'We are just waiting, worrying, stressing'

Students on Stony Brook University's campus in 2018.

Students on Stony Brook University's campus in 2018. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

When John Hallasgo toured Stony Brook University in February, he was amazed by the campus' size and scenery.

Hallasgo doesn't plan to live on campus when it reopens because he will commute from home in Uniondale. But after seeing the residence halls, he remembers thinking the campus was "more than just a place to sleep but a place to live."

The 18-year-old, who will study economics, hopes to return to the campus in August as a freshman to begin a new chapter in adulthood, but Stony Brook has not announced its plan.

Following state guidelines released earlier this week, officials at Stony Brook said the school has submitted a plan to SUNY to reopen campus in the fall but doesn't expect to receive the approval until early July.

Hallasgo said he doesn't know what to prepare for. "We are just waiting, worrying, stressing."

Students said a virtual college campus won't deliver the full college experience they've dreamed about for years.

"When you are in-person, your whole body is engaged in the conversation," said Bailey Jeffries, 17, of Hempstead, who will attend the CUNY School of Medicine in Manhattan. "I don't want my teacher to see me as a grade or as my ID number."

These bars track how many patients are currently hospitalized for...

These bars track how many patients are currently hospitalized for coronavirus each day in New York State. Credit: Newsday

The chart above shows recent daily totals of patients hospitalized for coronavirus in the state. Search a map and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 38 in Nassau, 57 in Suffolk, 371 in New York City and 805 statewide.

Judge rebuffs Cuomo on religious gatherings

A federal judge ruled New York State is wrong to restrict religious gatherings during the pandemic but simultaneously allow much larger protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Senior U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe on Friday issued a preliminary injunction that voids parts of an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo three months ago that included a fine against anyone who gathered in public in excess of set limits.

A state ban on public gatherings has been in place since March 22. It was relaxed two months later to allow for 10 or fewer people, with a mandate that people wear face coverings and social distance.

Cuomo said in June that houses of worship can open with 25% occupancy in regions in Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan.

At issue is whether the state and New York City are practicing a double standard that violates the U.S. Constitution, state law or both, as the plaintiffs allege.

A Cuomo spokesman said "We'll review the decision" and decide after whether to appeal.

Trump administration to high court: End ACA

The Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act as the pandemic surges.

More than 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration. The case won't be heard before the fall.

Coronavirus cases are rising in more than half of the states. The administration's legal brief does not mention the virus.

Its filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.

LI kids' art gets big-city treatment 

Kelli-Rose Simpson Forde, 7, of Elmont, with her grandfather, Kelvin...

Kelli-Rose Simpson Forde, 7, of Elmont, with her grandfather, Kelvin Simpson, an MTA worker. Credit: Shutterfly c/o Bridget Haggerty / Outfront Media

The artwork of Kelli-Rose Simpson Forde, 7, went from her front door in Elmont to a huge billboard in Manhattan.

She created art to say thank you to essential workers for Shutterfly's #CreateThanks campaign. The photography company launched the effort as a way to encourage children to uplift essential workers with art, and then share a photo of their masterpiece with the hashtag.

Kelli-Rose's drawing included rainbows, smiley faces and stickers, and she wrote "Thank you for keeping us safe" in purple marker.

This message was important to Kelli-Rose for a reason that's close to home: "My grandfather is an essential worker," she said. "He is a bus driver and he helps people go to places."

Kelvin Simpson is a transportation worker for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and became ill with the coronavirus in March. His daughter Karlene Simpson — Kelli-Rose's mother — said he battled the virus for two and a half months, and recently recovered and returned to work.

More to know

Broadway theaters, seen in April, have been closed since mid-March.

Broadway theaters, seen in April, have been closed since mid-March. Credit: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy

Broadway theaters won't reopen earlier than this fall, and even then with capacity restrictions, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN.

Cuomo said New York is talking with airlines about instituting temperature checks and gathering tracking information on travelers from the eight states covered by the quarantine travel advisory it issued with New Jersey and Connecticut.

Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again, as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the nation reached an all-time high.

Chuck E. Cheese filed for bankruptcy.

Sixteen NBA players tested positive for coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests before the season restarts, the league and its players association said.

Swimming pool and other backyard projects have been set back by virus-related shutdowns and shipment delays.

News for you

A pregnant woman waits in line for groceries in Waltham, Mass.,...

A pregnant woman waits in line for groceries in Waltham, Mass., on May 7. Credit: AP / Charles Krupa

A revamped list. The CDC added pregnant women to its list of which Americans are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

Sleep under the stars. Looking for a place to rough it in the wild on a fun-filled camping adventure? Look no further.

Bars and restaurants will drink to this. Cuomo will extend the popular use of "cocktails to go," a spokesman said. The measure allows takeout of alcoholic drinks for home consumption.

A bit less crowded. AAA is forecasting a slight drop in road trips this pandemic summer.

Speaking of which ... The upcoming holiday weekend is an ideal time to begin reasserting the newly regained freedom to travel. Here are five places you can drive to on a road trip from Long Island for a family vacation.

Plus: In the mood for a sunrise jog, a sunset stroll or a moonlight date by the sea? See our roundup of Long Island boardwalks by day and night.

Get real-time updates about the virus' impact on the Island by visiting our live blog and watch Steve Langford's video on Long Islanders' thoughts about baseball's return.


A scene from the Nautical Mile in Freeport.

A scene from the Nautical Mile in Freeport. Credit: Newsday / Mark Chiusano

Some normalcy returns to a popular strip. Things are opening up on Long Island, and people are trying to navigate the tricky new terrain, Newsday Opinion's Mark Chiusano says in Episode 31 of the "Life Under Coronavirus" podcast.

They're trying to socialize at watering hole party spots like Freeport's Nautical Mile — but still do it safely.

Chiusano takes a look at what it sounds like to spend an evening on the Nautical Mile, where patrons are navigating the pandemic along with their social lives.

That means masks plus alcohol-filled “rainbows,” a wary eye on the more crowded bars, and the hope that things get more normal soon.


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