NY reduces quarantine requirement for virus exposure to 10 days

People wait at the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center on...

People wait at the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center on Dec. 5. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

Individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 but haven't tested positive can end their quarantine after 10 days instead of 14, Cuomo said. The latest update is consistent with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

But those individuals should keep an eye out for any symptoms for another four days, he said, and immediately self-isolate if they develop.

"As we approach the New Year and the end of the holiday season, all New Yorkers must remember one simple truth — celebrating smart stops shutdowns," Cuomo said in a statement.

Protocols to stop the spread like wearing face coverings, social distancing and avoiding gatherings, remain in effect.

The state's rate of positive cases from 160,164 tests was 7.14% across on Tuesday, a dip from the 8.3% reported on Monday.

The number of new positives reported today: 979 in Nassau, 1,212 in Suffolk, 4,570 in New York City and 11,438 statewide.

The map below shows the concentration of new cases reported across Long Island.

This map shows the concentration of cases in each community,...

This map shows the concentration of cases in each community, with Nassau data as of Sunday and Suffolk data as of Monday.

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

Cuomo signs sweeping anti-eviction bill

New York legislators approved a sweeping anti-eviction bill Monday, calling it one of the nation’s most comprehensive measures to prevent people from being removed from their homes during the pandemic. Cuomo said Monday night he signed the legislation into law.

Lawmakers said the bill goes beyond his executive order, which placed a moratorium on most evictions through Dec. 31. Among its key provisions:

  • Any eviction proceeding already underway will be stayed for another 60 days.
  • Tenants would be able to submit forms attesting they're unable to pay rent because of a financial hardship caused by the pandemic, and once filed, such claims can't be challenged until May 1.
  • It would make it harder for lenders to foreclose on small landlords — 10 rental units or fewer — or slap liens on their property for lack of payments.

On Long Island, the legislation would impact thousands of households.

Resources: For Long Island renters struggling to pay for rent, food and other basics, here's a guide of organizations that can help.

Senate GOP blocks Democratic push for Trump's $2,000 checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked Democrats' push to immediately bring President Donald Trump's demand for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks up for a vote, saying the chamber would "begin a process" to address the issue.

Pressure is mounting on the Republican-led Senate to follow the House, which voted overwhelmingly on Monday to meet the president's demand to increase the checks from $600 as the virus crisis worsens. A growing number of Republicans have said they will support the larger amount. But most GOP senators oppose more spending, even if they are also wary of bucking Trump.

The outcome is highly uncertain heading into the rare holiday-week session.

Plus: We’ve got a Q&A for you with answers to questions about the pandemic relief bill.

Shredding 'bad energy' and bad pandemic memories of 2020

Jonathan Bennett, left, assists people in Times Square bid one...

Jonathan Bennett, left, assists people in Times Square bid one final goodbye to bad memories from 2020 at the 14th annual Good Riddance Day on Monday in Manhattan. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Zoom meetings, COVID-19, virtual classes, masks, self-doubt, social distancing and bad energy. That's a selection of unpleasant memories written down and ceremonially shredded by New Yorkers and visitors on Monday in Times Square.

It was the 14th annual Good Riddance Day, an event put on by the Times Square Alliance.

"Good Riddance Day is a time to let go of bad memories or hardships from 2020 and leave them in the past before we head into the New Year," Tim Tompkins, Alliance president, said in a news release.

Read more and watch a video from the event.

More to know

A checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport on Dec. 24.

A checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport on Dec. 24. Credit: Bloomberg/Angus Mordant

More than one million people nationwide passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints each day over the weekend — reflecting a jump in holiday air travel that experts predict could cause COVID-19 infections to spike.

Annual commuter parking fees in Port Washington will nearly triple in five years under a new schedule — annual passes will go from $240 to $700 by 2025 — a measure officials said was necessary to make up for the funding gap from the pandemic.

The federal COVID-19 relief bill enables Southwest and American airlines to avoid furloughs or laying off thousands of employees, including hundreds at MacArthur, LaGuardia, and Kennedy airports, officials said.

News for you

Long Island's own Gamblers will drop a virtual concert on...

Long Island's own Gamblers will drop a virtual concert on New Year's Eve, which was recorded at the Patchogue Theatre. Credit: James Morano

Live concerts to watch from home NYE. There's a cozy evening at home this year instead of a New Year’s Eve night out — but that doesn't mean you can't virtually settle in with a concert. Ring in 2021 by watching these virtual concerts, streaming from Long Island and beyond.

Speaking of New Year's Eve concerts ... When Gloria Gaynor sings her classic "I Will Survive" for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, Long Island native Ana Salvemini will be on stage singing with her.

'Ratatouille' musical will be streaming. For its one-night-only benefit concert, "Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical" — fondly nicknamed the "Ratatousical" — will begin streaming on Friday at 7 p.m. for 72 hours. Tickets are on sale exclusively on TodayTix.com and are $5, and proceeds will benefit The Actors Fund.

Plus, a reminder: Dr. Anthony Fauci will be joining Newsday for a virtual discussion about COVID-19 vaccines. You can use this form to send us your questions for the nation's top infectious disease expert — he may answer them during the event.

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


Credit: Getty Images/Guido Mieth

2020 was the year we cultivated our gardens. Froma Harrop writes in a piece for Creators Syndicate: Very soon, a year of a deadly pandemic, social isolation, job loss and political chaos will come to an end. The coronavirus will continue its rampage but seems destined to hit a wall around late spring. Life will return to normal, we are told.

But do we want to return to normal as normal was? For many, the slowdown had a sweet side. All that discarding — of unused clothing, papers and appliances — had a cleansing effect. The best decluttering, however, didn't involve the removal of things but of activities, driving the clutter out of the hours and minutes of our days.

Many stressed and overscheduled Americans suddenly experienced the luxury of free time. Minutes not spent driving to and fro could be allocated to doing laundry in a relaxed way, not as the No. 5 multitask on a Saturday afternoon. Time not spent going away on weekends was used for cooking, woodworking, streaming movies, even reading.

Perhaps the most therapeutic use of this found time was for plant cultivation. Gardening met several pandemic needs. Pulling weeds and lifting heavy soil provided real exercise in an outside protected space, masks usually not required.

One didn't need acres. A vegetable patch would do. And even apartment dwellers could engage with greenery through their house plants, watching new life grow on sunny windowsills. Some started composting indoors. Keep reading.


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