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NYC postpones schools reopening

Students won't return to NYC public schools until Sept. 21

For students whose families have chosen all-remote schooling, that option is also delayed until Sept. 16, de Blasio announced at a news conference with the United Federation of Teachers, the labor union that had weighed a strike vote as soon as Tuesday over the initial reopening plans.

The public schools are to open with a hybrid model, with some students attending in person for part of the week and spending part of it online, while others remain entirely online according to each family’s choice.

Under a deal with the UFT and other unions, the city plans each month to randomly test as many as 20% of students and adults in each building, with shutdown plans depending on infection rates.

De Blasio said that on Sept. 21, “the school buildings open full strength, we go to blended learning as has been described previously. We have students coming into the buildings. What would have happened on September 10 now happens on September 21.”

Find Long Island school districts' start date and reopening plans on this list.

2 states added back to NY's travel quarantine list

Alaska and Montana were returned Tuesday to the list of states and territories from which travelers to New York must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival here, while New York’s level of new cases remains below 1% for the 25th straight day.

The addition of those two states puts 33 states and territories on the "travel advisory" list, a measure to limit the risk of spread from other parts of the country.

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Both states were on the quarantine list previously and had been removed last week.

The quarantine mandate applies to anyone arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average, or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.

The number of new positives reported today: 84 in Nassau, 65 in Suffolk, 305 in New York City and 754 statewide.

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

Jericho district's reopening has a $2.3M price tag

The 3,200-student Jericho school district is about to reopen, along with 123 other school systems across Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

Newsday spent nearly two hours inside Jericho High School and its adjacent middle school on Monday. Change, it turns out, has often come at the last minute, and with a price tag.

Jericho estimates it has spent upward of $2.3 million preparing for the 2020-21 school year, with most of the money being used to hire new teachers and classroom aides. Most are assigned to elementary schools. Money also has been spent on security guards, air-filtration systems and other equipment.

"I've been in this business for well over 50 years, and I've never seen a summer like this," said Jericho's superintendent, Hank Grishman, referring to work time spent on preparations. "I think my anxiety level is at the highest level in my professional life."

Read more about the district's plans, and watch this video for a sneak peek at the new classroom look.

Suffolk towns press Bellone to expand free virus testing

Suffolk County’s town supervisors are urging the county to reopen free COVID-19 testing sites ahead of a potential second wave this fall. But County Executive Steve Bellone says the sites aren't needed when the number of cases is low and tests are more widely available.

The Suffolk Town Supervisors Association, which represents the 10 Suffolk town supervisors, has asked Bellone to use federal CARES Act funding to open more free testing locations countywide, saying there is only one free public testing site in the 900-square-mile county.

“Our region has seen the COVID-19 pandemic at its worst. We owe it to our residents to do everything in our power to avoid a second wave,” the association wrote on Aug. 21 to Bellone.

Bellone's administration did not dismiss the request but said free county testing sites are not necessary while the infection rate is below 1%. There are at least 100 places to get tested in the county, including 20 pharmacies offering free testing, according to county health department data.

More to know

Fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Nassau saw major upticks during the pandemic, a step backward for the county that made significant progress in recent years battling an opioid epidemic, officials said.

The high school winter sports season start date will be pushed back by two weeks — to Nov. 30 — to give the fall season more time, a state task force voted Monday. 

Elder abuse arrests nearly tripled in the pandemic year, Nassau prosecutors said, as quarantine conditions created "a perfect storm" for some of the community's most vulnerable members to fall victim to a spike in physical violence. 

A Queens restaurant located feet away from the Nassau County border is spearheading a class-action lawsuit, arguing that indoor dining restrictions in place for NYC restaurants violate their owners' constitutional rights and jeopardize their business.

News for you

Apple picking will look different this year. This fall, apple picking will come with enhanced guidelines for social distancing — like hand-washing, sanitizing stations and sneeze guards. But there are plenty of apples to go around. Here's a list of orchards in our area.

Applying for an absentee ballot. New Yorkers may now apply online for absentee ballots that can be cast in the November elections. Find instructions on how to do so here.

Your health and COVID-19. Join us for Newsday's free virtual event on Wednesday as health experts explain safety measures and take questions on what's currently known about the coronavirus, treatments for it, a vaccine and potential second wave. Register here.

Children's museum back by appointment. The Long Island Children’s Museum reopens on Sept. 5 with some modifications. But not to worry — “most of the fun stuff is there,” according to museum staff.

Plus: You might have been asked recently to pay with exact change or use a card because the business didn’t have enough coins to make change. Read more on an apparent coin shortage during the pandemic.

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Commentary

Our weird pandemic spending ways could change soon. There's been a lot of talk about the U.S. experiencing a K-shaped recovery, with large companies and the rich recovering while smaller companies and lower-paid service workers struggle, writes Conor Sen, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.

But this divide also shows up in the way Americans are shopping.

July personal spending data confirmed a simultaneous boom in consumption of durable goods such as cars and refrigerators and a depression in spending on services. This is the exact opposite of what happened in the 2008 recession. But such a durable-goods boom is unsustainable, whether we ever get a vaccine for the coronavirus. When it ends, markets might be in for a period analogous to 2015-16, when a slump in energy investment rattled global markets even as consumer spending and employment kept growing.

There's no historical parallel, particularly in a recessionary or crisis environment, for a surge in durable goods spending occurring simultaneously with a slump in services spending. In the past, durable goods have outperformed services only after a recessionary slump in spending on such big-ticket items.

This disconnect could continue for several more months. But the promise of rapid coronavirus tests, improved medical treatments and vaccines means there's a good chance these trends revert to somewhat normal levels by early next year. How will markets digest a rapid increase in services spending while durable goods spending goes from robust to tepid or worse?

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