Cuomo: NY gyms can reopen, but with limitations

Power 10 Gym owner Steve Panzik, right, smooths a sign...

Power 10 Gym owner Steve Panzik, right, smooths a sign with his son Hunter as they prepare to open with precautions. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Gyms will have to be inspected by local health departments — with elected officials making the final call — and they have until Sept. 2 to get plans together and get approval to open their doors, Cuomo said.

The state outlined additional reopening guidelines for gyms

  • They must keep to just 33% capacity
  • Wearing masks will be mandated at all times
  • Proper ventilation and filtration systems are necessary
  • Sign-in forms will be required to know how to locate patrons if there's potential virus exposure

"Gyms are one of the areas where you have to be very careful," Cuomo said during a news conference. "If it's not done right, it can be a problem and we've seen that … compliance is what I am concerned about."

Some gym owners have been preparing for their return. Take a look at the 10 things you should know before returning to gyms, according to local owners. 

The number of new positives reported today: 26 in Nassau, 26 in Suffolk, 235 in New York City and 408 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of new cases in Nassau and Suffolk counties in recent days. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local economic trends, as well as trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

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

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

Antibody testing shows PPE works for essential workers

About 10% of essential workers in Nassau and Suffolk counties tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in a mass testing program that officials said showed the effectiveness of personal protective equipment.

The testing of about 10,000 workers in May — including police, medics and social services employees — found positive rates among workers that were significantly lower than those in other groups, even though front-line workers likely were among those most exposed to the virus, experts said.

The testing was intended to "keep the essential services of the counties going," said Mary Mahoney, vice president of emergency management and clinical preparedness at Northwell.

“It was the first data-driven proof we were doing the correct things,” Mahoney said.

After outcry, this district walked back 5-day, in-person plan

Anne Chimelis with daughter Jaden, who will be a ninth-grader in the...

Anne Chimelis with daughter Jaden, who will be a ninth-grader in the Three Village school district. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

The Three Village Central School District reopening proposal was ambitious: in-person instruction for students every day, with masks "strongly encouraged," though not required, when kids couldn't stay safely apart.

Then parents saw the plan.

"I think it’s horrendous," said Stefanie Werner, one of many mothers and fathers incensed that the district initially did not offer remote or hybrid learning options, or mandate face coverings. "They just don’t seem to be taking things seriously in terms of how easily the virus could spread."

After an outcry, administrators of the roughly 5,900-student Suffolk County district are walking back those plans, introducing a remote learning option and making masks mandatory.

Some LI colleges to freeze hiring, cut salaries due to COVID-19

Social distancing reminders at Hofstra University in Uniondale.

Social distancing reminders at Hofstra University in Uniondale. Credit: Jeff Bachner

All of Long Island’s colleges and universities are grappling with revenue losses and playing on their strengths to survive, their leaders say, as they prepare to reopen campuses with in-person, remote and hybrid courses.

Stony Brook University will freeze hiring, cut salaries and budgets, and take more than 50% from its $80 million reserve fund this next academic year to offset mounting costs from the pandemic, the school's president said in a letter last week.

“The bottom line: We know we have at least a $109.6 million deficit this year on the academic and research side, and it could become significantly worse, depending on the future impact of COVID-19 in our state and on our campus,” Stony Brook president Maurie McInnis said in a letter to faculty and staff. 

Long Island schools refunded millions of dollars to students for room and board cut short in March. Now, lowered density in dorms this fall will further impact revenue at schools that typically have many residential students.

More to know

The annual light-installation tribute to the fallen Twin Towers is back on schedule after being canceled due to pandemic concerns, the 9/11 memorial and museum announced Saturday.

On the Democratic National Convention's first night, Cuomo is expected to draw a sharp contrast Monday between how he and President Donald Trump handled the pandemic.

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to nonessential travel for at least another month, Canada’s public safety minister said Friday.

The National Rifle Association lost its lawsuit against the Cuomo administration, which had forced firearms dealers to close March 22 as part of the economic shutdown forced by the pandemic.

News for you

Eric Jesselson, 6, of Westhampton Beach, bites into a carnival...

Eric Jesselson, 6, of Westhampton Beach, bites into a carnival ice cream cone at Shock Ice Cream in Westhampton Beach. Credit: Randee Daddona

No carnivals, but you can still find the food. Summer festivals might be on pause, but junk food lovers can get their hands on the food staples at Long Island food trucks and eateries. From cotton candy to giant pretzels and fried dough, here are some options.

Learn an old skill, like Morse code. With kids stuck home, a Long Island ham radio operators’ club is offering a free Zoom course on Morse code. It offers kids a chance to learn the skill and stay occupied.

Keeping plein-air painting relevant. The centuries-old practice of plein-air — or outdoor — painting hasn’t lost its foothold in the local landscape. See how the pastime is actually gaining popularity during the COVID-19 era (particularly among seniors).

Contact tracing in New York City. It includes more than 3,000 people making calls, knocking on doors and checking in on people's health. Take a look at the on-the-ground work.

Staying safe in the classroom. Join us for Newsday's next free virtual event on Tuesday, featuring a discussion and Q&A with teachers on what families and students can do to stay healthy when returning to school. Reserve your spot.

Plus: With the kids home, that could mean toys, crayons or hair scrunchies spilling out of their rooms. To reduce the clutter, try these tips like introducing bins, labels and rethinking pieces of furniture.

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


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen....

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news conference on Wednesday. Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster

Silence can indeed be golden. The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris rollout last week certainly was notable — for their easy camaraderie, for the way they succeeded on virtually every level Democrats could have imagined and, perhaps most strikingly, for the way their debut as a duo was made in silence, Michael Dobie writes in his latest Newsday Opinion column.

There was no crowd of fervid supporters in the high school gym in Delaware. No room crackling with energy, no buzz from which to feed, no applause for big applause lines. Just two candidates talking.

Get used to it. It’s campaigning, COVID-style.

Biden and Harris did a good job of staying focused and appealing to an audience they couldn’t see. The more interesting question is how the audience that can’t be there will react on this odd road to Nov. 3.

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