Coronavirus Updates: NYC urges testing, social distancing; LI reaches Phase 2

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City remains below the required thresholds for hospitalizations, ICU patients, and the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19, but Mayor Bill de Blasio says it is essential for New Yorkers to continue to get tested and follow social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile, Long Island officially entered Phase 2 of reopening, while LaGuardia Airport is set to reopen Terminal B on Saturday after a massive renovation.

NEW YORK CITY
Officials announced Wednesday that the renovation of LaGuardia Airport is taking a big step forward, with the main entrance to the newly renovated Terminal B set to open on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Fifth Avenue Association announced the reopening of the iconic stores of Fifth Avenue on Thursday. Shoppers are welcomed for curbside shopping and in-store pickup at the majority of the stores within the Fifth Avenue Association district (46th Street to 61st Street on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street from Sixth Avenue to Madison Avenue.)

- Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday he wants residents to continue to test, trace, and take care.
- New York City is now providing testing kits to hospitals throughout the city.
- The city remained below the required thresholds for hospitalizations, ICU patients, and the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 (3%).

LONG ISLAND
Phase 2 reopening began Wednesday, meaning outdoor dining and some retail stores are back open for the first time in weeks in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Additionally, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said public pools will reopen to residents only on July 3, just in time for the holiday weekend.

NEW YORK
Daily testing results are now the most important metric to keep an eye on as New York State continues to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. The positive test rate across New York City was 1.5% on Tuesday, in Hudson Valley it was 1.2% and on Long Island it was 0.9%. Cuomo said the state is conducting about 50,000 tests for the coronavirus every day.

Meanwhile, nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees. Organizations that represent nursing homes sent a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Tuesday saying the state requirement creates financial and practical burdens that make it harder to provide quality care to residents. They want to reduce testing to once a week.

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Wednesday talked about the importance of the state hiring more contact tracers. He said with no vaccine and therapeutics the only real protections against COVID-19 are social distancing, testing, and contact tracing. The state expects to have 4,000 contact tracers in place by August. There were 611 new positive cases for a total of 165,346. The RT is at 0.64, Governor Murphy noted it was amongst the lowest in the nation. 74 more people died from coronavirus for a total of 12,377.

- Large gatherings of 250 people are anticipated being permitted on June 22.
- Large gatherings of 500 are anticipated being allowed on July 3.

CONNECTICUT
The University of Connecticut tentatively set Aug. 31 as the first day of classes, but President Thomas Katsouleas cautioned students and staff that it won't be business as usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

STARBUCKS LOSES BILLIONS
Starbucks expects to lose more than $3 billion in revenue in its fiscal third quarter due to the new coronavirus. With many workers still at home and customer traffic patterns shifting, Starbucks said it's accelerating a plan to build smaller, pickup-only locations in major U.S. cities. It's also retrofitting some cafes to better accommodate mobile pickup and delivery orders.

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