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'Red Zone' restrictions will 'come and go,' Cuomo says

Cuomo: Expect more restricted zones as spikes emerge

Cuomo said state residents can expect to continue hearing about localized spikes in cases leading to designations of "micro-clusters" into red, orange or yellow zones. Those designations lead to tighter school, business and gathering restrictions, based on the severity of their virus positivity rates.

"Through the fall you will see micro-clusters come and go," he said, " … and the numbers are so small they can literally be generated by a couple of events that violated rules."

The state's current "Red Zones" alone had a positivity rate of 3.2%, showing improvement from previous weeks.

Asked for how long those designations will be used for tighter restrictions, Cuomo said: "They'll be in effect until the data says they are not in effect."

The number of new positives reported today: 77 in Nassau, 74 in Suffolk, 530 in New York City and 1,628 statewide.

Travel advisory list: View the map of the current states on the list.

The chart below shows how the daily total of new cases on Long Island has changed in recent days.

Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Church bells toll for pandemic victims

A church in Patchogue is playing the ringing of its bell 218,000 times to honor the victims of COVID-19 in the United States, and the pastor hopes it will become a national trend — despite threats made to him.

The Congregational Church of Patchogue started playing the tape of its bell ringing every six seconds on Sunday, and will continue until Nov. 1, said the Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter.

He said the idea grew "out of grief and a sense of powerlessness" as the number of people infected grew and a vaccine remained elusive.

Christmas already?

Local retailers are launching their holiday sales early and experts predict this shopping season will offer unprecedented discounts.

One reason is that retailers have an excess of inventory after months of being closed due to shutdowns and back-to-school shopping took a big hit, said retail expert Burt Flickinger III.

"Retailers will be desperate to get rid of seven months of leftover merchandise in two months," he said.

Newsday interviewed Long Island store owners and managers about how the pandemic has affected their operations and their holiday plans. Here are their responses.

LI's Brian Myers gets back up off the mat

Like many other Long Island teachers during the pandemic, Brian Myers is taking precautions to make sure his students are safe — or as safe as they can be while having their bodies pummeled by their classmates.

Myers — the Glen Cove native better known to many wrestling fans as Curt Hawkins — is the founder of the Create A Pro Wrestling Academy in Hicksville, where he and other instructors have been training future generations of professional wrestlers. After being forced to shut its doors for more than three months, CAPW is back up and running with new safety protocols in place.

The temporary closure of his school wasn’t the only financial hardship Myers suffered during the pandemic. After working for WWE for the better part of the past 14 years, he was released in April as part of a slew of budget-driven roster cuts that included his longtime partner, Long Beach native Matt Cardona (also known as Zack Ryder).

Myers said he was "shocked" that WWE would let him go, especially given that the company reported record profits during that same quarter.

More to know

The architect behind the plans to build an assisted-living facility in Bethpage said it was designed with the pandemic in mind.

Hempstead Town approved a $453.5 million budget that does not raise taxes, but takes nearly $20 million in reserves to close a deficit blamed on the pandemic.

Unemployment claims fell last week to 787,000, a sign that U.S. job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels.

The opening date for the much-anticipated (and much-rescheduled) reboot of the "Candyman" horror franchise has been moved to August 2021.

News for you

Drive-in drag show. Several stars from TV's "RuPaul's Drag Race" are on their way to Long Island to put on a socially distanced Halloween performance in the parking lot of a Massapequa shopping mall.

Navigating LI's corn mazes. With fewer options for family outings these days, you might be thinking of getting lost in one of Long Island's many corn mazes, but which one should you visit? We did the legwork for you — quite literally — walking our way through the cornstalks to bring you these suggestions, based on kids' ages, family interests and more.

Tour NYC's dining scene by bike. Manhattan restaurateurs continue to fearlessly open new eateries and as city traffic has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, our food columnist Scott Vogel learned there's no better way for a foodie to witness this profusion than by bicycle. See where a Citi Bike, and his appetite, took him.

College and COVID. As students navigate the college-application process, how can they find the school that is right for them, and gain acceptance, in these unprecedented times? Join us for a free interactive discussion with experts in the field. Reserve your spot.

Plus: A new initiative launched in Suffolk aims to introduce high schoolers to local industry employers and showcase work opportunities post-graduation using free virtual tours.

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How the Rubik's Cube can teach us about facing problems like COVID. The first time I was allowed to travel beyond the Iron Curtain and visit the West was in 1980, writes Ernö Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube. I ventured from Hungary to New York for the International Toy Fair, where a puzzle I had invented was making its American debut. The Cube's popularity was contagious — not just in the United States but around the world.

The challenge of this six-sided, multicolored object infected so many people, regardless of age, education or nationality, with a desire to play with it, share it with friends or, sometimes, throw it against the wall in frustration. Trying to solve the puzzle became a metaphor, alternately, for intelligence, complexity or vexing problems.

To my surprise, in political and journalistic circles the Cube also became shorthand for (seemingly) impossible difficulties and complications. Commentators reference the "Rubik Cube of the Wider Middle East," of health care, economic policies or other perplexing predicaments. No doubt, someone will eventually dub the coronavirus the "Rubik's Cube of pandemics."

Clearly, that shorthand can't adequately address what the world faces right now. But perhaps there is one aspect of the Cube that might be helpful in framing the challenge the coronavirus poses.