NYC, state move forward on 'hot spot' restrictions

Police stand guard after a night of protests in the...

Police stand guard after a night of protests in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park on Wednesday. Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

The new restrictions limit houses of worship to no more than 10 people, prohibit mass gatherings, and close down schools and nonessential businesses in "hot spots" in New York City, Binghamton and Rockland and Orange counties.

"Some people are unhappy, I understand it," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a phone conference with reporters on Wednesday. But "these limitations are better than going back to closed down."

Hundreds packed the streets of Brooklyn's Borough Park late Tuesday night to protest Cuomo’s restrictions on houses of worship gatherings. Neighborhoods in the affected areas have large Orthodox Jewish populations, and the restrictions have provoked anger among some Orthodox leaders and the faithful.

The restrictions are expected to last at least two weeks — and could last longer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The state issued a list of 20 hot spot ZIP codes for spread ranging from 1.8% to 17.3% of new positives over a seven-day average, including 11 in Brooklyn and four in Queens. None was on Long Island.

The number of new positives reported today: 124 in Nassau, 109 in Suffolk, 548 in New York City and 1,360 statewide.

Travel advisory list: The state announced Tuesday that New Mexico has been added to the travel quarantine list. View a map of the current states and territories on the list.

The chart below shows a map of cases across Long Island. Search a map and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

This map shows the concentration of cases in each Long...

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

Doctor: Trump symptom-free for 24 hours

President Donald Trump remained out of sight Wednesday recovering from COVID-19, but his doctor reported that the president continued to make progress in his recovery.

Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, reported that Trump had declared, "I feel great!"

Conley added in a memo that Trump had been symptom-free for over 24 hours, and that his oxygen saturation level and respiratory rate were normal.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, he tried to salvage a few priority items lost in the rubble of COVID-19 relief talks, pressing for $1,200 stimulus checks and new aid for airlines and other businesses. Read more.

Plasma donation helps patient make an unexpected recovery

Plasma donor Abbie Park greets recipient Scott Cohen, of Bellmore, on...

Plasma donor Abbie Park greets recipient Scott Cohen, of Bellmore, on Tuesday at the New York Blood Center. Credit: Jeff Bachner

When Scott Cohen was in the hospital for the coronavirus in mid-April, doctors had given him just 24 to 48 hours to live.

But the 48-year-old retired EMT from Bellmore was infused with then-experimental convalescent plasma from someone who had contracted and recovered from the virus — and he made an unexpected recovery.

Cohen discussed his recovery on Tuesday at the New York Blood Center in Manhattan. He donated his own plasma for the fourth time, and met the woman whose donation saved his life.

"I want to pay it forward and at the same time raise awareness so people get out there and donate plasma if they have antibodies," Cohen said.

Long Island restaurateurs talk safety for pandemic winter

Patrons enjoy outdoor dining on Roslyn Social's heated rooftop patio.

Patrons enjoy outdoor dining on Roslyn Social's heated rooftop patio. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Igloos, greenhouse seating, creative uses of tents and alternative solutions.

All this and more are ideas from creative restaurant owners and food service providers across Long Island to make dining safer this coming winter in the time of COVID-19 protocols, a panel of experts said Wednesday in the latest Newsday Live series of online webinars.

The discussion covered everything from what restaurants and eateries are doing to ensure the safety and welfare of patrons and staff for dining, to the importance of diners abiding by mandatory and suggested protocols to keep everyone safe.

Read more and watch the webinar here. And, check out our guide to creative outdoor dining experiences on Long Island.

More to know

Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma has been closed...

Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma has been closed since Thursday because of a "rapid increase" in COVID-19 cases. Credit: Anthony Causi

Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma will keep the school closed until at least Oct. 14, the district superintendent wrote in a letter to parents Tuesday. Find this and other cases reported at Long Island schools here.

Smithtown officials released a tentative 2021 budget and said it weathered the early months of the pandemic thanks to spending cuts, a tax increase and other higher-than-expected revenue.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone issued an emergency order to push back filing the 2021 proposed operating budget to Friday, three weeks after it was due.

Boston will delay school reopening plans after the city's infection rate went higher than 4%, the mayor announced Wednesday.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has become the third Patriots player to test positive for the virus.

News for you

The "Magic of Lights" drive-through show at Jones Beach State Park...

The "Magic of Lights" drive-through show at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh. Credit: Corey Sipkin

No concerts at Jones Beach, but holiday lights return. The drive-through experience "Magic of Lights" is returning to the state park in Wantagh on Nov. 13. Visitors will still be able to view the holiday displays from their cars until Jan. 2. Find out more.

A different way to celebrate Halloween — on the river. A "haunted" canoe trip in Brookhaven on Oct. 31 could be your alternative to trick-or-treating this year. It's a one-hour paddle down the Carmans River, decorated for Halloween (and it's a natural fit for social distancing).

… Or try a full moon owl walk. The Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown is offering two "Owl Prowl" sessions this fall, with a walk under the full moon on Oct. 30 and a Friday the 13th walk on Nov. 13. Get the details.

When staying home means a messy home. Try these two-minute habits you can pick up that will keep your home cleaner all week. Keeping up with chores can be a drag, but it doesn't have to be time consuming. Read them here.

Plus: Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris — separated by 12 feet and plexiglass — will participate in the only vice presidential debate on Wednesday. Here are three things to watch for.

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LI higher ed institutions have avoided virus outbreaks — for now

Three institutions of higher education on Long Island have not had outbreaks or the need to close down dorms and stop all in-person learning, according to a presidents’ discussion during a Newsday webinar on Tuesday.

At Adelphi University, there is 0.4% positivity rate — about 15 cases — all of whom are quarantining for a required 14 days, said Christine Riordan, the university president. At Stony Brook University, over the last 14 days there have been two cases among students with a significant portion of the campus tested, said university president Maurie D. McInnis. At Farmingdale State College, of the last 1,000 tests in the most recent two-week period, there has been one positive case, said college president John S. Nader.

The local success comes amid online coursework, limited in-person meetings, intense cleaning regimens, dividers and rules like those restricting "how many students can gather socially," Riordan said.

Read more and watch the full webinar here.

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