How Long Island families will celebrate Thanksgiving

Melissa August-Levin of Glen Head had her Thanksgiving celebration earlier...

Melissa August-Levin of Glen Head had her Thanksgiving celebration earlier and with fewer people this year due to COVID-19. Credit: Melissa August-Levin

Twenty-three to seven.

That’s not the score of a Thanksgiving Day football game. It’s the reduction in the number of people that Melissa August-Levin planned to host at her Glen Head home for the holiday this year due to COVID-19.

"My mother and stepfather live in Las Vegas. My brother and sister-in-law and two nieces live in New Orleans, which is where I’m from," says August-Levin. "Last year, we filled up my dining room into my kitchen. It was massive and phenomenal."

This year not only did August-Levin pare the list to just her cousins who live in Laurel Hollow, she also invited them for her Cajun-style turkey and pecan pie in mid-October while it was still warm enough to celebrate outdoors. They feasted early because the cousins' older child would be coming home from college the day before Thanksgiving; nobody was comfortable with the fact that there might have been exposure on campus.

On the actual holiday, she plans to order in with her husband and their two children.

Families across Long Island shared with us the different ways they are altering their usual Thanksgiving routines.

De Blasio: Rising cases 'cause for concern'

The average daily number of new COVID-19 cases across New York City remains high and is a "cause for concern," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

The seven-day average was 605 on Sunday, the fourth day it was above the city-set threshold of 550, de Blasio said. Once cases surpass that threshold, the city may enact more aggressive restrictions on businesses, schools and other public sites.

"We’re gonna push these numbers back down again," he said.

The raw number of cases is one of several metrics the city uses to decide how strictly to limit activity, such as public gatherings.

The number of new positives reported today: 195 in Nassau, 176 in Suffolk, 802 in New York City and 2,321 statewide.

The chart below shows the daily totals of new cases for New York City and New York State over the last two weeks.

These bars show the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed...

These bars show the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day. Health officials look for trends in daily counts for signs that the pandemic is gaining strength or weakening. Credit: Newsday

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

Costco selling do-it-yourself COVID test

Costco is offering an at-home COVID-19 saliva test sold only through its website.

Costco's test, which has emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, is provided by Azova, a telehealth company, and requires patients to submit a health assessment but has no physician oversight. Customers who complete their order by 10:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time are promised next-day delivery.

A video demonstrates how to spit into a vial and package it for delivery to a laboratory. Costco says results are available 24 to 48 hours after the lab receives the test kit.

The test is sold for $129.99, or $139.99 for a version that includes video observation and guidance.

COVID protocol for children's asthma concerns doctor

Dr. Harvey Miller, an asthma specialist at his office in...

Dr. Harvey Miller, an asthma specialist at his office in Islip, shows a metered dose inhaler with a spacer and nebulizer system. Credit: Barry Sloan

An Islip doctor who helped author a state law that led to greater availability of nebulizers to treat asthma in schools said he is concerned that new federal guidelines, favoring specially adapted inhalers to reduce potential COVID-19 risk, could make the devices less available for children.

Allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Harvey Miller says he has written to health officials asking them to clarify rules for children in schools who may depend on nebulizers when other breathing aids that are less effective can’t be used.

"I don’t want people to be scared to use a nebulizer," Miller said.

Other doctors, however, believe inhalers are just as effective as nebulizers.

Concern over nebulizers stems from the belief that they can aerosolize exhaled breath into the open air as a patient is breathing in medication to open up airways, potentially spreading COVID-19, Miller said.

More to know

Vinod Preet, right, and his wife, Sudheera Vinod, second from left,...

Vinod Preet, right, and his wife, Sudheera Vinod, second from left, with daughters, Arpitha, second from right, and Ankitha in the living room in Williston Park, where they have expanded their prayer area during the pandemic. Credit: Linda Rosier

Restrictions on mass worship have only strengthened Long Island's religious communities -- and technologies like Zoom and Whatsapp proved to be a godsend for those looking for alternative ways to practice their faith.

A Mineola restaurant was recently recognized by local officials for providing free meals to law enforcement members and their families for several months during the pandemic.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association continue negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, pushing to get a deal in place that will satisfy both sides on a way to start the 2020-21 season.

Prince William tested positive for the coronavirus in April, around the same time as his father Prince Charles, the BBC reported.

News for you

Constituents wait in line to vote outside Indian Hollow Primary...

Constituents wait in line to vote outside Indian Hollow Primary School in Commack on Tuesday. Credit: Barry Sloan

Mask up, go vote. Wearing masks and braving long lines at some polling places, Long Islanders are turning out to vote this Election Day across the region. Get the latest updates via our live blog and if you still need to vote, check out this interactive guide.

Help with heating bills. With cold weather at the doorstep amid the COVID-19 economic crunch, utility watchdog groups are urging National Grid and county governments to do more to enroll tens of thousands of eligible ratepayers in a generous state program that offsets rising winter bills.

Let's go to the movies. The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is reopening this Friday, at least for movie screenings, with a maximum audience of 50 people, who must practice social distancing, wear a mask and have their temperatures taken upon entry into the theater.

Be patient on Election Night. With a record number of absentee and mail-in ballots cast and a hodgepodge of laws on when states begin counting those votes, media outlets might not be able to call this presidential election as quickly as in the past. Here's what we are likely to know.

Plus: Tune in to or the Newsday app on Apple TV starting at 9 p.m. for live coverage from our brand-new state-of-the-art television studio. Get a sneak peek right now.

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


Tourists wearing protective masks walk on Republique square in Paris...

Tourists wearing protective masks walk on Republique square in Paris on Thursday. Credit: AP/Lewis Joly

U.S. may need France-like lockdowns. The coronavirus pandemic hasn't finished with us yet, writes Sam Fazeli, senior pharmaceuticals analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence and director of research for EMEA, in this column.

A spike in infections in recent weeks has sent new cases to records in a number of places around the world including the U.S., which already weathered two waves of outbreaks this year. And the weather is only starting to turn cold.

Europeans have started taking draconian action again, despite the potential drag on their economies. France has introduced a new lockdown which is only slightly less harsh than the one it imposed in the spring. Germany has opted for lockdown-lite. So what is the U.S. going to do?

Hospitalizations, which had been on the decline, are now rising again, with some health systems feeling the strain. In Wisconsin, a field hospital was opened on the state's fairgrounds to accommodate patients, while capacity in El Paso, Texas, is so overtaxed that a county judge imposed stay-at-home orders.

Elsewhere, though, and as a whole, hospitalizations are nowhere near where they were during the previous big outbreaks. As a result, there is a risk that the administration, governors and the public misinterpret the severity of this latest wave or downplay the danger beyond a few hotspots. This would be a mistake, and a good look at the data shows why.


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