'If we do all the right things, we can control it and minimize it'
Much of a second wave's trajectory will depend on whether Long Island residents follow social distancing guidelines, but its timing and strength is difficult to predict, experts said. Better testing and contact tracing should help keep the region from reaching April’s peak COVID-19 levels.
"If we do all the right things, we can control it and minimize it," said Dr. Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. "But it's a fait accompli, it is going to come. This has been the case in Europe, and there is no reason to believe the United States, including this region, will be any different."
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week warned an increase in COVID-19 cases would come, and said the fall would create a "host of complexities," including an expected increase in seasonal flu with the reopening of schools.
Long Island, and the state, have successfully navigated the summer, according to COVID-19 statistics compiled by Newsday. New cases, hospitalizations and deaths have remained low.
The number of new positives reported today: 64 in Nassau, 42 in Suffolk, 231 in New York City and 629 statewide.
The chart below shows a map of cases across Long Island communities. Search the map and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.
5 states off NY travel quarantine list
New York has removed five states from the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine list, Cuomo said Tuesday: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland and Montana. The U.S. territory of Guam was added to the list.
The changes leave 31 states or territories on the list. The number of new cases of COVID-19 has dropped in some as officials adopt mandatory mask-wearing measures and reverse some moves such as opening bars and indoor dining.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer recommends people self-quarantine for two weeks after traveling from another state or country. The CDC updated its travel guidelines on Friday, urging U.S. residents to “follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.”
Meanwhile, the state marked its 18th straight day of positive testing levels below 1%, Cuomo said.
As gyms reopen, fitness buffs get in line
The line at Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset snaked into the parking lot before 6 a.m. Monday, with mask-wearing, muscle-bound members anticipating the moment they’ve waited for since March.
Inside, sanitation stations and temperature checks awaited. So did barbells, punching bags, treadmills and bench presses.
Monday marked the first day that gyms in most of the state were allowed to reopen, but there were restrictions. Gyms must adhere to the 18-page list of guidelines released by the state Department of Health that included filtration systems, frequent sanitizing, widely spaced equipment and mandatory mask wearing at all times. They're also only allowed to operate at 33% capacity.
“It’s been nerve-wracking, but the response has been overwhelming, so I’m happy,” said Steve Weinberger, president of Bev Francis. Being shut down for so long, he said, was “very, very depressing. It’s like your freedom has been taken away from you.”
How high school athletes feel after sports announcement
Long Island’s high school athletes got hope and optimism on Monday when Cuomo opened the door for interscholastic sports to return next month.
On Monday, Cuomo said, “The guidance we’ve come up with is this: What’s called lower-risk sports — tennis, soccer, cross country, field hockey, swimming — in all regions of the state can practice and play starting Sept. 21” as long as Department of Health protocols are followed and school districts deem it safe.
Sports considered higher risk — such as football and volleyball — can begin training on that date as well.
The news was largely met across Long Island with happiness and even some surprise by coaches and athletic directors.
“The second that our team found out, everyone was texting and super excited that we actually have a set date and time to practice,” said Sarah Killcommons, a senior on Garden City’s field hockey team.
More to know
Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients are holding off on seeking loan forgiveness in hopes Washington will make the application process easier or convert the smallest loans to grants.
The Art League of Long Island is selling its Dix Hills building, citing revenue loss during the pandemic.
Jury duty is coming back soon as both Nassau and Suffolk counties are launching pilot programs to bring back juries in criminal and civil trials in scaled-down numbers and with safety precautions.
The producers of this year's Emmy Awards are avoiding prerecorded video and Zoom and Skype, and are attempting instead to place broadcast-quality cameras for remote live feeds in about 140 locations.
News for you
Escaping home for a sunset. This summer has been all about staying close to home, but it's not too late to squeeze in a mini staycation with a sunset cruise. Here are four boats that offer unique scenic rides (all abiding by COVID-19 regulations).
Your gardening calendar for September. Next month marks the end of summer and more opportunities to tend to your garden. Here are 30 tips and chores to conquer in your garden, one for every day of the month.
A drive-in theater gala. The Gateway in Bellport will hold its first Drive-in Gala to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The two-night event on Sept. 25 and 26 will be hosted by actress and Long Islander Isabella Rossellini with executive artistic director Paul Allan.
Plus: Don't miss a virtual rock concert and Q&A with Mike DelGuidice on Wednesday night, presented by Newsday Live Music Series and Faith Entertainment. Register here for the 8 p.m. event.
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Vacation shaming travels far and fast. Columnist Petula Dvorak writes for The Washington Post: Those sandy toes stretching out to aqua blue water? The Maine lobster roll? Mouse ears in front of Cinderella's Castle? It's August, people! Where are all the travel pix?
Oh, wait. We're in a pandemic. And a recession. So no one's traveling, everyone's locked down and making bread still, right?
Not really, though. On Aug. 13, 761,821 of y'all passed through airport security checkpoints in America. Sure, it's about a third of the travelers who got patted down on the same day last year, but it's far above the 87,534 passengers who took off on April 14, when pandemic restrictions were new.
And nearly 7 million Americans road-tripped it, according to AAA's numbers. One company said RV rentals are nearly double what they were last year. You're still traveling, America. But now it's just in stealth mode.
"I've even refrained from posting on my personal social media page," said Lungi Moore, a Michigan mom whose Instagram is usually all about her family's far-flung travel adventures.
And who could blame her? Because the pandemic means vacation shaming has hit a new level.