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Repeated calls for federal aid

Cuomo: Without federal aid, NY will have to make deep cuts

Cuomo has said on various occasions that the state would have to make deep cuts in spending for needed services without federal aid to its local governments. He repeated assertions about New York and other northeastern states being net contributors to the federal budget and needing more of those funds back to ease the impact of the fiscal crisis.

"We are very concerned about what we hear from Washington" about a recovery bill package that would "refuse any assistance to state and local governments," Cuomo said during a telephonic briefing.

"There have been numerous experts that have pointed out … that there will be no national recovery if you starve state and local governments," he added.

Cuomo later issued a joint statement with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, calling on Congress, and particularly the U.S. Senate, to include a $500 billion "state stabilization fund" in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Meanwhile, New York State reported overall good numbers on the metrics tracking the virus' spread. Out of 67,659 tests returned on Tuesday, the reported infection level was 1.04%.

The number of new positives today: 36 in Nassau, 46 in Suffolk, 350 in New York City and 705 statewide.

The chart below shows the cumulative number of people who have been tested for the coronavirus in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Firms sue insurers, seeing shutdown as the enemy

The Plainview-based children’s clothing chain Denny’s is suing its insurance company in federal court, joining businesses across the country that are fighting for insurance payouts to cover their losses during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The retailer says the insurer breached its contract when it refused to pay out on Denny’s policy covering interruptions in business operations. A spokesman for the insurer’s parent company said the company does not comment on litigation.

That case is one of hundreds of similar suits being filed on behalf of retailers, restaurants and other businesses across the country, said Woodbury-based Daniel Buttafuoco, the attorney representing Denny’s.

The shutdowns imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus caused “a major impact to the people who actually are the backbone of the American economy,” Buttafuoco said. 

Teens hope 'little' pantry has big impact on hunger

Two Westhampton Beach teens, inspired after hearing about free pantries on the East End, opened a similar food bank in the village to help feed those in need during the pandemic.

Friends Fainne Sheehan, 15, and Alie Fitt, 16, said they began spearheading efforts last fall to bring a “Little Free Pantry” to Westhampton Beach. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held July 16.

The food cabinet is part of a grassroots movement dedicated to opening small pantries that are accessible 24/7 in communities.

“We really feel that food is not a privilege,” Sheehan said. “It should be accessed by anyone, and anyone should be able to come and get this now. People are struggling with losing jobs and this is really a place where anyone can come anytime they need it.”

Family loses mother, grandmother to COVID-19

The bond between Theresa La Fonte and daughter-in-law Shari La Fonte was far stronger than any legal document.

Though their familial relationship ended in divorce, Theresa never stopped treating Shari like family. And when they both were admitted to the same rehabilitation center, it was a hardship that became a blessing in disguise.

With Theresa taking up residence at the facility after suffering a fall at home and Shari awaiting a double-lung transplant, the family could easily bring them together during visits to the Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Woodbury.

Shari and Theresa died about eight weeks apart from complications of the coronavirus; Shari, of East Setauket, at the age of 59 on April 15, and Theresa, of Bayville, at the age of 82 on June 17.

Read their story. Find more stories of Long Islanders lost to the coronavirus.

More to know

Long Island’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 12.9% in June as jobless Long Islanders began re-entering the labor force in hopes of finding work, state data released Tuesday shows.

The MTA will seek to cut another $350 million in costs next year to help close a budget gap brought on by the pandemic, the agency’s chairman said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump sought to paint a rosier picture of the coronavirus on Tuesday, but said the pandemic is likely to get worse before it improves

The Suffolk County Legislature approved a ballot measure for this fall that would tap a county sewer fund to help plug massive budget holes stemming from the pandemic.

News for you

Summer birthdays during a pandemic. Some families are getting creative to celebrate kid birthdays, beyond the car parade. From unicorn encounters to backyard bashes, here are some ways kids are celebrating on LI. 

See it now, or in 6,800 years. You can spot Comet Neowise on Long Island on Wednesday before it disappears for thousands of years. Find out where you should look for it.

The latest concert to get postponed. Hall & Oates' Jones Beach concert with special guests Squeeze and KT Tunstall has been postponed to August 2021. It was originally scheduled for Aug. 25.

When 'Jeopardy!' returns. Longtime host Alex Trebek says he's anxious to return to work — and when he does, producers have planned safety measures and a redesigned set to help counter the virus' spread. 

What to avoid in your home office. Still have years-old files that could be tossed, outdated books and cardboard boxes lying around? You don't need them. Here are the seven things in your office you should get rid of.

Free concerts on the Nautical Mile. An outdoor concert series will start this week on Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Freeport. Attendees must bring their own chairs or blankets and must socially distance.

Plus: Join us for Newsday's latest free virtual event on Thursday for a discussion on the current state of child care during the pandemic and its impact on workers and businesses. Save your spot.

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Commentary

The pandemic may very well last another year or more. Anthony Fauci has recently taken some heat in Washington for supposedly being too pessimistic about how long it will take to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, write Peter R. Orszag, David Gluckman and Stephen H. Sands for Bloomberg Opinion.

In fact, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is probably being too optimistic, a new survey of leading health care company leaders and investors suggests. 

In congressional testimony and news interviews, Fauci has said an effective and safe vaccine may be available by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Yet almost three in four health care executives and investors believe an effective and safe vaccine will not be widely available until the second half of 2021 or even later.

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