Coronavirus Updates: More than 1,000 NYers test positive for 1st time since June

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- More than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day Friday, marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.

The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, a trend possibly related to increasing numbers of businesses reopening, college campuses reopening and children returning to school. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday there were 1,005 positive cases tallied on the previous day out of 99,953 tests, for a 1% positive rate.

From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.

Cuomo didn't comment on the 1,000-case threshold in his daily COVID-19 update, but reiterated his call for vigilance.

"It's vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight COVID-19 as we move into the fall and flu season," Cuomo said in a prepared release. "Wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands make a critical difference, as does the deliberate enforcement of state guidance by local governments."

Gareth Rhodes, a member of Cuomo's COVID-19 Response Task Force, provided context on Twitter, writing that while the exact number of positive cases is similar to those in June, the percent of positive cases is far lower.



Rhodes said the key is to ensure clusters, like those in the lower Hudson Valley region and in Brooklyn, don't spread elsewhere.

On a positive note, Rhodes said the state is seeing encouraging data among college-aged individuals, a group that had been seeing an increase in cases. Rhodes said they accounted for just 16% of all positive cases yesterday.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



COVID cases on the rise in NJ
Concern is growing over an increasing number of COVID-19 cases being confirmed in New Jersey. The state reported 760 new positive cases Saturday, pushing the cumulative total to 202,850, Governor Phil Murphy said in a tweet. Saturday's total followed two days of increases. Officials are most concerned about rising positive test totals in five counties: Ocean, Gloucester, Monmouth, Middlesex and Bergen.

Airport in Finland uses COVID sniffing dogs
Ten dogs trained to sniff out COVID-19 have started working at the airport in Helsinki, Finland. They are taking part in a pilot project in which passengers' test swabs are dropped into a cup then given to the dogs. The canines then sniff the cup to see if they detect the virus. Early research claims the dogs can smell the virus with almost 100-percent certainty, and can identify it days before symptoms start.

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The dogs are taking part in a pilot project in which passengers' Covid test swabs are dropped into a cup then given to the dogs.



Health Department alerts Rockland County residents to potential COVID-19 exposures
The Rockland County Department of Health has been notified that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended three separate Spanish language masses at the Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship Church, located at 384 New Hempstead Road in New City during their infectious period.

Gov. Murphy extends NJ public health emergency
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that he extended the state's public health emergency declaration.



Open Restaurants will be year-round
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City's "Open Restaurants" initiative will be permanent and year-round. "I believe this will make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive," he said. The mayor said a combination of "Open Streets" and "Open Restaurants" will be permanent and affects 87 streets citywide. "This will really help us, it's an important part of how we recover as a city," he said.

50 staff members from Staten Island school must quarantine
Fifty staff members at IS 51, on Staten Island, must quarantine after coming in contact with another staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. The Department of Education says that "social distancing protocols" that were put in place to prevent situations like this were not followed, which is why such a high number of teachers are having to self-quarantine.

Phase 3 of Connecticut's reopening efforts set to begin on October 8, Gov. Lamont says
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says the state is targeting Phase 3 of Connecticut's reopening efforts for October 8. The changes will increase capacities for certain businesses, including restaurants, personal services, libraries and performing arts venues, while ensuring safety protocols. Indoor dining capacity would increase to 75%.

Governor Cuomo announces investigation into Trump administration
Governor Cuomo and Michigan Governor Whitmer are calling for Congressional investigations into the Trump administration's alleged politicization of pandemic response.



Mayor de Blasio pushes testing and new lab
Mayor Bill de Blasio held his daily press conference outside the city's new Pandemic Response Lab. The lab is dedicated to processing COVID-19 tests within 24-48 hours for NYC Health + Hospitals.

Based in the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan, the lab is now up and running. The mayor also announced a rapid test design contest to try and get the fastest, most accurate tests for New York City.

Missouri governor tests positive for COVID-19
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Wednesday.
Broadway fiddler, partner keep playing during COVID pandemic
When Broadway shut down in March, hundreds of musician found themselves out of work -- along with everyone else involved with dozens of shows. The musical "Come From Away" went dark in the midst of a long run, but one fiddler has kept the music playing.

New York state's COVID-19 saliva swab test gets FDA approval
Governor Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Wednesday announced that the individual saliva swab diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University and Quadrant Biosciences has been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While this test has been used to date to support SUNY's widespread testing of students across campuses, the emergency use authorization will help additional labs begin to use this test, helping pinpoint and contain the virus and protect New Yorkers.

Times Square New Year's Eve will be 'virtually enhanced,' 'very different'
With January 1, 2021 now 100 days away, the organizers of the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square say they are planning "a virtually enhanced celebration that brings Times Square and the famed Ball to you digitally no matter where you are, scaled-back and socially-distanced live elements still to be determined, and an extremely limited group of in-person honorees, socially distanced, who will reflect the themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020."

Met cancels entire 2020-21 season
The Metropolitan Opera announced Wednesday that is is canceling the entire 2020-21 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials said the decision was based on the advice of health officials who advise the Met and Lincoln Center.

Johnson & Johnson begins final-stage study of first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson is beginning a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the virus. The study starting Wednesday will be one of the world's largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

NYC considers outdoor dining legislation amid restaurant struggles
With New York City restaurants struggling amid the ongoing pandemic restrictions, there is a push to make outdoor dining permanent across the city's five boroughs. Hearings are set to begin in New York City Council on Wednesday. Though indoor dining is set to reopen next week in the city at 25% capacity, struggling restaurants are wondering how long they can last.

UFT says New York City needs 6-7K more teachers due to remote learning demands
The teachers' union believes that New York City needs to hire 6,000 to 7,000 extra teachers. The United Federation of Teachers says those are the numbers needed to open middle and high schools safely next week. So far, the city has committed to hiring 4,500.

Mayor de Blasio to furlough 9,000+ city managers for 1 week
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that he was forced to take further action due to no additional funding from the federal government. The mayor said that managerial and underrepresented employees at New York City agencies would be furloughed for five days. The days would take place between October and March.

6 NYC neighborhoods see uptick in COVID cases, city to ramp up testing

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is targeting six neighborhoods that have seen recent upticks in coronavirus cases, with an emphasis on expanded testing and contact tracing. As part of its "Get Tested Tuesday" initiative, the city is now focusing its hyperlocal response on Borough Park, Kew Gardens, Midwood, Far Rockaway, Flatbush, and Williamsburg.
"We have some other areas where we need to really focus more, and we're going to see expanded community outreach efforts in some neighborhoods where we are seeing some upticks," de Blasio said. "We need to apply a lot of energy and focus to these areas. You're going to see a lot of activity in the community to remind people of the basics, how important it is what we call the core four things that you can do. That makes such a difference, wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you're sick."

US death toll surpasses 200,000
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 200,000 in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, and some public health experts fear infections could spike this fall and winter, perhaps even doubling the death count by the end of the year. The bleak milestone, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world, was reported by Johns Hopkins, based on figures supplied by state health authorities. But the real toll is thought to be much higher, in part because many COVID-19 deaths were probably ascribed to other causes, especially early on, before widespread testing.

Stay informed with ABC7's NYC COVID-19 positivity rate tracker
As New York City public schools inch closer to reopening in-person learning, much of the success will rely heavily on schools keeping the COVID rate of infection in check. According to the city, public schools can only stay open if the COVID positivity rate stays below 3%. To stay informed, you can follow ABC7's NYC COVID-19 positivity rate tracker.


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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.


RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list

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