com, 47 players make at least $20 million per year and 140 players make at least $10 million per year? When someone wants to talk about taking on “extraordinary health risks,” we should talk about the nurses and health care workers who make far less than the lowest-paid major league ballplayers, who make $555,000.

Even being paid for a half-season, their salary far exceeds the average worker. If the players feel the money being offered is not worth the risk, then don’t play.

Read more letters about MLB players and the coronavirus.

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