The state recorded 14 new deaths Thursday, bringing the 3-day average to 16 deaths per day, the lowest since the start of the pandemic. And 950 people were hospitalized, the lowest daily total since the COVID-19 cases started being recorded earlier this year.
The Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, and North Country moved to Phase 4 on Friday, which would allow an easing of restrictions on higher education and "low-risk" arts and entertainment.
Malls, movie theaters and gyms have not been cleared to reopen. Cuomo says the state is looking at whether some type of filtration system might exist which could eliminate the virus in such facilities. No such system has yet been found.
In New Jersey, Governor Murphy announced that the state has "every expectation that our kids will return to their schools come September." He said the state's plan for reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year comes with one overarching requirement: that our public schools will open in some capacity with the health of students, their families, and educators being the TOP PRIORITY.
NEW YORK CITY
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city is on track for Phase 3 to begin on July 6.
Restaurants will reopen for indoor dining in Phase 3 at 50% capacity. Personal care services like nail salons, massage, spas, tanning, tattoo and piercing, and waxing. Some 50,000 workers are expected to return to work in the city in Phase 3.
Nassau County is reviewing options with key stakeholders for a "safe reopening of schools in September," Executive Laura Curran said. She said ultimately, the decision to open will come from the state, but she wants the county to be prepared. The number of daily new cases of coronavirus being reported in Nassau County has dropped below 1%.
Curran says the numbers have continued to drop since reopening began one month ago. She encouraged people to continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing to mitigate the risks of COVID, just as wearing a seat belt protects people if there is an accident.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that Connecticut will plan for a full-time, in-school education framework in the fall, as long as public health data continues to support the model.
While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state's successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.
COVID INCREASES ACROSS THE SOUTH
Texas and Florida clamped down on bars again Friday in the biggest retreat yet amid a surge across the South and West that sent the number of confirmed new coronavirus infections per day in the U.S. to an all-time high of 40,000.
At a White House coronavirus task force news conference, the first in 2 months, Dr. Deborah L. Birx said the rising rates across the south were a significant concern. Dr. Anthony Fauci also pleaded with Americans to continue to practice social distancing and following other guidelines for their safety and the safety of others.
Vice President Mike Pence said he and Dr. Birx will visit hot spots next week. He noted that coronavirus cases are climbing rapidly among young adults in a number of states where bars, stores and restaurants have reopened - a disturbing generational shift that not only puts them in greater peril than many realize but poses an even bigger danger to older people who cross their paths.
Pence added, "We slowed the spread, we flatted the curve, we saved lives."
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