COVID Live Updates: NY hospitalizations at new low, NJ cases spike

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Hospitalizations from the coronavirus have dropped under 600 in New York state for the first time since March 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday, with 586 currently hospitalized statewide.

"It is a very good day from a COVID point of view in the state of New York," he said.

The news is not as rosy in New Jersey, where rates are increasing at a level that could make it eligible for its own Tri-State Travel Advisory mandatory quarantine list. Still, Cuomo said there are no plans to add New Jersey to the list.

"I don't know how you could quarantine New Jersey," he said. "They don't fly into New York. You would have to blockade roads, and we are not talking about blockading."

Here are more of today's headlines:

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY ANNOUNCES REOPENING PLANS
Visitors to the American Museum of Natural History would need to make advance online reservations for specific times, and capacity would be sharply limited under a plan announced Thursday for a September reopening pending city and state approval. The museum said if it got the necessary approvals, it would open to the public on Sept. 9, and to members a week earlier on Sept. 2.

TEST AND TRACE PROTOCOLS FOR NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announce test and trace protocols for all city public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The announcement was made Thursday, and developed in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Health + Hospitals, the NYC Test + Trace Corps and labor. These protocols will apply to all school communities and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

SPLASHES OF HOPE
Artists are using their skills to brighten both hospital buildings and the spirits inside of patients and health care workers. Earlier this month, large murals were installed at Jamaica, Elmhurst and Flushing hospitals in Queens. They were a gift from Splashes of Hope, sponsored by Masbeth Federal Savings as a tribute to the doctors, nurses and staff who battled the COVID-19 crisis.

FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HERMAN CAIN DIES
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has died after battling coronavirus for nearly a month, his official website posted Thursday morning and a source close to the White House confirmed to ABC News. The 74-year-old Cain was admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital in early July after showing symptoms.

NEW JERSEY SEES INCREASE IN CASES
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in New Jersey, as the U.S. has surpassed 150,000 coronavirus deaths with hot spots continuing to pop up across the country. The Garden State has reported 2,000 cases over the past four days, and Gov. Phil Murphy is blaming indoor house parties for the growing numbers. In fact, it is possible that the average daily cases per 100,000 residents metric keeps increasing, the state could mathematically be eligible for its own Tri-State Travel Advisory within two weeks.

NYC EXTENDS PARKING PERMITS FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced exclusively to Eyewitness News that he will be extending expiring parking permits issued to 14,000 nurses and other medical professionals until the end of the year. The permits, described as an "essential lifeline" by nurses who who are treating COVID-19 patients and can't take public transportation, were set to expire this Friday, July 31. But de Blasio now says all COVID-19 permits issued to medical professionals will remain valid an additional five months, until December 31, 2020.

DOG DIES OF COVID
A family from Staten Island described the last days of their dog, the first pet canine in the U.S. to test positive for COVID-19, in an exclusive interview with National Geographic. The family says the most confusing part of it all was the fact that no one seemed interested in learning from Buddy's death or studying what role COVID-19 played in it, considering how few cases had been confirmed in animals.

US SURPASSES 150,000 DEATHS
The death toll in the United States has now crossed 150,000 people and now stands at 150,034, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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