Coronavirus Updates: Cuomo says no additional indoor activities for NYC's Phase 4

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo said that if New York City enters Phase 4 on Monday, it would not include any additional indoor activities.

"We are still seeing issues, not just in the bars and restaurants, but all across the country. Inside, interior spaces, air-conditioned spaces, where the virus is tending to spread. So, we will take that precaution in New York City," he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also promised additional guidance for next Monday. "The indoor is causing me pause. The indoor should proceed only with caution and very strict rules," he said.

A decision expected by 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

Here are more of today's headlines:

TRAVELING NURSES REFLECT
They're being called the heroes of the pandemic: the nurses people cheered for every night as the amount of positive cases continued to grow in the Tri-State area.

More than 4,000 travel nurses came to New York City to work in public hospitals at the height of the pandemic. Now that they're back home, some of them are reflecting on what they experienced and speaking out about what more could be done to help protect patients and front line workers in case a second outbreak happens.

NEW YORK DELAYS START OF HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) voted to delay the official start date of the fall 2020 sports season, cancel the fall 2020 Regional and State Championships and prepare to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high
school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19. The decision came at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force.

NY CRACKDOWN ON BARS, RESTAURANTS
Governor Cuomo announced Thursday a new "three strikes" policy that will require bars and restaurants to close after they receive three citations for failing to follow rules, including mask-wearing and keeping people 6 feet (2 meters) apart. Cuomo said the state's fielding thousands of complaints on top of "significant evidence of failure to comply" among restaurants and businesses, particularly downstate. He said "egregious violations" can still result in the immediate loss of a liquor license, and warned that the state would post names of restaurants and bars in violation.

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Dr. Jennifer Ashton has the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic including mask policy and the race to develop a vaccine.



FLORIDA DEATHS
Florida reports 156 deaths in one day on Thursday, a new record for the state. The Florida Department of Health reports 315,775 total cases of COVID-19 for an increase of 13,965. That's its second highest ever.

Of 309 facilities being tracked, Florida has 54 hospitals with no available ICU beds and 32 hospitals with just one available ICU bed, according to the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration.

CHILDCARE IN NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that 100,000 children will be able to benefit from free childcare as kids go back to school in September. Due to the blended learning option, some children will need care on days that they are not in school learning. PPE will be provided to the children and care providers.

US, UK, CANADA ACCUSE RUSSIA OF HACKING CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TRIALS
The three nations alleged Thursday that hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and said to be part of the Russian intelligence service, is attacking academic and pharmaceutical research institutions involved in coronavirus vaccine development. The persistent and ongoing attacks are seen by intelligence officials as an effort to steal intellectual property, rather than to disrupt research.

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The United States, Britain and Canada say Russia is trying to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine.



RNC SCALES BACK CONVENTION
Next month's Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, will be scaled back, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent a letter to party members Thursday morning informing them of the new plans.

TARGET MANDATES MASKS
Target has joined a list of the nation's largest retailers that will require customers to wear masks as cases of COVID-19 spike. The policy will go into effect Aug. 1. More than 80% of Target's 1,800 stores already require customers to wear masks due to local and state regulations. Target said Thursday that it will hand out masks at entrances to those who need them. The nation's largest retailer, Walmart, announced this week that masks would be mandatory in all stores starting Monday. Starbucks, Best Buy, Kohl's and Kroger Co. also have put mandatory face shield rules in place.

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Do your masks need a filter? And are you cleaning them the right way?



HIGH LINE PARK REOPENS
New York City's High Line Park reopens in the Meatpacking District on Thursday at Noon. Social distancing markers are in place. People wishing to visit need to make a reservation online.

NEWARK MASKS UP
Starting Thursday, police in Newark will begin issuing summonses to those who do not wear a mask in outdoor public spaces. It is part of the "Mask up, Newark!" promotion from the mayor and public safety director.

The rule follows an executive order from Governor Phil Murphy.

WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)
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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.


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7 On Your Side Investigates: Up to 4,000 coronavirus cases prevented by NYC contact tracers
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio along with local health experts have repeatedly called contact tracing a key element in preventing another spike of coronavirus in the city.



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