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When schools report COVID-19 cases

New COVID-19 cases reported at some schools

Four public schools on Long Island reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with a middle school in Syosset canceling in-person classes for the day after an instructional staff member tested positive.

At South Woods Middle School in the Syosset Central School District, the school held a virtual day of learning Monday after the staff member was confirmed positive, officials said. As of 4 p.m., a student at a middle school in Smithtown, an employee at a middle school in West Babylon, and either a student or staff member at Ward Melville High School in Setauket also had tested positive, but those schools were not closed, officials said.

"The school building was sanitized and deep cleaned Sunday evening and we are awaiting notification from the Department of Health on the results of the contact tracing investigation," Tricia Williams, a spokeswoman for the Syosset Central School District, told Newsday in an email on Monday.

About 40 Plainedge students were facing mandatory quarantine after one student who participated in a Saturday football game at the high school field tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter sent to parents on Sunday by district officials. At least some of the middle and high school students playing in the game were sharing food and water bottles, a letter said.

Meanwhile, the state's "COVID report card" was up and running on Monday. It gives people a way to check on the number of new confirmed cases in any school district in New York.

The number of new positives reported today: 52 in Nassau, 31 in Suffolk, 265 in New York City and 583 statewide.

The chart above shows the number of new cases reported in the state and in New York City in recent days. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade won't be live this year

One of New York City's most beloved annual events — The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — will be virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.

The traditional 2.5-mile parade route — and huge crowds that gather along it each year — will not be part of this year’s parade, Macy’s officials said Monday.

Instead, the event that has kicked off the holiday season for nearly a century will be produced over two days in a one-block stretch of 34th Street, in front of Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, for broadcast on television and online.

Here are the details.

State AG's office issues subpoenas at nursing home

The state attorney general’s office has issued subpoenas to the operators of Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation following Newsday’s investigation last month detailing the impact of the pandemic on the residents, families and staff of the facility.

Investigators assigned to the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have also questioned current and former Cold Spring Hills employees, as well as family members of current or past residents.

A lawyer for Joel Leifer, who is listed in state records as one of the two "managing members" of Cold Spring Acquisition LLC, the licensed operator of the facility, confirmed that Leifer had received a civil subpoena seeking information about the facility’s operation.

"The attorney general’s office has a right to issue subpoenas, and they’ve done it," said attorney Jerome Levy. "It was probably generated as a result of an article in Newsday."

Food pantries see no letup on need

Among the hundreds lined up each day at the Mary Brennan soup kitchen in Hempstead Village are people who want to help — even as they wait for their own hot meal.

A woman on line for food handed over her last $20 to help other struggling families as Jean Kelly, director of Interfaith Nutrition Network, which operates the soup kitchen, accepted a $1 million donation by the Town of Hempstead at a news conference last week.

Hempstead Town has donated a total of $5 million to local food banks during the pandemic, using part of $133 million in federal CARES Act funding the town received to assist community organizations and cover coronavirus-related expenses. Nassau County has also contributed $1 million in federal funding to local food banks.

But food bank organizers say demand has more than doubled, and it’s unclear when that need may end.

"This COVID pandemic has not treated every community equally," Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said.

Police officer who had coronavirus returns home after 168 days

For the first time in 168 days, Lt. Yvan Pierre-Louis has come home. The NYPD officer was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March and spent close to six months in a hospital — almost four of them on a ventilator.

Three days before his 59th birthday, Pierre-Louis arrived home Saturday afternoon to roaring cheers from about 100 people who lined the sidewalks outside his house on Ingraham Boulevard in Hempstead. Family and friends dressed in white and waved flags of Haiti, where he was born, as the 29-year NYPD veteran slowly walked up to a large "Welcome Home" banner at the back of his house.

"I feel blessed," Pierre-Louis said in a phone interview Friday night before his return. "From no hope to hope, that was a lot."

More to know

The number of inmates housed in local jails across New York has dropped by nearly half, state statistics show, which officials attribute to a downward trend in crime, a significant rewrite of bail laws and the pandemic.

Long Island Rail Road commuters applauded the MTA’s plan — which took effect Monday — to crack down on transit riders refusing to wear masks, but some also are skeptical that many fines will be doled out.

President Donald Trump’s assertions that he intentionally "played down" the severity of the coronavirus during the early weeks of the pandemic dominated Sunday’s political talk show circuit.

Long Island's nine Catholic League high schools will try to play sports this fall, officials said.

The 33 Long Island state parks drew 20% more visitors during the first eight months of this year than 2019, despite safeguards against the virus that required wearing masks, shutting pools and limiting capacity.

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Axe-throwing comes to you. It's the new at-home party standout. For people safely gathering at home, this local company brings an 18-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide axe-throwing cage to your driveway for fun. Check it out.

Drive-in switches from summer to spooky. Adventureland will host a new drive-in series called "Nightmare at the Movies" this fall. The East Farmingdale amusement park will hold Halloween-themed movie showings on Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, 23 and 30.

'Wonder Woman 1984' postponed. The "Wonder Woman" sequel had been scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 2, but Warner Bros. is delaying its release to Christmas.

Applying for and renewing a passport. Traveling abroad might still seem like a distant fantasy for some, but that doesn't mean you can't get your passport sorted in the meantime. Here's what you need to know about renewing or getting a passport now.

Plus: Join us for Newsday's next free virtual event on Tuesday that features a conversation with local leaders on how the coronavirus has affected businesses on Long Island. Save your spot.

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


Adapting my East End 'happy place.' Reader Sharon Lasher, principal of Oyster Bay High School, writes: The summer of 2001 was a tumultuous time for my family and me. My divorce was almost final and my soon-to-be ex-husband and I planned for him to take the kids, then ages 9 and 13, for a week. I could not bear the thought of being in my house without them, so I decided to look for an escape.

I found a beachfront hotel in Montauk that had a room suitable for one. I love the beach and thought it would be perfect. Upon arriving there with its ocean view in the distance, I immediately felt different — relaxed, calm, but most important, free. I had found my happy place. I stayed in the hotel for a week, enjoying views of the ocean from my small balcony. Each morning, I walked for coffee and a newspaper, enjoying both on a bench overlooking the ocean. That week flew by, but I knew I’d be back.

The following summer, I booked the same room for the same period, only this time with girlfriends staying for part of it. Again, that calm and relaxed feeling took over upon entering the town. For the next 10 years, I enjoyed the same week in the same room and added other short trips there as well. After about 10 years, the trip morphed into a girlfriend getaway where five to eight of us shared a suite at the same hotel, always the third week of July. We brought more food than we could consume and took turns making lunch. We had a beach-themed gift exchange each year that became one of the trip’s highlights. We stayed outside until sunset, then went out each night, enjoying all Montauk has to offer.

Then came the pandemic. Keep reading.