With more working out solo, new fitness equipment hard to find

Bike Junkie owner Douglas Rodriguez says there is a shortage...

Bike Junkie owner Douglas Rodriguez says there is a shortage of moderately priced bikes and items to repair them.   Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Fitness equipment like kettlebells, hand weights and dumbbells — hot sellers at the beginning of the pandemic — continue to be on back-order in many local stores.

They're joined by pricier items like elliptical machines, treadmills, bicycles and even kayaks, according to multiple store managers throughout Long Island. In some cases, as in the instances of bicycles and kayaks, production has been halted or stalled, meaning there’s currently no way to meet demand for either the items themselves or repair parts.

“It’s across the board. It’s everything,” said Scott Yule, Long Island regional manager of Fitness Showrooms. “We’ve always been busy as a company, but I’ve been doing this 23 years and there’s nothing you can compare it to. There’s been a surge. …It’s just been insane."

It has also been seen nationally, according to the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Though they don’t track sale numbers, “since the early days of the lockdown, home exercise equipment has been in high demand, right up there with disinfectant and toilet paper,” said Meredith Popplar, vice president of communications.

Additions to NY's travel quarantine list

Shaquanna Parnell, right, with the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement,...

Shaquanna Parnell, right, with the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement, hands an information leaflet to a passenger arriving at Amtrak's Penn Station on Thursday. New York City stepped up efforts last week to enforce the state's travel advisory at major entry points. Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

Hawaii, South Dakota and the Virgin Islands were added to the list of states and territories from which travelers to New York must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday.

The list now includes 31 states as well as the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The states of Alaska, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island were dropped from the list as the infection levels there declined, the governor said.

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state and specified territories with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average, or with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.

New York's statewide level of confirmed positives was 0.86% Monday, according to state data.

The number of new positives reported today: 34 in Nassau, 49 in Suffolk, 274 in New York City and 667 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of new cases in Nassau and Suffolk in recent days. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

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

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

Nursing homes: Changes needed in state virus response

A spokesman for some downstate nursing home operators on Monday defended the Cuomo administration’s March 25 guidance that required all homes to accept hospital patients with COVID-19 but said several problems must be fixed before a feared second wave hits.

Jim Clyne, president of Leading Age NY, which represents more than 200 nursing homes, said during Monday's legislative hearing that among the changes needed are a far greater supply of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns that nursing homes are now trying to stockpile, adequate supplies of virus tests and more state funding.

Nursing home operators said Cuomo and the State Legislature had cut funding to nursing homes over the past two years. They urged that nursing homes be elevated to the same level of priority for protective gear as hospitals.

Art classes help students escape outside world

Amorita Snow from Glen Cove attends class with her son...

Amorita Snow from Glen Cove attends class with her son Ben, 20, during a class at The Spirit of Huntington Art Center in Huntington Station. Credit: Randee Daddona

Art teacher Gina Mars thought it would be fun to have her class create masks — but not the kind you’d wear over your nose and mouth to slow the spread of coronavirus.

These were what she calls “Picasso masks.” Using a slab of clay, the students cut out eyes, a nose and various geometric shapes to create a face reminiscent of the work of Pablo Picasso.

“These projects are incredibly therapeutic,” Mars said. “The feeling of touching the clay and building is very relaxing. The thing with clay is if you make a mistake, you can always fix it.”

Mars, 54, of Huntington Station, works with individuals with special needs in her class, called “Clay Comes Alive!,” twice a week at The Spirit of Huntington Art Center. The courses went virtual during the pandemic, but Mars’ clay class resumed with in-person sessions in June.

More to know

More than three-quarters of New York’s 1.1 million public school students will participate in “blended learning” — a combination of classroom instruction and remote lessons — when schools reopen in September, officials said Monday.

Russia became the first country on Tuesday to approve a coronavirus vaccine for use in tens of thousands of its citizens, despite international skepticism about injections that have not completed clinical trials.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said investments in the state pension fund showed “one of the strongest rebounds in modern history” after deep losses forced by the pandemic.

The Mets' Marcus Stroman announced Monday that he opted out of the rest of the 2020 season due to concerns about the pandemic.

News for you

Logan D'Elia, 10, of Bay Shore, wears a reusable mask from...

Logan D'Elia, 10, of Bay Shore, wears a reusable mask from Top Trenz. Credit: toptrenz.com/Top Trenz

Back-to-school shopping is near. It might look different this year, but retailers have addressed that by putting the emphasis on comfortable basics for home and school, and what you need to stay safe and clean. Here’s a look at some essentials.

Adjusting as a cocktail bar. Bars that were focused solely on drinks had two options to open: add food to their menus, or rethink existing snacks. One local spot has reopened with a tweaked menu, while another one is still renovating. Find out how these bars are changing.

A Guild Hall benefit, but virtual. Stars like Matthew Broderick and John Leguizamo will perform three short comedies by playwright Eugene Pack in a virtual benefit for the East Hampton space Guild Hall on Sunday. Tickets are $50 per household.

Plus: Join us on Wednesday night for nextLI's free event on how COVID-19 exposed Long Island's racial inequalities. A panel of experts will hold an extensive discussion and interactive Q&A — reserve your spot here

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


The Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, pictured on Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, pictured on Wednesday. Credit: AP/Morry Gash

Goodbye to traditional political conventions — and good riddance. Democrats around the country will gather around computer screens and smartphones next week for a strange new version of a timeworn political ritual: their party's presidential convention, writes Doyle McManus for the Los Angeles Times.

They won't flood into Milwaukee and crowd into a noisy sports arena on Aug. 17 for four nights of hoopla. They won't hobnob with party elders, campaign donors or up-and-coming politicians. They won't even wave placards or cheer, except in their living rooms.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made those traditions impossible — and the conventions will almost surely be better for it.


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