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Good Morning

NY infection rate under 1% for 4 weeks

NY reports fourth week of new cases under 1%

Out of 93,395 test results completed Thursday, 864, or 0.92%, were confirmed positive in the state, Cuomo said in a statement.

However, the level of new confirmed cases was 1.4% on Long Island.

"Next week, malls in New York City and casinos across the state will be able to open, marking another milestone in our battle against COVID-19. But we cannot become complacent — we must continue to protect our progress. We must all continue to wear masks, social distance, wash our hands and above all, stay New York tough," Cuomo said. 

Meanwhile, a state task force continued to crack down on businesses that violate coronavirus control laws, issuing summonses to six bars or restaurants including two in Suffolk County and one in Nassau County.

The number of new positives reported today: 84 in Nassau, 96 in Suffolk, 325 in New York City and 864 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of hospitalized patients each day in the state. Search a map of cases and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, new cases, deaths and more.

Curran to Nassau HS sports officials: Let them play

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran sent a letter to Section VIII executive director Pat Pizzarelli on Friday asking school and athletics officials to find a way to put student athletes back on the fields, courts and cross country trails.

Section VIII, the governing body for all schools sports in Nassau, decided last week that it would not hold sports in the fall and instead have all three seasons from January to June 2021. It has said that with new guidance from the state, it was open to reconsider.

Curran cited how Nassau residents acted responsibly in turning the county from one of America’s worst hot spots to one of its safest earlier this year. She asks Pizzarelli to “implement a sensible solution that allows high school sports to safely resume in accordance with science-based guidance issued by New York State.”

"Our superintendents have already decided that they'll reassess the situation after school begins," Pizzarelli said. "But we still have not received any further guidance from the government or state education department that changes anything. We're waiting on those guidelines."

With swift action, Shinnecock Nation largely kept COVID-19 out

The pandemic that swept through New York and across the country found a wall of resistance in one pocket of Long Island, where leaders worked swiftly and strategically to keep the disease out: the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

It managed to keep on-reservation cases to just three, with no deaths, tribal officials said. They did it through a series of decisive measures aimed at protecting the approximately 660 members and limiting interaction with the world outside their 900-acre Southampton reservation.

Perhaps the most difficult decision tribal leaders made to limit exposure to the disease can be seen this weekend with the absence for the first time in 74 years of the Shinnecock Nation Powwow. The decision — with real economic impacts — was purely driven by a desire to keep tribe members, and visitors, safe, officials said.

With the powwow canceled this year, the search for new revenue streams takes on extra urgency. The nation’s leaders are looking at a series of economic development initiatives, including a travel-mart and convenience store/gas station, a medical marijuana and wellness center on tribal land, and half a dozen other business initiatives involving the sale of clothing, digital media and transportation.

'We’re calling it the year of flexibility'

The pandemic is transforming education this fall, including school buildings. With few resources, less time and no precedent to draw from, Long Island educators have scrambled to redesign facilities to protect students, teachers, clerks and custodians.

Classrooms emptied of half their furniture, gyms and cafeterias converted into learning spaces and social distancing reminders affixed to floors, desks and lockers are all part of the redesign efforts in the Baldwin and Commack school districts, which welcome students back within the next two weeks.

“We’re calling it the year of flexibility,” Baldwin Superintendent Shari Camhi said. “As we see how things go, we’ll adjust as needed.”

Newsday toured schools in both districts Tuesday. See what they're like.

Jones Beach cleaners aim to keep beachgoers virus-free

The state park housekeepers not only have to keep the bathrooms at Jones Beach spotless — now they're also trying to keep them virus-free.

Since the pandemic, officials said bathroom attendants have intensified the methods and frequency of their disinfecting regimens so that state parks — increasingly popular because so many other traditional summer pastimes have been canceled — do not disappoint or endanger visitors.

The bathhouse showers are closed to ensure people remain separated by that six-foot minimum. But the matrons and porters who clean the bathrooms are also part of a new crew that must remind visitors to wear masks and maintain social distance.

”The bathroom attendant job is absolutely critical,” said George Gorman, Long Island regional director, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Even before the pandemic, we were concerned about infection."

More to know

Traveling by car over Labor Day weekend can offer more control over possible exposure to the coronavirus, and gas prices are low, so AAA Northeast expects road trips to be most popular.

Jobless claims on Long Island declined slightly last week to 6,148, from the 6,286 claims filed a week earlier.

The Copiague Board of Education announced a week before schools reopen that it is cutting 54 teaching and staff personnel to offset reduced funding from the state.

Cuomo and President Donald Trump went at it again Thursday, with Cuomo calling Trump a "bully" who botched the coronavirus crisis and Trump accusing Cuomo of letting thousands die in nursing homes.

News for you

Forget Zoom, try writing a letter to friends. Handwritten cards and letters are making a comeback lately. Here are some Long Island stationery stores where you can find special blank-inside cards and stationery to get you started. 

Which NFL teams are allowing fans in attendance? Not the Giants and Jets, but they're not alone. Here's a list recapping how each team is handling attendance for the 2020 season.

'Jeopardy!' returns with a special guest. It's returning for its 37th season with a redesigned set for a greater distance between contestants and from Alex Trebek. And, there's a new role for Ken Jennings.

Stay-at-home design tips. You don't need to paint an entire room to make a change you're looking for — a mini-painting project can bring just as much of a dramatic effect. Try these paint touch-ups to transform a room. 

Plus: This fall might look a little different than usual, but there's still TV to look forward to. Here's a list of the 44 biggest shows to watch this fall.

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Iceland has very good news about coronavirus immunity. The emergence of a handful of people reinfected by SARS-Cov-2 — including individuals in Hong Kong, Italy and the U.S. — has sparked panic over the future course of the pandemic, writes Ferdinando Giugliano for Bloomberg.

It's not difficult to see why. One of the great hopes in tackling the new coronavirus is that partial herd immunity can slow its spread, as the number of cases continues to rise globally. A vaccine — seen as the real game changer in the fight against the pathogen — also relies on inducing some form of long-lasting antibody reaction in inoculated individuals.

But what if immunity wanes, plunging humanity into a never-ending cycle of relapses? This is the stuff of nightmares.

Fortunately, things may not be so bad. For now, there are very few cases of confirmed reinfections, suggesting they may be rare. Some doctors also believe that most relapses will be milder than the first infection. (That happened in the Hong Kong reinfection, although not in the U.S. case.) This weakening of the virus's impact will depend on our body learning to fight it, for example via the development of suitable so-called T-cells.