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The latest on positive cases in schools

Some LI schools report positive tests, another school closes

One school closing and new positive cases identified at Long Island schools are the latest in developments during the first few weeks of school. As of Monday afternoon:

  • The Harborfields Central School District announced its high school students are shifting to "full remote learning" on Monday and Tuesday after officials were alerted to a positive case. The announcement was made via Twitter on the official district account, and it said the decision was made "in conjunction" with the Suffolk County Department of Health.
  • A staff member at Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School tested positive, district officials said in a letter to parents on Sunday, but the school will not be shut down because the employee is not assigned to a classroom and is not in regular prolonged contact with students. Contact tracing through the health department has begun and the employee is quarantining, the district said.
  • Smithtown Central School District Superintendent Mark Secaur announced that a student at Smithtown High School West has tested positive — but did not announce any building closures in the district as a result. Secaur said the student had last been in the building on Sept. 11 and contact-tracing efforts have been "initiated."
  • And, Islip Public Schools announced Friday that COVID-19 quarantine protocols are now being instituted after a student at Sherwood Elementary School tested positive. Superintendent Ellen Semel said in a letter that the student was last in the elementary school building on Sept. 15. The district asks anyone who had been in contact with the student to quarantine for 14 days.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the positivity rate for new cases remained low in the state and that one patient died Sunday of causes related to COVID-19 — the lowest death toll reported "since this began." Get caught up.

The number of new positives reported today: 41 in Nassau, 48 in Suffolk, 260 in New York City and 573 statewide.

The chart below shows the cumulative number of people who have been tested for the coronavirus in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Search a map of cases and view more charts showing the latest local trends in new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Laura Curran, Don Clavin battle over federal pandemic aid

A quirk in federal law allowed Hempstead Town to receive significantly more for coronavirus expenses than Nassau County. It's touched off a tug-of-war between County Executive Laura Curran and Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin that appears to have no end in sight.

Hempstead, the only town in the United States large enough to qualify for federal CARES Act funding, received $133 million, while Nassau, with nearly twice the population, got only $103 million, federal records show.

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Officials in Nassau say federal funding rules resulted in a disproportionate share of CARES money going to the town, while the county was severely shortchanged. In an effort to claim some of Hempstead's federal money, Curran recently sent Clavin a letter requesting $49.5 million to cover county police costs for "aiding residents" in Hempstead during the pandemic.

Without the funding, the county would be "unable to assist the combined 34 school districts in Town of Oyster Bay, Town of North Hempstead, and cities of Long Beach and Glen Cove, as well as police departments, fire services, and colleges in those locations," Curran wrote.

NYC families are boosting East End schools enrollment

When many city-dwellers began arriving on Long Island from New York City in the spring, they said they wanted to escape a metro area teeming with the coronavirus.

Now, they've decided to stay for the fall, bumping up enrollment at schools. School officials in Amagansett, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Aquebogue and elsewhere are reporting enrollment increases, prompting some to scramble for additional space and teachers.

Haley Stern and her family fled their Gramercy Park apartment for their summer home in Water Mill. They decided to stay and enroll her children in schools here.

"My kids have never been happier," said Stern, 35. "We all should be as happy as these kids."

Nassau, Suffolk prefer persuasion for COVID-19 enforcement

Nassau and Suffolk counties are mostly using persuasion — rather than punishment — to get local businesses to comply with state orders aiming to stop the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.

The State Liquor Authority, which has a much more limited regulatory scope than the counties, has taken action against far more Long Island businesses for alleged violations of coronavirus orders than Nassau and Suffolk agencies combined, a Newsday review of county and state enforcement records shows.

Officials in both counties said they prefer to educate and warn business owners first. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and her Suffolk counterpart, Steve Bellone, said that once businesses are warned they are violating COVID-19 executive orders, they typically comply.

Meanwhile, the State Liquor Authority from May 29 to Sept. 17 issued charges against 119 Long Island businesses that sell alcohol, suspending the liquor licenses of 11, according to agency records. Get the details.

More to know

Two of Long Island MacArthur Airport's three carriers said they plan to add or restore flights as state travel restrictions are slowly lifted.

The measures the MTA is considering to survive the pandemic's financial toll could erase years of progress, experts said, like by making LIRR service less convenient and more expensive for some.

Learner permit tests and vehicle registrations can now be completed from home online, the State Department of Motor Vehicles said, as an effort to reduce the number of customers inside DMV offices.

Smithtown veterans organizations are carefully reopening for members’ meetings, though some haven't resumed renting their halls for parties and other events — an important source of revenue.

Britain’s top medical advisers on Monday painted a grim picture of exponential growth in illness and death if nothing is done to control a second wave, laying the groundwork for the government to announce new restrictions later this week.

About three quarters of movie theaters in the country are open, but Americans aren't going back in significant numbers.

News for you

Learning how to fly during a pandemic. Ever thought about flying a small airplane? Several flight schools on Long Island offer flying instruction or the opportunity to get a pilot’s license. Here's what you need to know.

Drive in to watch a concert film. Drive-in movies are back, and so are drive-in concerts. The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center will present drive-in concert movies featuring Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Little Richard and more.

When nearly every day is 'casual Friday.' Workplace fashions went into hibernation during work from home. If you're returning to the office and wondering what to wear, comfort is key. Take a look at these tips for reclaiming your office style.

Plus: Many have had to reconsider living situations during the pandemic. But is it your best financial move? Before you decide to relocate, here are some things to consider.

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

Commentary

We really shouldn't force people back into the office. Ferdinando Giugliano writes for Bloomberg Opinion: The end of the summer holidays and the reopening of schools have sparked a lively debate over the future of remote working.

From the U.S. to the U.K., politicians and employers are nudging workers to return to the office even though the pandemic is not over. But these requests put employees in a very awkward place — caught between fearing for their health and fearing for their job.

Following two key principles may resolve some of the tension. First, the government should have no say in this decision, so long as states can avoid new lockdowns and with the obvious exception of managing the civil service. Second, it is up to employers, in conjunction with employees, to make the call on returning to the office, and there is no point in forcing it if remote working hasn't hurt productivity and profitability. Keep reading.

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