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Indoor dining can return to NYC

Cuomo: NYC restaurants can open indoor dining at 25% capacity

Restrictions for indoor dining in New York City include a maximum of 25% of the ordinary capacity, temperature checks at the front door, tables spaced at least six feet apart and mandatory collection of contact information from at least one diner in each party.

The plan is to be revisited around Nov. 1. If the infection rate is believed to be under control, the capacity threshold could be hiked to 50%, the current level everywhere else in the state.

But the government would “immediately reassess” the eased restrictions on indoor dining, if the citywide positivity rate hits 2%, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said in a news release.

The state expects to bolster its efforts to enforce compliance with the addition of 400 code enforcement inspectors, and Cuomo also is appealing to restaurant patrons to help report cases of establishments flouting the rules.

The number of new positives reported today: 78 in Nassau, 55 in Suffolk, 213 in New York City and 576 statewide.

The chart above shows the total number of people who have been tested for the coronavirus in Nassau and Suffolk counties in recent days. Search a map of cases and view more charts showing the latest local trends in economic data, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

The essential workers who kept LI moving

Like firefighters who run into burning homes when others are running out, essential workers have gone where many feared to tread during the pandemic.

While many Long Islanders sheltered at home, nurses, letter carriers, police officers and bus drivers continued to clock in — sometimes around the clock — answered emergency calls, staffed ICUs, delivered mail and drove municipal buses taking fellow workers to their own essential jobs.

With food security a concern, especially during the early days of the pause, they stocked supermarket shelves, raised and harvested fresh vegetables, worked at restaurants and shipped food donations to those hit hard.

Here's a look at some of those essential workers who kept Long Island moving during the pandemic.

LIRR app feature to keep commuters socially distant

A new feature on the Long Island Rail Road’s mobile app aims to help commuters keep their distance from one another — even before they head to the station.

The railroad’s free Train Time app can now predict how crowded each train will be, based on ridership patterns over the previous seven days. The tech follows a May proposal by Patrick Foye, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — the LIRR’s parent agency — to create a seat-reservation system for the railroad. It sought to address concerns over crowding on trains during the pandemic.

“What we’ve developed is even better, I believe,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said at a news conference Tuesday. “Our customers will be able to see the exact ridership trends of their particular trip so they can make the most ideal decision possible about when to ride with us.”

Athletic directors to discuss spectators at Suffolk high school sports

A decision on whether spectators will be allowed this fall is set to be debated among athletic directors later this week — but local athletes have already come to a general consensus. Although having mom, dad and their classmates in the bleachers is great, they just want to play.

“I will do anything to get on the field, especially being my senior year,” said North Babylon girls soccer player Samantha Muller. “If my parents can come, that’s great. But if not, I just want to play like everyone else…Of course it wouldn’t be ideal, but we’d just have to deal with it.”

NYPHSAA guidance for the return of interscholastic athletics, released in a report drafted by its statewide COVID Task Force Friday night, called for limiting spectators to two per participating athlete. Tom Combs, the executive director of Section XI, which governs Suffolk, told Newsday last weekend he doesn’t want any spectators at games and will discuss it at Thursday’s meeting of athletic directors.

More to know

A William Floyd High School senior arrived at school for the second day in a row wanting to attend school five days a week, rather than abide by the district's hybrid attendance plan — school officials called the police.

President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat, even as he was telling the nation the virus was no worse than the flu and insisting the U.S. government had it under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre has joined a group of independent cinemas statewide to send a message to Cuomo: They're tired of waiting for reopening guidelines.

Amazon, one of the few companies that thrived during the pandemic, said Wednesday it's looking to hire 33,000 people for corporate and tech roles in the next few months.

Hempstead Town Board members approved more than $5 million in federal grant funding Tuesday, including more than $3 million to Long Island food banks.

New York won’t have actual drop boxes for ballots, but it's seeking to have something similar by allowing voters to bring their completed absentee ballots to county election boards or early voting sites beginning Oct. 24.

News for you

Visiting NYC while the crowds are small. Some Long Islanders are avoiding the iconic sights of New York City because of the crowds, but not as many people are gathering as in years past. Take a look through some spots you may want to explore (just be sure to bring a mask).

Finding live music this fall. Live music has become scarce on Long Island because of the pandemic, but there still are some compliant venues offering concerts. Here are seven places safely offering live music on LI.

Honoring lives lost on 9/11. While some events were canceled or will be held remotely due to the pandemic, there will be some ceremonies held this week on Long Island. Here's the list

Plus, a programming note: Newsday's free virtual event on high school sports in the time of COVID-19 on Thursday has been rescheduled to Friday at 1 p.m. Register for the new date

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Reopening demands everyone do their part. Lane Filler, in a Newsday Opinion column, writes: When Jeanette Herman began driving school buses decades ago, the job was a snug fit for her because she had two small children to care for, and back in the early 1990s she was allowed to bring them along while she worked.

But when her son, a police officer in New York City, and her daughter, a teacher, reached school age, she opted for more corporate jobs.

Herman missed the kids, though, and four years ago she returned to driving school buses. That’s why she was out in her sun-dappled Holtsville driveway Tuesday morning cleaning her bus in preparation for her first run since March 13: a 2:45 p.m. pickup of a student with special needs in West Islip. I was on my morning walk when I spotted her scrubbing the interior of the small bus.

Herman is fighting to keep children, and by extension, all of us safe. And she and her husband, and her 78-year-old mother who lives with them and has a heart condition, deserve to be protected in turn by our willingness to take precautions. A lackadaisical approach to COVID-19 on our parts will endanger Herman and her family, and that’s inexcusable.