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A new challenge for returning workers

As businesses reopen, workers face screenings at the door

Workers are navigating a new daily pandemic challenge: getting in the door. 

Typical questions include: Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Have you experienced a cough, fever, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell? In the past 14 days, have you been in contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive?

"Those questions are asked every single day to every employee," said Mark Gatien, owner and vice president of Community Care Home Health Services. 

But the questions may be the least of it. The provider of home health workers, personal care assistants and nurses has its employees passing through a $17,000 "Sanitizing Station" where their temperature is taken and they go through a mist of disinfecting solution.

"It's amazing how this pandemic has turned things around," Gatien said.

Cuomo: COVID-19 violations at 37 bars, restaurants

New York State authorities will issue summonses for violations to 37 bars and restaurants for failing to follow mandated measures aimed at controlling spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday.

State Police and State Liquor Authority agents fanned out Thursday night across New York City, Long Island and other areas mainly downstate to step up enforcement of social distancing, mask wearing, crowd capacity and other measures, he said.

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Cuomo mentioned locations including Rockville Centre and Baldwin. In the city, he mentioned Astoria, Jackson Heights and the Lower East Side. Cuomo criticized local government and police for not doing enough to enforce the mandates, and called on them to do so.

"Nassau County police, do your job. Suffolk County police, do your job," Cuomo said.

The number of new positives today: 44 in Nassau, 58 in Suffolk, 360 in New York City and 753 statewide.

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

The $600 jobless aid supplement is set to run out

Jobless Long Islanders say they fear the worst when the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits they've been receiving comes to an end this weekend.

Unless Congress acts to extend the bonus, Sunday will mark the end of the final week for which Long Islanders can receive the enhanced payment under the state Department of Labor's payment schedule.

The controversial program has meant some workers have received more on unemployment than they earned while working. But for many of the 193,000 Long Islanders left unemployed by the pandemic, even with the extra $600, they're barely getting by.

“This extra $600 would be the lifeline that a lot of people need,” said Southampton resident Christen Mann, 48, a former hotel manager. “I think right now we need to look at the reality of what is happening in New York and Long Island specifically, and see that people need help.”

She survived Auschwitz, and now COVID-19

Gita Shorr is a survivor. The 90 year-old great-grandmother, whose arm is still branded with the numbers 33380, survived the horrors of the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

Nearly 80 years later, Shorr survived a more than two-month battle with COVID-19.

On Thursday, Shorr — bubbling with excitement and even dancing with the help of a walker — was welcomed back to her home at The Bristal in East Northport by a parade of staff and family holding streamers and singing Carrie Underwood's "The Champion."

"I was fighting for my life to come to this," Shorr said of the celebration in her honor. "But I am now happy."

More to know

The number of Long Island jobless claims dipped last week, but remained high, as 9,600 Long Islanders filed initial unemployment claims, according to Labor Department data.

Long Beach police began warning dozens of people the beach was closing shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, followed by police on foot patrols and pickups to clear the beach at sunset.

The Gristmill in East Rockaway will close after dinner on July 30, another victim of the pandemic.

The American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale prepares to reopen to visitors for the first time since March with a soft reopening Saturday.

The State Legislature agreed to pass a bill that would roll back part of the malpractice immunity granted hospitals, nursing homes and health care workers during the height of the pandemic.

News for you

Hit the beach on wheels. Off-roading on Long Island beaches is a popular summer pastime for some. All you need is a four-wheel drive vehicle and a special permit to join — and it's one way to socially distance. Find out where.

Heckscher Museum of Art returns. The museum will reopen on Aug. 1, with several virtual exhibits on the art venue's website now available in person. Reservations are required, and so are face masks

Get lost in sunflowers. Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm has opened a new sunflower maze to explore. And it's one of several spots on Long Island where sunflower mazes are nearing full bloom.

These musicians have you covered. From Celine Dion to Bruce Springsteen, these musicians play it all during Facebook Live concerts — for a cause.

Plus: Santa Claus (and a drive-in movie) is coming to town. It's Christmas in July and the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium in Centerport is hosting a showing of “Home Alone” on Friday and Saturday nights.

Watch our latest daily wrap-up video, which covered beachgoers' reactions to the new beach and boardwalk restrictions in Long Beach.

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

Commentary

The economy usually recovers quickly once pandemics end. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy, writes Laird M. Easton, professor of European history at California State University, Chico, for The Washington Post.

The World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report for June forecasts that the world economy will shrink by an average of 5.2% in the coming year, making this the worst recession since World War II.

It further predicts a decline in per capita income of 3.6%, bringing with it the threat of starvation to millions of the world's poorest people. While the June jobs report in the United States was surprisingly good, with an unprecedented 4.8 million new jobs being added, the subsequent dramatic resurgence of the virus has led again to pessimism about the economy, as Congress begins work on another trillion-plus-dollar relief package to try to prop up the economy.

But whatever passes, a period of acute economic hardship, potentially reaching catastrophic levels in some parts of the world, certainly seems to be inevitable. What will be the long-term effects? A historical perspective yields an unexpected insight into the question of the economic consequences of pandemics.

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