TODAY'S PAPER
53° Good Morning
53° Good Morning
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Butting heads over masks, social distancing

'They won't agree to meet safely'

The pandemic prompted a role reversal between Jeffrey Barton and his mother.

The 49-year-old St. James man is an avid believer in social distancing and wearing masks, and he's acting as the strict parent — prohibiting his 94-year-old mother from attending her cherished weekly lunches with friends because they don't wear face shields or stay a safe distance from each other.

"It's a schism," Barton said. "She feels animosity toward me for facilitating the loss of her friends. They sort of keep inviting her. But they won't agree to the ground rules. They won't agree to meet safely."

He's not alone in this newfound tension, as Long Islanders who describe themselves as strict mask wearers and followers of social distancing butt heads with people closest to them.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 57 in Nassau, 84 in Suffolk, 290 in New York City and 608 statewide.

The chart above shows the number of patients currently hospitalized for coronavirus in the state. Search a map and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Disparities evident in higher-needs districts

A Newsday analysis found visible disparities in online learning in Long Island districts after the spring shutdown.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Delivery of instruction and access to technology in Long Island districts varied widely when schools shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus, with disparities evident in higher-needs districts, according to the analysis of online learning plans.

Some districts said they have had time to audit their successes and failures from the shutdown, finding key areas to improve in, as educators and parents remain concerned about the quality of distance learning if schools take that route in the fall.

"The biggest win is that we've learned what changes we need to make so that if we have to return to remote learning in the fall, it'll be a much better experience," Montauk Superintendent Jack Perna said.

Newsday analyzed the plans of 10 districts that varied in size, scope and wealth. It found Montauk assigned a teacher's aide to every student who struggled to meet expectations with online learning — while some of Brentwood's students relied on paper packets for virtual instruction.

Surviving LI Catholic schools aim for full September start

Long Island's Catholic grammar schools were worried about their future as enrollment declined, costs increased and Catholic schools closed throughout the country.

So last fall the Marianist Brothers, who run Chaminade High School in Mineola, joined with the Diocese of Rockville Centre to help revitalize the schools. Then the coronavirus hit, and overnight the mission turned to survival.

The Marianists, a religious order whose focus is education, now are working with the diocese to try to avoid more closures and get back to the mission of strengthening the schools. Church officials are optimistic about the remaining 35 Catholic grammar schools on the Island.

The virus played a role in the closure of three Catholic schools on Long Island and many more in the dioceses of New York and Brooklyn.

Cuomo: Nassau, Suffolk doing better on enforcement

State officials handed out summonses to 27 establishments for failing to follow coronavirus mitigation regulations on Sunday night, mainly in New York City and none on Long Island, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

Nassau and Suffolk have improved enforcement of regulations such as wearing masks and limiting crowds, in contrast to the city, where enforcement continues to be a problem, Cuomo said.

Long Island's counties are "doing a better job than they had been doing. They have been more rigorous," he said.

Governments and police upstate have also done a better job of enforcing the laws, Cuomo said.

Coronavirus indicators continued to be good across the state, with about a 1% positive level in testing performed Sunday, according to the governor. Eleven New Yorkers died of coronavirus-related causes Sunday, he said.

More to know

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien tested positive for the coronavirus.

The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway today with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government.

Major League Baseball's abbreviated season just began, and there's already a significant COVID-19 outbreak on one of its teams, the Miami Marlins. The Yankees immediately felt the reverberations.

One key to the 2020 NFL season will be keeping players healthy. The pandemic is just one part of that.

Patterns of commercial electric use through the worst of the shutdown and reopenings show the pandemic's deep and sustained impact on businesses across Long Island, most severely in the leisure and hospitality industries, according to new data from PSEG Long Island.

News for you

Ready for some "Comedy Under the Big Top"? That's the idea for an outdoor evening featuring the stand-up stylings of seven Long Island comedians at Cafe Spiga in Mount Sinai on Aug. 15. "It's a happy atmosphere because it's a summer night outside under the stars after eating a great meal, which is the perfect situation to hear some comedy," says headliner Rich Walker.

Let's stick with that celestial theme for a second. Turner Classic Movies' Summer Under the Stars will return again in August, with a different actor taking center stage for 24 hours each day.

"Celebrate America" at Tobay Beach. The Town of Oyster Bay is hosting a free drive-in concert and fireworks show intended to show admiration for the USA on Aug. 4 at 8 p.m.

Plus: Snack bars are having a moment. Here are five favorites.

Watch our latest daily wrap-up video, on violations issued downstate earlier in the weekend.

Commentary

Wanted: A Civilian Coronavirus Corps. Millions of American working parents are wondering how they will care for their children in the fall, when most kids will be in school for just a few days a week — if they go to school at all, Jonathan Zimmerman writes for Newsday Opinion.

Meanwhile, millions of U.S. college students are wondering whether they should return to campus, now that universities are putting most classes online and canceling many other activities.

Can you spell synergy? We could create one right now by enlisting college students and other young adults in caring for our out-of-school kids.

Call it the Civilian Coronavirus Corps. In exchange for a small stipend, each enlistee would be paired with a small group of children for the year. On the days when the kids aren't in school, CCC members would monitor their online instruction. And they also would engage the kids in sports, art, music and all of the other fun things they'd be missing otherwise.

And fortunately, we already have a template for it: the original CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health