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How Long Islanders feel about a vaccine

Barely half of Long Islanders would get the vaccine, poll finds

The poll found that only 53% of Long Islanders said they intend to get a vaccine if one is developed, with 16% saying they wouldn’t and 31% unsure. Other polls also have found muted enthusiasm for a vaccine.

The survey of 1,043 Long Island residents was conducted between June 22 and July 1 by YouGov for nextLI. The nextLI project is a Newsday initiative funded by a grant from the Rauch Foundation, with a goal of stimulating Islandwide discussion of public policy questions. Find out what else the survey found.

Meanwhile, most Long Islanders are worried they or their loved ones may get seriously ill from the disease or die, and are concerned about the pandemic’s effect on their financial futures, a nextLI survey being released Tuesday shows. The poll found confidence that the situation on the Island is improving, but a widespread apprehension that the region may experience a second wave, along with long-term economic and other damage.

“Across the board, there's a more severe level of intensity of concern among Long Islanders than there is nationally,” said Kristen Harmeling, a senior vice president for market research at YouGov.

That's likely because the region was "hit hard and hit early,” she said.

The number of new positives today: 58 in Nassau, 50 in Suffolk, 241 in New York City and 545 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of weekly unemployment claims filed by Long Island workers. See more charts showing the latest local trends in economic data during the pandemic.

Weighing the risks and rewards of reopening schools

As Long Island parents look toward the start of school, they have different views on whether to send their children back.

Many say they're aware that children constitute a fraction of reported cases and deaths, but some worry that much remains unknown about the virus. Beyond that, they watched their children through the four months of school shutdowns, seeing many struggle with remote learning and to fill the empty hours.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday urged school districts across the state to better inform parents and teachers about their plans going forward to prepare reopening efforts, with a decision looming from the state on the return to classes. Cuomo said the districts need to spell out their plans, have discussions with parents and teachers and obtain buy-in from their communities.

“I’ll make a determination later this week … but just because a district puts out a plan doesn’t mean that parents are going to come or teachers are going to come,” Cuomo said.

Meanwhile, school districts across Long Island released reopening plans, with some detailing a return to face-to-face instruction. Find out more about some districts' plans.

Cuomo said Saturday that about 650 of the state’s roughly 700 school districts submitted reopening plans by the Friday deadline.

The risk of homelessness for LGBTQ youth during the pandemic

LGBTQ youth on Long Island — some cooped up in hostile homes for months during the pandemic — have been at disproportionate risk of being kicked out and potentially becoming homeless, according to those who work with the population. It's part of a national trend.

“With COVID, these clients, these people, they’re forced to stay in the household more than they did previously. So there is a higher risk of, maybe their parents coming across something, or overhearing a conversation,” said Devon Zappasodi, Suffolk project director for Pride for Youth, which is based in Deer Park and Bellmore.

“Places that these folks would go to for their outlet that was supportive” — schools, work, social organizations — became suddenly unavailable, Zappasodi said.

Some of these youth end up in homeless shelters. Some couch-surf at friends’ or camp outdoors. Some are on the street.

LI bus driver traded keys for sewing machine to make PPE

Last spring, as supplies of personal protective equipment ran low in many health care facilities across Long Island, Manna Cali began making her own.

The 62-year-old Stony Brook resident usually drives the bus at Jefferson’s Ferry, the upscale retirement community in Centereach, taking residents to medical appointments and social engagements.

But that work had stopped when the community went into virtual lockdown and she was “looking for something meaningful to do with my free time and to feel useful,” she said in a phone interview.

She started with hundreds of masks, many of which went to area nurses, before her employer made a request for protective gowns for staff at Jefferson Ferry’s nursing facility, the Vincent Bove Health Center.

More to know

A Newsday analysis shows law offices, accounting firms and other similar professional offices received more than twice as many coronavirus-relief loans on Long Island as did restaurants and hotels.

There's another week to apply for emergency rent relief from the state, as the application period for its COVID Rent Relief Program was extended to Aug. 6.

The curtain has come down for good on BroadHollow Theatre Company because of the pandemic.

Long Island’s solar-energy contractors are seeing a slow if uneven return to business as they adjust to new virtual-sales models and try to win new customers.

The Mets' Yoenis Cespedes has opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the pandemic, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said.

Public officials in the areas hit hardest by the pandemic have spent all or nearly all of the money they received from the CARES Act fund for state and local governments, according to a federal survey. 

News for you

Bring the kids to an outdoor story hour. Long Island story hours have resumed, but you'll need to bring your own blanket. Families can grab their beach blankets and head to one story hour in Southampton and another in Sea Cliff. Get the details.

Get the neat-and-tidy look for your home. Small things like folded towels and carefully arranged pillows add to the impression that your home is clean and tidy — even if it doesn't reflect whether your shelves are dust-free. Follow these seven easy styling tricks for a cleaner-looking home.

Nothing can stop the Gilgo Beach Inn. The long-running snack bar perched on the Great South Bay functions as a snack bar, a community center, a relic and, ultimately, a living museum of itself. Discover the iconic Gilgo Beach Inn.

Plus: Join us Tuesday for nextLI's free virtual event that will look at a recent survey on Long Island's concerns about the pandemic, fears of a second wave and what it means for the future. Register here.

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

Commentary

Don't ignore the life-and-death trade-offs of COVID lockdowns. Picture this scenario: You walk nervously into the office of the oncologist to whom your primary physician has unexpectedly referred you, and as soon as you see the specialist's facial expression, you know the news is bad, writes Stephen L. Carter, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.

You're right. "If only we'd caught this six or eight weeks earlier," the oncologist says.

This is an experience shared by thousands of Americans every year. The COVID-19 shutdown will add to their numbers. According to Anthony Fauci, the nation's most prominent immunologist, the lockdown orders, by keeping patients away from routine medical screenings, will likely result in some 10,000 excess cancer deaths over the next five years.

This is a classic trade-off: allowing some people to die in order to protect others. But somehow, we never frame it that way. We deliberate poorly in times of emergency; as a result, we make bad decisions.

Let's be clear. These aren't deaths caused by the pandemic. These are deaths caused by our response to the pandemic. Even though patients in most places can now go back to the doctor, the damage has already been done.

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