Good Morning
Good Morning

Growing concern as new 'hot spots' emerge

New cases rise in NYC as 'hot spots' drive numbers

Cuomo said the positivity level for COVID-19 in 20 "hot spot" ZIP codes has reached 5% or "up to five times the normal state rate" for daily new cases. He called it the most serious outbreak since New York State brought the virus under control months ago.

"This is probably the largest cluster that we have addressed before," Cuomo said at a news briefing. "These are embers that are starting to catch fire in dry grass. Send all the firefighting equipment and personnel to those embers and stamp out the embers right away."

Starting immediately, failing to wear a mask in the nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes seeing spikes will subject the violator to a fine if the person refuses to do so, de Blasio said.

Cuomo indicated that much of the outbreak is centered in Orthodox Jewish communities, with New York City health officials, along with some Jewish doctors on Long Island, expressing concerns about lack of compliance with mask wearing and social distancing requirements. He said he planned to meet Tuesday with religious leaders and public officials from the affected areas.

"Mask wearing is a state law," he said. "It’s a law. It’s not, 'It would be nice if you could.'"

Travel advisory list update: Colorado has been added to the list of areas from which travelers must self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New York. Check out the updated map.

The number of new positives reported today: 80 in Nassau, 36 in Suffolk, 523 in New York City and 1,189 statewide.

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

Pawnshops are seeing a decline in business

With the pandemic causing record high unemployment, more Long Islanders might have been expected to bring jewelry, electronics and other valuables to pawnshops, in search of cash.

Instead, the opposite happened. Local pawnshop owners said they're seeing a record drop in business, as fewer customers pawn their possessions and more pay off their loans and get their items back sooner.

"My [loan] portfolio has dropped 50% since Jan. 1, which is unprecedented in the 25 years that I’ve been in the business," said David Kaminsky, president of EZ Pawn Corp., a Long Island City-based business that has 15 pawnshops in the New York City metro area.

Stimulus checks and boosted unemployment benefits have helped many people pay off their pawnshop loans and reclaim the belongings they used as collateral, he and other store owners and industry experts said.

Hempstead protesters decry lack of tools for home learning

Two weeks into the school year, some Hempstead students still lack electronic devices promised by the district for remote learning — and district families aren't happy about it.

About a dozen demonstrators gathered outside the Hempstead school district offices Monday, chanting: "What do we want? Laptops! When do we want them? Now!"

"Hempstead district, you should be ashamed of yourself," said Peggy Perkins, who attended the rally and has three children in Hempstead schools. Perkins said one of her children has yet to receive a laptop or tablet necessary for home instruction.

In a statement, Regina Armstrong, the Hempstead district's interim superintendent, said the district has sought for months to acquire devices. But it's facing long waits for additional electronics, she said, as schools worldwide are all now seeking to buy them.

The virus is driving grown kids to come back and live at home

For many 20- and 30-somethings living and working in the city, moving back to stay with their parents in the suburbs was a no-brainer.

According to the Pew Research Center, 52% of 18- to 29-year-olds nationwide are living with their parents, rates we haven't seen since the Depression.

Emily Hillebrand figured if she had to work from home, why not temporarily ditch the apartment she shared in East Harlem and move back in with her mother in her three-bedroom house in Farmingdale?

"We don't know what the virus is going to look like in 2021, and I don’t like being on the hook for rent every month," said the 24-year-old. "It doesn't feel quite worth it to me right now to have my own space, and going home gives me financial flexibility to think about what I want to do next."

While the statistics help normalize the stigma of millennials living at home, that doesn’t mean it’s not without stressors for parents and adult kids. Here's how to make it work.

More to know

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 1 million on Tuesday, nine months into the crisis.

Amazon is holding its annual Prime Day in October this year from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14, after the pandemic forced it to postpone the sales event from July.

The state will extend eviction protections until 2021 for tenants experiencing a financial hardship during the pandemic, Cuomo announced Monday.

The Tennessee Titans had three players and five other members of the organization test positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network.

News for you

Safe farm fun for kids. No need to give up roasted corn, perfect pumpkins or encounters with friendly ghosts this fall. These Long Island farms and nurseries offer bring-your-own-mask, socially distanced fun.

Where to see fall foliage in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Leaf peeping can be done from the safe distance of your own car or your own two feet. Find the perfect place to see it in the Adirondacks or the Catskills this season.

Italian eatery turns dining room into marketplace. Everything changed for Pentimento in the Stony Brook Village Center when the pandemic struck. Six weeks ago its owners made their most daring decision to date: turning the main dining room into a marketplace. Find out more.

DIY your fall home décor. You can learn how to make fall decorations and other crafts in socially distanced classes. If you prefer working solo, some projects are available as at-home kits. Here are five craft classes to check out on Long Island.

What will be safe for Thanksgiving? The CDC released recent recommendations for holiday celebrations, which include "lower risk" activities for Thanksgiving. Read more.

Plus: President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off Tuesday for the first presidential debate. It's expected to focus on the federal response to the coronavirus, the Supreme Court and the integrity of the election. Read more.

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


Don't expect home builders to fix our housing crisis. Conor Sen, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, writes: America has a housing inventory crisis. The number of available homes for sale is down 40% from this point last year, driven partly by homebuyers taking advantage of low interest rates to get more space during the pandemic.

This has been good news for home builders; the iShares U.S. home construction exchange-traded fund recently hit an all-time high. But new-home construction was weaker than expected in August, according to Thursday's housing-starts report from the Census Bureau.

And the latest earnings report from homebuilder Lennar Corp. is a reminder that, while these companies will increase production in response to high demand and low inventory levels, their mission isn't to ensure an adequate housing supply for Americans. That's a task for government, not for-profit corporations.

Even before the pandemic and recession, there were structural issues holding back home-building. Keep reading.