'We control whether we go backwards or not'

Medical staff before a clap out and send-off for a...

Medical staff before a clap out and send-off for a patient being discharged from Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead on April 23. Credit: Randee Daddona

The decrease in deaths is coupled with hospitalizations plummeting. The percentage of positive tests has mostly remained at around 1%. The state also reported new lows of deaths in the single digits this week.

The encouraging news in the region and state is counter to statistics in other areas of the United States. Florida reported nearly 5,000 new cases on Monday, the lowest it's been there since June. In Arizona, hospitalizations have stabilized, as have new cases, although nearly 1,500 new cases were reported on Aug. 1.

“I pray to God every day that we stay in the situation we are in right now, and that people remain smart and are careful,” said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, chair of the department of medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside. “We control whether we go backwards or not.”

In New York, Glatt said fewer cases, high-risk people practicing social distancing and more information on how to care for COVID-19 patients have added up to a large reduction in deaths.

Still, medical professionals say the anticipated reopening of schools and an increase in travel could lead to a reversal of fortune here.

The number of new positives today: 46 in Nassau, 85 in Suffolk, 301 in New York City and 636 statewide.

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 chart above shows the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the state. Search a map of cases and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, new cases, deaths and more. 

NYC to set up checkpoints to enforce travel quarantine order

Long Island Rail Road passengers waited Tuesday in Penn Station...

Long Island Rail Road passengers waited Tuesday in Penn Station after service was suspended due to Tropical Storm Isaias. Credit: Charles Eckert

New York City is setting up checkpoints at bridges and tunnels to help enforce the state’s COVID-19 mandatory two-week quarantine order for people traveling from high infection states, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

One-fifth of all new COVID-19 cases in the city are found in people who have recently traveled from other states, said Dr. Ted Long, head of the city Test & Trace Corps.

New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said the checks would be random “to avoid discrimination” and license plate readers would help select the vehicles. 

On Thursday, members of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will be at Penn Station to remind travelers from those states they must complete health forms.

Black businesses hit harder by the pandemic, NY Fed says

The Sogho Express African Hair Braiding salon, seen on April...

The Sogho Express African Hair Braiding salon, seen on April 7, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was among stores that closed during the pandemic.  Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Black-owned businesses in New York State closed at nearly three times the rate of white-owned businesses, as the state instituted a shutdown of nonessential activity to slow the coronavirus’ spread, according to a new report.

Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found the number of operating Black firms fell 56% from February, before the state lockdown began, to May. The number of operating white firms declined 19% in the same period, according to census data analyzed by the researchers.

The number of operating Hispanic firms dropped 43% between February and May.

“Certainly, many closures to date have been temporary and owners may decide to reopen when conditions improve,” researchers Claire Kramer Mills and Jessica Battisto said in the eight-page report released on Tuesday.

COVID-19 is changing how medicine is studied on Long Island

NYU Long Island School of Medicine students Meenakshi Krishna, right,...

NYU Long Island School of Medicine students Meenakshi Krishna, right, of Williston Park, and Mustapha Touray, of Mineola, stand outside the campus in Mineola. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Students at NYU Long Island School of Medicine have the rare opportunity to study a pandemic as it unfolds.

It opened a year ago with 24 students, tuition-free and with a focus on preparing students to become primary-care physicians. Those students are now starting hospital rotations, and 24 new students started in the program last week with lectures online.

“This is a pandemic that is happening in real time,” said Dr. Steven Shelov, the Mineola school's dean. “It’s not in a book they’re reading about.”

Students are learning about vaccine and treatment development in their classes as they occur. Epidemiology classes will include COVID-19 cases. And students will assist with COVID-19 research by, for example, crunching numbers or helping sign up patients for clinical trials, Shelov said.

More to know

The Lord & Taylor location at Westfield South Shore mall will be closing as a result of the recent bankruptcy filing. 

Small businesses on Long Island already reeling from the pandemic were buffeted by the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday.

Four local colleges — Hofstra University, Molloy College, Adelphi University and Nassau Community College — will each receive $2 million from the Town of Hempstead to help cover costs incurred from the pandemic.

The Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes has been canceled for the first time in 87 years. 

News for you

Asher Weinberg of Valley Stream, owner of Swimply, talks with Newsday...

Asher Weinberg of Valley Stream, owner of Swimply, talks with Newsday about his venture and the creative impact it has for people during the pandemic. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

Renting out your pool. Officially launched last summer, online service Swimply lets homeowners rent out their pools at hourly rates. Its co-founders say they've seen a surge in demand from people desperate for ways to relax and get relief from the heat during the pandemic, and from homeowners seeking new income. Find out more.

Hosting a backyard party? It's all about the theme and the details. Staying at home to celebrate is becoming more popular during the pandemic, so you might want to use these six ways to make your backyard party stand out.

'Mulan' streams instead. The live-action blockbuster is no longer headed for a major theatrical release. "Mulan" will debut on the subscription streaming service, Disney Plus, on Sept. 4. But there's an added fee.

Ice cream tour returns for seconds. If you missed Part 1 of the annual Long Island Ice Cream Tour, you can hit Part 2 on Saturday with stops across Suffolk County.

Plus: The next free virtual event with nextLI has been rescheduled. Register here for the discussion, now being held on Friday, about Long Island parents' concerns about the future of learning.

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Commentary

The old hierarchies and the roles of the gatekeepers may...

The old hierarchies and the roles of the gatekeepers may never be the same now that working virtually is the norm. Credit: Getty Images/RLT_Images

Virtual work strengthens the outsiders and the weak. There's more to the virtual work trend than days full of Zoom calls from a home office, writes Conor Sen, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.

It also means the possibility of new ways of getting work done. In the physical world, work at a company or university exists in a hierarchical structure; in a virtual world, that work can get done in a more decentralized, democratic manner.

Those who lacked influence suddenly can acquire much greater visibility and prominence, all without the approval of traditional gatekeepers. This potential for expanded participation from previously excluded voices is an underappreciated disruption that could change the way society operates.