Coronavirus on Long Island (May Updates)

Coronavirus breaking news, updates and information for Long Island
LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Eyewitness News coverage of coronavirus on Long Island from May 2020. Continuing coverage can be found at

COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates

New York City
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What's Open, What's Closed
Reopening New York State
Reopening New Jersey
Reopening Connecticut


MAY 29, 2020

Southampton restricts beach access after 'hellish' Memorial Day weekend
The Town of Southampton is temporarily closing all its beaches to non-residents after rowdy crowds gathered at some town beaches Memorial Day weekend. Video and pictures obtained by Eyewitness News showed people congregating on a small beach at the end of North Sea Road last Saturday.

Long Island teen petitions Cuomo to allow students to finish driver's ed online
A teenager on Long Island launched a petition on asking New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow student drivers to complete driver's education online. East Islip 10th grader Dylan Baranek said he was so eager to drive that he went right to the DMV on his 16th birthday back in December.

MAY 28, 2020

Nassau County plans to fast track outdoor business applications
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Thursday the county will begin fast tracking applications for small businesses seeking to use outdoor county road space under the county's new Open Streets pilot program.

Oral care doctors prepping for new, safer reality after pandemic
Doctors are getting back to work on Long Island as the coronavirus pandemic wanes, including dentists and orthodontists, but appointments may be very different from what patients are used to. At Luccarelli and Barrese Orthodontics in Mineola, the safety protocols will begin in the parking lot.

MAY 27, 2020

'Miracle preemie' born to mom in coma goes home from Long Island hospital
A "miracle preemie" born during the COVID-19 pandemic to a mother who was in a coma went home from the hospital Wednesday to a rousing ovation from doctors, nurses and other staff members.

Phase 1 reopening
Nassau and Suffolk counties are moving into Phase 1 of reopening, which includes manufacturing, construction, agriculture, wholesale trade, and retail stores, which can now offer curbside pick-up only. Businesses must submit a safety plan to the state to qualify. The reopening also means construction can resume on the new arena at Belmont Park, the future home of the Islanders. It's been exactly two months since any work has happened there.

MAY 26, 2020

Nassau Coliseum to launch drive-in movie weekends this summer
The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum announced it will launch a drive-in movie weekend this summer.

Films will be displayed on a large back-lit screen outside the venue facing Hempstead Turnpike. Audio will be made available through a partnership with Hofstra radio station WRHU.

Lawmaker, families want investigation into Cuomo nursing home directive
A New York lawmaker joined families who lost loved ones in nursing homes Tuesday to question what they call a "misguided" directive by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Health to send COVID-19 patients to long-term care facilities.

Assemblyman Mike LiPetri is now demanding an independent investigation and accountability for the reported 5,000 nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

Paw it Forward Pet Pantry in need of donations in Valley Stream
In the basement of a home in Valley Stream is the Paw it Forward Pet Pantry. Daniella Scala-Nathan started it with her husband Robert Nathan three years ago to help pet owners affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, but they kept it going to help people on Long Island.

But during the past few months, the shelves empty out at times, in part because pet stores haven't been able to donate stock. Donations from individuals are also are down.

Businesses prepare for phase one reopening Wednesday
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave Long Island the green light to enter phase one of reopening Wednesday.

Reopen Long Island: Everything you need to know
What does phase one mean for residents in the Long Island region and what are the guidelines? Find out here.

LIRR, Metro North increase service with regional reopenings
While New York City remains on PAUSE, the Hudson Valley and Long Island Phase 1 reopenings mean Metro-North and the LIRR will increase service while planning for further phased restorations.

MAY 25, 2020

Beach lifeguards deploy new safety protocols amid COVID-19 pandemic
Beach lifeguards in our area are now deploying a whole new set of safety protocols due to the coronavirus.

Most lifeguards have been given their own individual PPE, are sitting in separate chairs, and are wearing masks while on the beach. Lifeguards are also being assigned to monitor social distancing on the beach.

NY death benefits
Gov. Cuomo announced that the state and local governments will provide death benefits for public heroes who died from COVID-19 during this emergency.

MAY 24, 2020
Reopening NY
As New York continues to push forward with its reopening plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a comeback of sports, camping and veterinarian offices.

Preparing LIRR for reopening
Cuomo said they are working on getting the transportation system ready. The MTA will be cleaning and disinfecting trains and buses every day. LIRR cars will be added to trains so that people can socially distance when on board while reminding people that masks are mandatory when riding public transportation.

MAY 22, 2020

Long Island Brewery honors hometown heroes with 'Toast your Hero' campaign
A Long Island brewery is recognizing acts of kindness with a toast.

It is quite the scene - a bright blue fire truck showing up in neighborhoods across Long Island. It is all part of a Blue Point Brewery's way to honor hometown heroes and those who have stepped up over the last couple of months through their 'Toast your Hero' campaign.

Reopening Plan
The Long Island region could open next week, according to Governor Cuomo. He says that deaths need to decrease a bit and tracers need to be in place, but he sees both of those things happening. The region will then move into Phase 1 of the reopening plan.

Signature Bank honors health care workers with haircuts
On Long Island, essential workers who have been caring for COVID-19 patients received a little special treatment themselves. Health care workers from Mount Sinai South Nassau were given free haircuts. Signature Bank sponsored the event to honor our health care heroes.

NY state beaches welcome COVID-weary residents
In New York, state beaches will be open to the public this Memorial Day weekend, as NYC beaches remain closed. Jones Beach and the beach at Robert Moses State Park both opened at 6 a.m. Friday and will remain open until 9 p.m.

The beaches are limited to 50% capacity, and officials expected this to be reached by 10 a.m.

MAY 21, 2020

MTA urges New Yorkers to plan alternative travel to beaches
The MTA urged customers Thursday to plan alternative travel through Memorial Day weekend as the agency will continue to run its limited Essential Service Plan implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means commuter trains, subways and buses continue to be reserved for essential workers only. All passengers riding trains or buses are required to wear a mask or face covering and engage in appropriate social distancing.

Summer School
Summer school will be held through distance learning statewide. There will be no in-person learning this summer. A decision has not been made yet on the fall.

Long Beach boardwalk reopens
Social distancing measures do apply, and every other bench on the boardwalk is blocked off to ensure that happens, but the Long Beach boardwalk is open again.

Bethpage Air Show
The coronavirus pandemic may have grounded the real show at Jones Beach on Long Island, but the first-ever Bethpage Virtual Air Show will take off online this Memorial Day weekend.

MAY 20, 2020

Retired NYPD officer gets standing ovation after beating COVID-19
A retired NYPD officer left the hospital to a round of applause after spending 60 days battling COVID-19.

Anthony Greco, of Wantagh, left Mount Sinai South Nassau on Wednesday as the crowd cheered his name.

What beaches are open in NY, NJ and CT?
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, but during the coronavirus pandemic, life at the beach in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be somewhat different this year.

Huntington limiting beach access for the summer
Huntington beaches in Suffolk County will also be opening in stages starting on Memorial Day weekend with access limited to residents only for the rest of the summer.

Nassau County issues beach guidelines
Nassau County is limiting access and establishing social distancing requirements at Nickerson Beach Park at Lido Beach, which it controls, and recommending the same guidelines for the 62 other beach operators in the county.

Long Beach restricts beach access
When beaches reopen this Memorial Day weekend only Long Beach residents will be allowed to use the beach, but no one else.

MAY 19, 2020

After lifetime of service, WWII nurse honored on 100th birthday
A community of heroes, veterans and loved ones showed up to honor a U.S. Army nurse and WWII veteran on her 100th birthday on Long Island.

Irene Haber, of Bethpage, was a nurse at Plainview Hospital when it first opened -- and in honor of her birthday and service, the hospital organized a drive-by parade on Tuesday.

Long Beach Council votes to restrict beach access to residents only
In response to the City of New York's restrictions on NYC beaches, and to comply with the governor's mandate to a 50 percent reduction of capacity, the City Council of Long Beach voted on Tuesday evening to temporarily open the city beaches to residents of Long Beach only.

Long Island town honors high school students with banners
Greenport High School has found a unique way to honor its seniors by placing banners of students on street poles around the village. The banners have helped the school raise $9-thousand towards caps and gowns, yearbooks, balloons and flowers, and class of 2020 baseball caps for graduation.

With NYC beaches closed, lawmakers want Nassau beaches to be resident-only
With New York City beaches to remain closed for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic, many neighboring shore towns are fearing an influx of beachgoers they say they aren't ready to handle. As a result, lawmakers in Nassau County are introducing emergency legislation to restrict access to residents.
MAY 18, 2020

Nassau County kicks off Memorial Day initiative with posters for front door
Nassau County kicked off a new Memorial Day initiative on Monday.

Lawmakers, in partnership with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, are allowing residents the ability to pay their respects to the nation's fallen heroes. It follows after the tradition of placing American flags on graves at military cemeteries on Memorial Day was canceled due to the pandemic. Now, there are posters that can be printed and placed proudly on your front door to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Official joins calls to save beloved programs for college students with autism
A community college on Long Island planning to cut two programs designed to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder is facing new pressure to reverse course following a report by 7 On Your Side Investigates.

Greenport nursing facility reports no known cases
Peconic Landing Retirement Community, an assisted living facility on Long Island that was the site of the earliest known cases of COVID-19 in Suffolk County, is now reporting no known cases among its residents.

In total, the site has had 13 deaths and 67 positive cases. Visitation at Peconic Landing remains restricted and safety measures are in place.

Nassau County Memorial Day initiative
Lawmakers in partnership with the Boy and Girl Scouts are allowing residents the ability to pay their respects to our nation's fallen heroes. It follows after the tradition of placing American flags on graves at cemeteries on Memorial Day was canceled due to COVID. Now posters can be printed and placed proudly on residents' front doors to honor men and women of the armed forces.

Long Beach to restrict daily beach passes under summer beach plan
Officials in the City of Long Beach said they will be restricting the number of daily beach passes this summer in an effort to control capacity. The decision on whether to stop selling passes will depend upon the crowd at the beach at any given time.

It's part of the beach plan the city will be submitting to the state for review by Wednesday. The plan will also include whether the boardwalk will reopen.

Suffolk County beaches
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said access to county beaches on Memorial Day Weekend will be reserved for Suffolk residents only.
MAY 16, 2020

PPE donation helps Nassau County first responders
First responders in Nassau County received another batch of personal protective equipment (PPE) as they continue their frontline efforts to battle COVID-19. County officials partnered with M and C Venture Group to donate thousands of face shields for fire departments and ambulance companies.

MAY 15, 2020

Curran excited for LI beaches reopening on Memorial Day weekend
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Friday beaches reopening for Memorial Day weekend "is very exciting" for Long Island.

"We live on an island," Curran said. "We love our beaches. That is the reason so many of us choose to live here, so this is good news."
She said local municipalities will be responsible for enforcement of the rules on the beaches.

Meanwhile, Nassau County reported 11 new deaths Friday, while Suffolk County confirmed 12 new fatalities. The death toll on Long Island has risen to 3,736, with 76,583 total cases.

COVID-19 Help, Information and Resources

LI running group run for good cause
A running club on Long Island is taking their passion for running and turning it into a project to help frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus.

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