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NY now has lowest rate of transmission, Cuomo says

State emphasizes importance of tracking daily results

Nearly half the states in the country are seeing a spike in cases as they reopen, with some hitting record highs, Cuomo said at his daily briefing. But New York has reopened cautiously, relying on statistics to guide its way — and it has worked, he said.

New York has “the lowest rate of transmission, meaning the virus is spreading at the lowest rate in the State of New York of every state in America,” he said.

“Where we are today is a pivotal point in this entire situation with the coronavirus,” he said. “You see states all across the nation where the infection rate is going up dramatically. You have states now that reopened that are scaling back their reopening. That’s how bad the spikes are.”

New York is continuing to emphasize tracking the results of daily testing as a more immediate gauge of the virus' progression.

Long Island returned 1% positives from testing on Thursday, while New York City had 1.5% positives, a slight decline from the previous day of testing. The death toll from the virus stood at 42 people on Thursday.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 54 in Nassau, 47 in Suffolk, 437 in New York City and 822 statewide.

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

This mist station sprays you with disinfectant

A Long Island startup is marketing a walk-through mist station designed to combat COVID-19 at offices, schools and stadiums.

People entering the mist stations face a wall-mounted scanner that takes their temperature, use a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser and then walk below misters that blanket them with a cloud of droplets.

John Berlingieri, president of the 10-person Smithtown company dubbed the National Safety Health & Compliance Commission, said the hypochlorous acid solution "kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses." Similar formulations are used in some eye care products and in supermarket produce misters, where they inhibit mold, he said.

The misters "mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on clothing and other items" that pass through the station, he said.

For a lucky few, the shutdown has opened a door on savings

The monthslong shutdown of the local economy has given many Long Islanders a unique opportunity: the chance to save and pay down debt. Thousands of others across the Island have lost much of their income to the pandemic and are struggling financially, but this lucky group is able to save money now that there are so few options for spending.   

Many families in the region — an area that routinely appears on lists of the most expensive places to live in America — say having their expenses forcibly cut by government measures aimed at slowing the virus' spread has helped them save several thousand dollars a month.

A handful of others say their businesses have seen an increase in revenue, allowing them to put aside money toward a dream vacation or down payment on a home. 

"It's 'forced savings,'" said Richard Vogel, dean of the school of business and professor of economics at Farmingdale State College. "People can't commute, so there's no need to pay for train passes or gas, they're not dining out at restaurants, they're not out shopping... people's choices are very limited right now because there aren't that many places to go out and spend." 

After 61 years of marriage, couple dies six days apart

Good days. Bad days. Bill and Anita Thomas saw both over the course of their 61 years of marriage. Yet, there was never any question they would be together and that their love for one another and their family was unwavering.

It was that love that helped the Northport couple endure the tragedy that killed their 8-year-old son Eric and took the legs of their 10-year-old son Peter, when they were struck by a snowplow while on a family vacation in Canada in 1974.

It was that love that led Bill to move with Anita, who developed an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s, into an assisted living facility so she didn’t have to sleep alone.

And it was that love, family members say, that led Anita to begin speaking in full sentences for the first time in a year and climb into bed to comfort her husband as he fell victim to COVID-19.

Bill died on May 1 at a hospice in East Northport from the virus. He was 82. Anita was by his side. Six days later, on May 7, Anita died of the virus. She was 80. Read their story.

More to know

Oyster Bay’s summer outdoor concert series will be a drive-in series at Tobay Beach, where 800 to 1,000 vehicles can park for live music beginning July 1.

Last week, 11,360 Long Islanders filed new jobless claims, up almost 15% from the 9,886 claims filed the week before, according to New York Department of Labor data.

Ahead of the primary election on June 23, New York's measures to avoid long lines at polling places include expanded mail-in voting to try to stem the spread of the virus, and early voting, which begins Saturday.

With cases of domestic violence on the rise during the pandemic, a state task force announced recommendations to provide survivors with increased housing, funding and technological support.

News for you

Where should we eat? The restaurant experience is back on Long Island — at least, outdoors. With more options and some eateries getting creative, check out your best bets for outdoor dining this weekend.

Hotel changes. Mask-wearing is one of many new policies and procedures that East End hotels have started. Get familiar with what some East End hotels will look like if you want to go for a getaway.

Tribeca Film Festival comes to LI. Actor and director Robert De Niro will bring his famed festival to Nickerson Beach in Lido Beach as a drive-in movie event, starting next month. Tickets go on sale June 22.

Silent films are back. Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre is adding the new entry to its virtual programming next week. “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” the classic 1928 silent short featuring Buster Keaton, will play with livestreamed musical accompaniment by a silent film organist.

Protecting your health. Replay our free webinar that answers your questions and presents a discussion about what Phase 2 of Long Island's reopening can mean for your health.

Plus: Long Island theaters still remain dark, but you can take a look at how local directors, playwrights and actors found ways to create art and bring it alive on a virtual stage. And, about a dozen local theater veterans will take turns performing excerpts from James Joyce's master work "Ulysses" for Virtual Bloomsday Long Island on Tuesday. 

Get real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog and watch our latest daily wrap-up video, featuring how Long Island is slowly reopening.

Commentary

A strange moment draped in protest. There is a strangeness to New York right now, writes Mark Chiusano in his latest Newsday Opinion column.

The Manhattan Bridge roadway more normally reserved for cars has been, again and again, taken over by walkers and bikes. There are dance-party protests in Brooklyn, one of the centers of demonstration over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. A man in a Spiderman costume directs an ambulance out of traffic. Helicopters buzz, windows have been broken. Crowds have gathered in masks, close together, chanting, walking through neighborhoods that had been quiet for weeks because of coronavirus fears.

There is the deadly pandemic and there is an uprising, at the same moment.

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