'Where's your mask, buddy?'

Joseph Charles Amendola, 48, of Seaford, wore a gas mask...

Joseph Charles Amendola, 48, of Seaford, wore a gas mask to visit a Hicksville smoke shop. Credit: Danielle Silverman

The order to wear mouth and nose coverings whenever people are "in a situation where they are not maintaining social distancing” of six feet will go into effect in three days, Cuomo said.

He cited public transit as examples where one would be needed, or when a person expects they will “pass other people on the sidewalk" or on a trail.

Initially, its enforcement will not involve fines, though they could be imposed later if compliance becomes a problem.

And, he said, New Yorkers can help enforce the rule by simply asking others who are in public places: "Where's your mask, buddy? — in a nice New York way."

Workers at grocery stores and other essential businesses across the state must wear masks — and their employers must provide them — starting Wednesday night.

LI hospital sends home 1,000th survivor

Health care workers line the hallway at Long Island Jewish...

Health care workers line the hallway at Long Island Jewish Medical Center as they wait to wish coronavirus patient Juan Sanchez of Floral Park well.  Credit: Northwell Health

Juan Sanchez said he never wavered from this belief: that he would leave Long Island Jewish Medical Center as a winner in his weekslong battle against COVID-19.

When Sanchez, 66, of Floral Park, was discharged Tuesday, he was celebrated as the 1,000th patient to be released from the medical center, which is part of Northwell Health and located on the border of Queens and Nassau.

The hospital has had hundreds of daily COVID-19 patients, said executive director Michael Goldberg.

"COVID has transformed this hospital over the last 37 or 38 days," he said. "A vast majority of patients do well, so we created Team Home, where when a patient leaves and gives permission, we gather in the lobby and clap them out ..."

The hospital also plays the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun" whenever a patient comes off a ventilator.

COVID-19 hospital patients on Long Island have reached a plateau, and statistics show that social distancing is driving fewer increases in hospitalizations and intubations, a Newsday analysis shows.

These bars track how many patients are currently hospitalized for...

These bars track how many patients are currently hospitalized for coronavirus each day by the location of the hospital.

The above chart shows total hospitalized cases in New York State in recent days. See the breakdown for Nassau and Suffolk along with more charts and maps tracking testing, deaths, cases by community and other stats for Long Island. 

The numbers as of 3:30 p.m.: 26,715 confirmed cases in Nassau, 23,278 in Suffolk, 118,302 in New York City and 213,779 statewide.

Hockey coach was 'second dad' to players

Christopher Loche was a dad, hockey coach and longtime volunteer...

Christopher Loche was a dad, hockey coach and longtime volunteer firefighter.  Credit: The Loche family

Christopher D. Loche was a jokester — except for when it came to coaching his youth hockey team, the Sharks.

“He knew what it took to be the best,” said his son and former player, Ryan Loche, 20, who lived with his father in Amityville. “He pushed every one of us to be better.”

Ryan Loche said his father died of the coronavirus, just one day shy of his 50th birthday. 

Read more stories of Long Islanders lost to COVID-19 here. And if you've lost a loved one to the virus, help us memorialize them.

Changes in cancer care

The fear of contracting COVID-19 has kept Thom LaBruzzo from leaving his house unless it's to receive chemotherapy at the Perlmutter Cancer Center location in Huntington. 

"At this point, I don't go anywhere, and it's put a damper on life," said LaBruzzo, of East Northport, whose treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma includes four straight days of chemotherapy followed by 28 days of rest. "It's definitely a scary situation."

Long Island cancer center doctors said they're adjusting treatments in an attempt to limit patient exposure to COVID-19. 

Helping restaurants and health care workers

From left, Kristy Verity, executive director of the Riverhead Business...

From left, Kristy Verity, executive director of the Riverhead Business Improvement District, and Steve Shauger, the district's president, outside the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead with hospital representatives. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Riverhead Business Improvement District has launched a fundraising effort to simultaneously help local businesses struggling to stay afloat amid the outbreak and feed exhausted hospital workers too tired to cook.

The “Double Donation” Community Kitchen Program — which has raised more than $15,000 — works by making public donations to fund the meal program. With every $5,000 raised, the agency will purchase 100 gift cards worth $50 each from participating downtown restaurants, which Peconic Bay Medical Center will distribute through a raffle.

The gift cards allow all essential staff at the hospital to get takeout meals from restaurants to feed their families.

More to know

Scientists look at a test tube in a Northwell Health...

Scientists look at a test tube in a Northwell Health research lab.  Credit: Northwell Health

Long Islanders recovering from COVID-19 can sign up this week to donate their plasma for two local clinical trials that could help patients still struggling with the virus.

A lawsuit to free about 120 inmates filed by the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County over concerns about the possible spread of the virus was unsuccessful, the county's sheriff said.

Long Island home sales plummeted in March as the pandemic made it difficult or impossible to close deals, a new report shows.

Pro sports returning this year is possible, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, under very specific circumstances

Actress Rita Wilson opened up about her and husband Tom Hanks' bout with COVID-19, including how the couple had been treated with the antimalarial drug chloroquine.

U.S. retail sales plummeted 8.7% in March, an unprecedented decline, as the viral outbreak forces an almost complete lockdown of commerce nationwide.

News for you

Calvin Ostrow, 4, of Roslyn, didn't mind that his at-home...

Calvin Ostrow, 4, of Roslyn, didn't mind that his at-home haircut by dad, Seth Ostrow, didn't quite go as planned. Credit: Heather K. Burgoon

DIY haircuts. If you've tried to cut your own hair — our your kids' — and it didn't go so well, take comfort that you're not alone. These Long Islanders tried salon treatments, without professionals, with varying levels of success. See the results.

Vote by absentee ballot. New Yorkers looking to use absentee ballots to vote in the June primary, rather than going to polling places, need only fill out an application for a mail-in ballot, according to the state Board of Elections. Here's how to get yours.

Who needs a beer? Most Long Island breweries are still producing beer for to-go sales and curbside pickup, but these nine will drive their IPAs, stouts and sours right to your doorstep.

Get a refund for that flight. An increasing number of Americans are being denied their rights to airfare refunds. Follow these tips from experts if you're struggling to get your money back from a canceled flight.

Loved ones in nursing homes. If you've been questioning whether it's safe to keep your family member in an assisted living or care facility, get advice and answers here.

Date night looks different. Just because we're living in a stay-at-home era doesn’t mean date night has to be canceled. Get ideas for keeping the spark alive from these local couples.

Melanie and Dave Cassens of Port Washington resorted to escaping...

Melanie and Dave Cassens of Port Washington resorted to escaping to their garage with wine and long-stemmed glasses for a little alone time. Credit: Melanie Cassens

Plus: We've compiled this list of telephone numbers, websites and other resources to help you navigate life during coronavirus.

Whether you're looking for a virtual workout class, activities to keep the kids busy or our guide to takeout food, you can find ideas for making the most of your time at home here

Visit our live blog for real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island and watch the latest daily wrap-up video.

Commentary

Some NY residents, fellows want hazard pay. Some hospital residents and fellows, many of whom have worked virtually nonstop during the COVID-19 response and who earn less than more-experienced staff, are becoming frustrated, Mark Chiusano writes in his latest Newsday Opinion column.

A petition for hazard pay as well as life and disability insurance at NYU Langone underscores both the many fears of medical staff caring for patients at the epicenter of a pandemic and the array of challenges facing hospitals in delivering such care.

The staff emphasizes that they are honored to care for the patients and undertake more clinical responsibilities, but the petition is a plea for more support. “As doctors, we are committed to serving our patients,” says the petition, a copy of which Newsday obtained Tuesday. “However, during this unprecedented time, we now find ourselves and our families at risk in ways we never imagined.”