Experts differ about a second wave for Long Island

People walk while wearing masks on a recent Sunday in Port Jefferson.

People walk while wearing masks on a recent Sunday in Port Jefferson. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Health care experts said virus numbers on Long Island could climb as cooler weather brings more indoor activities and when families get together for the holidays.

Still, they said a second wave wouldn't be as bad as the original wave earlier this year that forced hospitals to increase bed capacity so they could treat the thousands of patients being admitted for the disease.

"A lot of people think of a wave as tsunami, and that's where we were in March and April," said Dr. Patrick O'Shaughnessy, chief clinical officer at Catholic Health Services of Long Island. "What we are dealing with now are more like brush fires."

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced new restrictions for "hot spot" zones and surrounding areas. He argued this wasn't a second wave, saying "we're still in the first wave, and this is just an inability to deal with the first wave nationwide."

What would make a "second wave" is up to interpretation, but health experts said they look at total cases, the percentage of positive tests in a region and hospitalizations to weigh whether they should sound the alarm. Infectious disease specialists said Long Islanders should continue to wear masks, wash hands frequently and follow social distancing guidelines.

The number of new positives reported today: 85 in Nassau, 69 in Suffolk, 464 in New York City and 1,232 statewide.

Travel advisory list: Michigan, Ohio and Virginia were added to the list of states and territories from which travelers must quarantine upon arrival here. View the map with the current states on the list.

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

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

The chart above shows the number of new cases reported in Nassau and Suffolk counties over the past month. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Cuomo to Southampton, other governments: Enforce COVID-19 laws

New York State is fining a group for organizing an outdoor summer concert in Southampton, and is taking away the town's ability to approve similar events unless it has state approval, Cuomo said Wednesday.

After the July 25 Chainsmokers concert reportedly attended by thousands at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill in the Town of Southampton, the state is restricting the local government's ability to authorize such events and is issuing a $20,000 fine to the event's promoters, Cuomo said.

"It was an egregious violation of the critical public health measures we have had in place since the beginning of this pandemic to protect New Yorkers from COVID-19," he said. "We will continue to hold people and businesses accountable for their actions and the local governments must enforce the rules or else we will hold them accountable as well."

Cuomo said the state is stepping up enforcement actions in about 20 "hot spots" in New York City and upstate by withholding state funding to local governments that fail to enforce the antivirus mandates.

Another Long Island company enters the vaccine race

Researchers at Hauppauge-based Covaxx are developing a vaccine designed to blunt the...

Researchers at Hauppauge-based Covaxx are developing a vaccine designed to blunt the coronavirus pandemic.  Credit: Andria Chamberlin

A third Long Island company has joined the global race to produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

Hauppauge-based Covaxx, a spinout of United Biomedical Inc., began testing its lead vaccine candidate, UB-612, in a Phase 1 human trial in Taiwan. Further trials are planned for Nebraska and Brazil pending regulatory approval.

The entry of Covaxx gives companies based on Long Island a role in creating three of the 193 international vaccine candidates tracked by the World Health Organization. It joins Farmingdale-based Codagenix Inc. and Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences Inc. in developing vaccines.

"It's [a lot] for one smaller biotech hub," said William Hanes, technology commercialization fellow at the Center for Biotechnology/Long Island Bioscience Hub at Stony Brook University.

Stamp collecting sees a spike during the pandemic

Steve Reinhard is seen with some stamps he's been collecting for the...

Steve Reinhard is seen with some stamps he's been collecting for the past 70 years. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Steve Reinhard, 78, has been happily stuck on stamp collecting for seven decades. Every tiny sticky-backed perforated piece of paper tells a story.

"I’ve learned so much about history and geography, from where countries are located to what their capitals are. I don’t have a talent for those subjects," said Reinhard, who lives in Garden City. "I spend hours a day in my stamp room at home."

His go-to pastime gets showcased during National Stamp Collecting Month in October. And during this pandemic, there’s been a spike in interest in stamp collecting — similar to rises in bread-baking and gardening — because people have more time on their hands.

Even when you can’t travel, stamps bring the world right to your fingertips. Read more.

More to know

Long Island Restaurant Week returns on Sunday with around 60 restaurants participating, down from an average of almost 250 in years past.

The New York Philharmonic will miss an entire season for the first time in 178 years.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed cautious optimism that COVID-19 protocols will allow the continuation of the season through the Super Bowl.

News for you

Stew Leonard's in Farmingdale and East Meadow will have a free...

Stew Leonard's in Farmingdale and East Meadow will have a free Halloween drive-through open until Oct. 31.  Credit: Ian J. Stark

A Halloween drive-through — for free. Stew Leonard’s supermarkets are offering a free drive-through of paths decorated with Halloween figurines, blowups and other displays through Oct. 31. Plus: Kids in costume get free ice cream on select dates. Find out more. And, take a look at this schedule of the drive-in movies you can find on Long Island this fall.

Or try a socially distant Halloween Village. The annual event has returned to the Milleridge Inn. The attractions will be washed and sterilized between sessions and visitors will have to reserve time slots in advance to attend. Get the details.

Your finances before the new year. There are steps you can take before the year's end that can help put you in a strong financial position. Consider these tips for reviewing your finances before heading into 2021.

This Gerard Butler film will stream instead. "Greenland," an apocalyptic adventure film, has moved out of theaters and will be available on demand for $19.99 starting Dec. 18.

Plus: Join us for Newsday's next virtual event at noon on Thursday that will cover everything you need to know about voting during a pandemic. Sign up here and our panel will answer your questions.

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


Credit: Getty Images/Marcia Straub

Glorious snow days can't succumb to COVID-19. Lane Filler, in a Newsday Opinion column, writes: Ever since the coronavirus struck hard enough to force closures, we’ve heard that some of the changes it spurred may become permanent.

Cities are out, as those who are able to flee the boroughs do so, their Pelotons and yoga mats strapped to the hoods of their Volvo SUVs like the axes and anvils pioneers carried by covered wagon.

Shaving is out, too, of course, and wearing pants to work, and going to work, and celebrating life events together. So, thanks to masks, is thoroughly assessing the attractiveness of other people in the grocery store, which is like 37% of the point of going to a grocery store.

But I am also hearing mumblings from some Grinchy educators and parents about the lessons of COVID-19 also including the end of school snow days. In the past six months, at least four district superintendents have suggested having students set up for distance learning might melt snow days for good, and against that I will battle like Cindy Lou Who. Keep reading.