COVID Live Updates: NY ICU patients hit low; Florida cases surpass New York

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York had its lowest number of ICU patients since March 16 and reported 10 additional deaths, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

The Democratic governor says there were at least 646 people hospitalized in the state on Friday, a new low since March 18 and down slightly from the previous day.

Daily statewide statistics show New York with more than 750 new confirmed cases. The number of reported deaths in the state rose on Friday by one, to 10. New York has a total of more than 32,000 confirmed deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

New York, once a pandemic hot spot, has avoided a surge in new cases so far. Cuomo has emphasized vigilance by wearing masks and social distancing to help contain the virus.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy reported 547 new cases Saturday and an additional 16 deaths.

Here are more of today's headlines:

FLORIDA SURPASSES NY
Florida has surpassed New York in total statewide COVID-19 cases and is now second behind California.

Top 3 states in total COVID-19 cases:

California: 435,334
Florida: 414,511
New York: 411,200

HEALTH EXPERTS CALL FOR 2ND SHUTDOWN
"Shut it down now, and start over" is the message from health experts across the country as COVID-19 cases surge in more than 40 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the U.S. could see 175,000 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths by August 15.

More than 150 doctors endorsed an open letter to lawmakers, urging them to hit the restart button.

The letter, published on the United States Public Interest Research Group's website and penned by its public health campaigns director Matthew Wellington, blames the push to reopening the economy on the country's worsening health crisis and calls for all nonessential businesses to close.

MAN GOES HOME 122 DAYS LATER
A man who spent months battling COVID-19 and nearly died is back at home on Long Island. Anthony Bosco, a 62-year-old father of three, was released from rehab on Friday after spending 122 days fighting coronavirus.

Bosco, who recently retired as an MTA Safety training expert, suffered a series of complications and setbacks but pulled through.

NFL PLAYER OPTS OUT OF SEASON
Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first player to opt out of the upcoming NFL season on Friday, choosing to put his medical degree to use on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic rather than helping the Kansas City Chiefs defend their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.

TEXAS BARS DEFY ORDERS
Hundreds of Texas bar owners say they'll defy Gov. Greg Abbott's mandate that ordered them closed after a surge in coronavirus cases.

Fort Worth bar owner Chris Polone has organized what's labeled as "Freedom Fest," in which hundreds of bar owners say they'll open their doors and set 'em up Saturday. About 800 bar owners have promised participation, Polone told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which could place their state liquor licenses in jeopardy.

The Republican governor had allowed bars to reopen with restrictions, only to order them closed again on June 26 after the state experienced a resurgent outbreak in the virus that causes COVID-19.

NO SUMMER STREETS
The Department of Transportation is scrapping Summer Streets, the program where major roads are closed to cars on three Saturdays in August.

It cited the challenges of social distancing and noted that many roads are already closed for the Open Streets program to create more pedestrian space.
EMBED More News Videos

The Department of Transportation is scrapping Summer Streets, the program where major roads are closed to cars on three Saturdays in August.


LONGSTANDING RESTAURANT CLOSING
A long-standing restaurant in Lower Manhattan is closing its doors for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bennie's Thai Cafe on Fulton Street will serve its last meal Sunday after opening in 1996.

In a message to customers posted on their door, the restaurant's owners wrote proudly of withstanding the 9/11 attacks, the recession and Superstorm Sandy.

NJ REMOTE LEARNING OPTION
Parents in New Jersey will have the option to choose all-remote learning for their children for the upcoming school year. The New Jersey Department of Education released their guidance for parents who choose that option. Governor Phil Murphy said allowing parents the option to choose all-remote learning for their children will help decrease student density within our schools. He said it will also allow classroom spaces to stretch further to ensure proper social distancing for other students and staff. Students will have to abide by the same attendance and length-of-day rules.

NY STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY ISSUES SUMMONSES
The New York State Police and the State Liquor Authority issued 37 summonses to bars and restaurants throughout the state. Governor Cuomo put out the call to local governments and police departments to do their jobs and help enforce regulations.

BLUE JAYS TO PLAY HOME GAMES IN BUFFALO
The displaced Toronto Blue Jays will play in Buffalo, New York, this year amid the pandemic. The Blue Jays said in a statement Friday that the greater part of their home schedule will be played at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home of the club's Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. General manager Ross Atkins had previously said that if team could not find a major league park, Buffalo would be their most likely site for home games.

WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)
EMBED More News Videos

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.


MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE



abc7NY Phase Tracker:

COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates

UPDATES
New York City
New Jersey

Long Island
Westchester and Hudson Valley
Connecticut

7 On Your Side Investigates: Up to 4,000 coronavirus cases prevented by NYC contact tracers
EMBED More News Videos

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.


REOPENING INFORMATION
What's Open, What's Closed
Reopening New York State
Reopening New Jersey
Reopening Connecticut
Total count of NYC, Long Island COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.