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The delay in getting test results

Test results delayed because of increased national demand

The number of coronavirus cases in New York have slowed, unlike in southern and western states, where record numbers are being recorded daily. But requests for COVID-19 tests have picked up, as thousands of New Yorkers return to work, youngsters head to summer camps and people get prescreenings for medical procedures.

With more testing being done nationally, three of the country’s largest labs — LabCorp, BioReference Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics — are processing a growing number of samples from pharmacies, urgent care centers and other sites.

On Long Island, results come back quicker when tests are processed at local health systems and at labs contracted by the state, health care officials said.

“It’s volume and capacity,” Quest Diagnostics spokeswoman Kimberly Gorode said. “We can run about 115,000 tests a day. ... It’s not lab-specific. It’s a national issue. We are just trying to keep up.”

The chart below shows the cumulative number of people who have been tested in the state and in New York City. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

The number of new positives today, as of 3 p.m.: 68 in Nassau, 62 in Suffolk, 351 in New York City and 786 statewide.

Cuomo: NY tops 400,000 cases

New York State has surpassed 400,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday, the fifth-highest total worldwide if New York was a country.

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The state added 786 new confirmed cases during testing on Thursday, for a total of 400,299. The only countries with higher totals are the United States as a whole, with 3.1 million, followed by Brazil, India, and Russia, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The number puts New York above such countries as Peru, Chile, and the United Kingdom, along with the early coronavirus hot spots of China, Italy and Spain.

Despite that, Cuomo said New York was making good progress in its fight to control the virus.

"We know that wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing are effective tools for fighting this virus — and now is the time to redouble those efforts," Cuomo said. 

Raising prices at barbershops and restaurants

For shops reopening on Long Island, planning is all about subtraction: Fewer tables at restaurants, fewer chairs in salons, and fewer customers ready to brave the new marketplace.

But in one area — the expense section — addition is common. In many cases, survival depends on raising rates for customers.

After shutting their brick-and-mortar locations, many businesses resumed with more expensive safety equipment and cleaning practices. They opened under social distancing protocols that typically cut their capacities in half.

Prices are most likely to rise for services that consumers can't replace online, such as haircuts, restaurant meals, hotel stays and workouts at well-equipped gyms, according Stacey Finkelstein, professor of marketing at Stony Brook University.

"Consumers want to know that businesses are looking out for them," Finkelstein said.

Teens aren't losing steam in helping during pandemic

Teens across Long Island and beyond know the pandemic is far from over. They're still prioritizing making face masks, collecting food donations and supporting family.

For the Dodds family in Pennsylvania, they knew they wouldn’t be able to connect with their family on Long Island for the foreseeable future — including one family member who lives in an assisted living facility in Smithtown with Alzheimer’s disease.

Joanne Dodds said she and her children — Liam, 17, and Sophie 14 — purchased a sewing machine. They've made masks and raised close to $2,000 for the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center in Westbury. 

“We began making masks for our family up in Long Island,” said Liam. “We realized when this all started that people were going to need face masks, and they were selling out extremely quickly.”

Read more about how teens have been helping others during the pandemic.

More to know

Hundreds of gyms, including many on Long Island, are suing Cuomo, the state attorney general and New York State, alleging that the governor’s continued shutdown orders have caused “irreparable harm” to their livelihood and is unconstitutional.

All of Long Island's major malls will be reopened by Wednesday, after being closed for more than three months.

Stony Brook University students in the United States from abroad will not lose their F-1 visas or have to leave the country this fall, as long as they remain enrolled full time and in at least one three-credit, on-campus class, university officials said this week.

The Town of Hempstead’s use of federal COVID-19 relief funding needs a fiscal monitor, says State Sen. Kevin Thomas and U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice.

More than 10,500 Long Islanders filed jobless claims last week, a decrease of more than 700 claims from the week prior, state data shows.

Some Long Island University fall sports programs saw weeks trimmed from their schedules, as the Northeast Conference announced its members will not compete in intercollegiate athletics before Sept. 10 because of the pandemic.

News for you

The role of 'Book Fairies' on Long Island. This Long Island-based nonprofit gets new and gently used books into the hands of children who need them most. Find out how the Book Fairies stepped up during a time when libraries and schools were closed.

A new version of 'One Love' for kids. Bob Marley’s children and grandson re-imagined one of his biggest hits to help children affected by the coronavirus. They've joined forces for a new version of “One Love,” coming July 17.

Another way to stream. Peacock launches July 15, adding to a list of streaming services to choose from. But Peacock — progeny of media giant Comcast-owned NBCUniversal — will be free (sort of). We've got the answers to your questions about the service.

Another cheese shop lost. C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson is set to close and will be cutting its last wedge on Sunday. The news comes after last week’s closing of Sayville’s American Cheese.

Plus: Looking for a new cuisine this weekend? Try Mexican-Italian. Tony's Tacos, an Italian cantina that opened in Floral Park last month, offers varieties like chicken parm tacos and pizza toppings served on tortillas.

Get real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog.

Sign up for text messages to get the most important coronavirus news and information.

Commentary

No curtain call thanks to COVID-19. Kyle Matthew Hamilton, a professional skateboarder and entertainer, writes: Live theater has long been a place where anything could happen.

But nothing could have prepared us for the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted Broadway in its tracks. Now, the Great White Way is officially suspended until 2021.

As a 33-year-old Broadway performer currently wallowing in my parent’s Indiana retirement community, I’m heartbroken. 

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