Tristate area officials consider travel isolation requirement

A traveler walks past a social distancing marker at Penn Station...

A traveler walks past a social distancing marker at Penn Station on June 8. Credit: Bloomberg/Michael Nagle

Cuomo said he's talking with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut about requiring residents of certain states to isolate themselves upon arrival, to try to prevent the spread of the virus in a state that has made great strides in controlling it.

“I wouldn’t target a specific state but we know the transmission rate of every state in the United States,” Cuomo said on CNN Monday. “I would consider states with the highest transmission rate, that if somebody comes from that state to New York, there is a period of quarantine … to make sure they are not spreading it.”

Cuomo floated the same idea last week, but so far has not implemented it.

At the start of the crisis, when New York was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, some states such as Florida issued guidelines for New Yorkers traveling there to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Now, the virus is relatively under control in New York, but it's breaking daily records for the number of new cases in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona.

NYC has entered reopening Phase 2

Customers dining at Five Napkin Burger on Ninth Avenue in...

Customers dining at Five Napkin Burger on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen enjoy lunch while seated at outdoor tables on the first day of the Phase 2 reopening on Monday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Thousands of New York workers returned to their offices Monday as the city graduated to Phase 2, the next step in rebuilding a battered economy abruptly shut down more than three months ago.

City officials said they expected 150,000 to 300,000 workers, many from Long Island, to return to offices in Manhattan and other boroughs Monday. Restaurants and bars began offering outdoor dining, two weeks after the city took its first tentative steps toward easing restrictions imposed in mid-March, while barber shops and salons began providing haircuts to patrons who had become shaggy while sheltering in place this spring.

“Look, Phase 1 was a big deal. Phase 2 is really a giant step for this city. This is where most of our economy is," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his daily briefing.

Still, de Blasio acknowledged Monday that New York streets and subways will remain far less crowded than they were before the pandemic because many companies are taking a wait-and-see approach and encouraging employees to continue to work from home.

Long Island Rail Road weekday ridership has risen to 15% of normal levels, up from a low of 3% at the height of the pandemic, MTA officials said Monday.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 34 in Nassau, 38 in Suffolk, 295 in New York City and 552 statewide.

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 in Nassau and Suffolk counties in recent days. Search a map and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Medical experts worry people won't get a vaccine

Medical experts are worried that Americans' resistance to getting a coronavirus vaccine could stymie efforts to control the spread.

A recent national Washington Post/ABC poll, and a poll of Long Islanders and New York City residents by Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital in Oceanside, each found that only 45% or fewer of respondents said they would get a coronavirus vaccine if one is developed.

About a quarter in each poll said they would not, and the rest said they weren’t sure or wouldn’t answer.

If a large percentage of people forgo a vaccine, “It’s going to make it incredibly hard to totally rid the virus in the population,” said Dr. Sharon Nachman, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

What the aftermath of COVID-19 is like

Debbie Rifenbury, of Oceanside, recovered from COVID-19 but still has serious lingering...

Debbie Rifenbury, of Oceanside, recovered from COVID-19 but still has serious lingering health issues. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Debbie Rifenbury survived a harrowing bout with COVID-19 in April that included 17 days in the hospital and six days on a ventilator.

But the Oceanside woman has yet to completely beat the disease, which left her with a series of health problems, including persistent cough and fatigue, as well as an unstable heart rate and blood pressure.

“I used to be a powerhouse,” Rifenbury, 61, said. “Now I’m weak as a kitten. They said it’s going to take time … I pray to God it comes sooner than later. It’s rough.”

Medical experts are still trying to understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on patients who have recovered from the disease.

The spectrum of illness among patients is broad and complex. Some were able to stay home and battle the virus. Others needed hospital care. Many seem to have fully recovered, but doctors are seeing patients released from the hospital continue to grapple with breathing issues, crippling exhaustion and worse.

How this film at an LI theater became the No. 1 movie in America

Eric Tabach, left, and Christian Nilsson pose outside their showing of "Unsubscribe" at...

Eric Tabach, left, and Christian Nilsson pose outside their showing of "Unsubscribe" at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.  Credit: "Unsubscribe"/Jake Wisotksy

It’s a Hollywood story that could only happen in the pandemic. “Unsubscribe,” a zero-budget short film, played for one day at a single Long Island theater and became the No. 1 movie in America.

The film’s one-day gross: $25,488.

Screenwriter Christian Nilsson, a native of East Moriches, admits that he and his director, Eric Tabach, have pulled off “a creative stunt” that exploited a loophole in the complicated system of movie-ticket sales. Still, it worked.

With most theaters in the country closed, and few new movies being released by studios, Tabach wondered if it would be possible to score a No. 1 hit. Nilsson suggested a concept known in the industry as four-walling: You pay a flat fee to rent out a theater, and whatever money you earn from ticket sales is yours to keep.

And here’s the loophole: If the filmmakers buy the tickets and give the money back to themselves — well, wouldn’t the box-office charts have to report the sales?

More to know

Saint Peter of Alcantara Elementary School in Port Washington won't...

Saint Peter of Alcantara Elementary School in Port Washington won't reopen in September. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Three Catholic elementary schools on Long Island are closing because the coronavirus badly hurt their finances amid falling enrollment, church officials said.

More than two dozen businesses on Long Island have been cited for social-distancing and mask violations since the beginning of the pandemic.

Plastic companies on Long Island are scrambling to meet demand for protective barriers and warning customers not to expect a quick turnaround on enclosures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Nassau County taxpayers will have until July 1 — an additional month from the previous extended deadline — to pay their property taxes, County Executive Laura Curran said.

Seasonal businesses have a short window to generate enough revenue to sustain them during the offseason, and adding COVID-19 to the mix has made it more challenging with stricter regulations, capacity limitations and uncertain customer demand.

North Hempstead town officials are encouraging restaurant-goers to order takeout and bring their food to eat at local parks, where town staff have set up tables with benches.

News for you

Olga-Heide Verito, 54, of West Islip, married her husband, Robert, 53,...

Olga-Heide Verito, 54, of West Islip, married her husband, Robert, 53, in a backyard ceremony on May 30 that she calls a "pop-up" wedding. Credit: Park Ave Studio / Brian Ozegovich

Have a mini wedding to say "I do." Welcome to the world of the “minimony” — smaller weddings that are planned after bigger events had to be scrapped. Couples on Long Island and elsewhere who didn’t want to wait any longer are opting for smaller weddings in backyards, virtually, or even at some local wedding venues.

Dog training, but do it virtually. For Long Islanders spending time at home with a new dog, some trainers are going to new lengths to help owners and their pets bond. Local dog trainers are offering virtual training courses to keep social distancing in effect and get the new dog trained. 

DIY grilled pizza. No one wants to turn on the oven when it’s hot outside. So we checked in with pizzaioli Michael Vigliotti for the best method for grilling pizza at home.

Making curbside pickup easier. A local chamber of commerce group has a mobile app feature for that. Users can find a retailer and make a purchase through the app, then get directions to the store or restaurant. The business will get an email when you're about a mile away. Find out more about the My Local Pickup feature.

Speaking of restaurants. Join Newsday tomorrow morning for a free virtual event on what restaurants can do to make customers feel safe, the current plans in place and how you can enjoy dining out as Long Island reopens. Save your spot

And later this week. Join Newsday for a special discussion on what businesses are doing to protect employees and customers and how you can be safe going out around town. Register here to watch the virtual event on Thursday.

Plus: Voters have until today to apply for absentee ballots in person at their board of elections, and tomorrow is the last day an absentee ballot may be postmarked. Catch up with the voters' guide on tomorrow's primary election.

Get real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog.


Let's bridge the digital divide. As COVID-19 has pushed many Americans online to work and attend school, we hear a lot about Zoom fatigue and other annoyances, writes Gissela Moya, the Manny Garcia Technology Equity Fellow at The Greenlining Institute, in a column distributed by Tribune News Service.

But what about the tens of millions of Americans who either have only limited internet access at home, or no access at all?

Lack of internet access in some households and communities has long been a national problem. The pandemic has turned it into a national crisis.

It’s time to close our nation’s digital divide.