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Cuomo OKs visitors at hospitals, group homes

Facilities must inform state if they’re allowing visitors

The visitations to hospitals and group homes will be at the discretion of each institution and subject to state guidelines such as temperature checks and wearing masks and other protective gear, Cuomo said.

“This was always a balance of public health versus the personal relationships, and people were in hospitals who desperately want to see loved ones," he said. "Obviously we need to be careful."

The facilities must inform the state if they are allowing visitors, he said.

On nursing homes, Cuomo said it's still under consideration and "there is still a high risk."

The state has continued to watch the number of new positives from daily test results, while also following hospitalization and death figures and studying antibody test results to detect regional patterns in the spread.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 50 in Nassau, 46 in Suffolk, 332 in New York City and 631 statewide.

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

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Nassau Coliseum to shut down

NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum will shutter its doors indefinitely as billionaire operator Mikhail Prokhorov seeks investors to take over the lease of the 13,000-seat venue and assume the remaining $100 million in debt, a Prokhorov spokeswoman said.

The stunning development by Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which runs the Coliseum through a lease from the county, comes three months after the arena, along with all other sports and concert venues across the state, closed for the pandemic.

Prokhorov's decision raises questions about the future of the $1.5 billion Nassau Hub development and is expected to send the Islanders back to Brooklyn's Barclays Center instead of playing their final season on Long Island before their new arena at Belmont Park opens.

Ellen Pinchuk, a spokeswoman for Prokhorov, said in a statement Tuesday that the "enormous long-term economic value of the Coliseum" and its surrounding property can be best realized by other parties.

Avoiding LIRR crowds with the help of an app

A major update to the Long Island Rail Road’s mobile app includes new features that could be especially useful in the age of social distancing — providing real-time information for commuters to avoid crowding on most trains.

Included in the enhanced LIRR TrainTime is a new functionality allowing users to choose less crowded cars, even before a train arrives at a station.

The first-of-its-kind feature in the U.S. uses “load-weight sensors” built into cars’ suspension systems to detect how many people are on board. It reports that information using a color-coded system: Green for cars with 0%-35% of seats taken; yellow for 35%-50%; orange for 50%-85%; and red for cars with 85% or more of seats taken.

“This was a priority for us before COVID, and it’s even more important now as we’re trying to get people more comfortable returning back to work,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said.

This drug improves COVID-19 survival, researchers say

Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.

The results were announced Tuesday, and the British government immediately authorized the drug's use across the United Kingdom for coronavirus patients like those who did well in the study. Researchers said they would publish results soon, and several independent experts said it's important to see details to know how much of a difference the drug, dexamethasone, might make and for whom.

The study, led by the University of Oxford, was a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only usual care.

“Bottom line is, good news,” said the United States’ top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. “This is a significant improvement in the available therapeutic options that we have.”

Suffolk sees some backsliding on distancing, mask-wearing

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone acknowledged some backsliding in compliance with state regulations requiring masks and social distancing. 

He deployed his Health Department to issue reminders to outdoor restaurants after the governor threatened to crack down on noncompliant businesses by targeting their liquor licenses.

The county executive said the lack of strict compliance at outdoor restaurants, which reopened last week as Long Island entered Phase 2 of its economic recovery, was not surprising following a three-month period where residents have been locked indoors and as the county continues to see a decline in infections and deaths.

"There is always a concern, as we go week by week and see the numbers decline, and it's summer time and people have been cooped up for a long time, that the message seeping in is that everything is OK. And clearly it’s not," Bellone said.

More to know

Gym chain 24 Hour Fitness blamed the pandemic as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and it plans to permanently close 133 gyms, including two on Long Island.

A study of 33 children admitted to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids associated with COVID-19 sheds new light on the mysterious illness.

U.S. retail sales jumped by a record 17.7% from April to May, with spending partially rebounding after the coronavirus shut down businesses, flattened the economy and paralyzed consumers.

Emergency management officials are warning the pandemic could collide with a hurricane this year, and American Red Cross representatives and local officials stressed the need to adjust hurricane planning.

Long Island school districts start their unprecedented count of mail-in ballots today, in elections marked by confusion and uncertainty over a revamped voting system and state educational funding. 

The Oscars are being postponed and will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned, officials announced.

News for you

A Garth Brooks concert on Long Island. Well, on a movie screen. Adventureland in East Farmingdale will show Brooks’ new one-night-only concert that will play at more than 300 outdoor theaters on June 27. The event will hold 160 cars spaced 6 feet apart.

Good luck charms. Some are turning to jewelry as a source of safety and strength. Necklaces and bracelets with positive and spiritual themes are in demand, and sales of uplifting jewelry are soaring for some, business owners say.

Uptown Taco is back. The Floral Park restaurant had just opened when dine-in service was suspended for the pandemic. Now the taco joint is back up and running.

Supporting minority-owned businesses. A concert will livestream on Saturday to support minority-owned small businesses affected by the pandemic. It includes rappers 2 Chainz and T-Pain, singers Brandi Carlile and Brittany Howard, R&B artist Leon Bridges and Americana-soul singer Nathaniel Rateliff.

Before the Belmont Stakes. We've got what you need to know ahead of the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Find out the details, how to watch and what changes to expect.

Plus: Save your spot for a virtual chat tonight with New York Times bestselling author Scott Turow on his book "The Last Trial," his writing career and more. 

Still have questions about what's safe for kids at camp? Join us for Part 2 of the discussion on what to expect from summer camps, fun activities that can help your kids enjoy the warm weather and more. Register here.

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 recapped how social distancing is going in Southampton Village.

Commentary

The return of haircuts. When hair salons on Long Island started opening last week, there was plenty of hair to cut after months of quarantine.

Episode 29 of the “Life Under Coronavirus” podcast takes a look at the first days of Long Island hair salons reopening.

“Our phones have been ringing off the hook,” says Mia Gelestino of Salon Montáage.

The podcast covers the new reality for hairdressers — no magazines, plenty of masks and social distancing — even as they help customers feel a little more human again.

Find more podcast episodes in this series here.

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