Coronavirus Live Updates: NY positive tests under 1% again, decline in new US cases

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The U.S. has lost more than 169,000 people to the coronavirus, but the nation is seeing a slight victory as the number of new cases begin to decline.

This as the debate continues as to whether it's safe for students to return to school buildings.

The Centers for Disease Control says more than 200,000 American lives could be lost to the virus by Labor Day.

One of the country's chief health officials continues to preach caution, while President Donald Trump is touting the drop in numbers.

On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced announced 7 million diagnostic tests for COVID-19 have been conducted to date in New York State.

New York State's percentage of people testing positive was at 0.78%, making it the ninth straight day the percentage positive for coronavirus was under 1%.

What to know about coronavirus:
Back to school information
How coronavirus changed the New York region
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?
What's Open, What's Closed in the Tri-State area

Here are more of today's headlines:

What colleges, universities are doing for fall 2020
As colleges and universities gear up to resume classes, many schools are taking different routes whether it's an all-virtual, hybrid or full reopen approach.
Fake face mask ID cards

The Department of Justice says an increasing number of people in California are going to great lengths to avoid wearing a face covering in public places. They say fake IDs that claim the person has a medical reason not to wear a mask are turning up big time.
EMBED More News Videos

The Department of Justice says an increasing number of people in California are going to great lengths to avoid wearing a face covering in public places.

There are legitimate exemptions such as having a disability where a mask could cause problems, but the Justice Department says more and more businesses are being shown fraudulent identification cards as an excuse. The Department of Justice has even released a warning to be on alert for "fraudulent face mask IDs," noting their use has been on the rise.

Columbia University: all undergraduate courses will be virtual
All undergraduate courses at Columbia University in the fall will be virtual, the school's President Lee Bollinger announced Friday. Additionally, about 40% of all graduate courses will be hybrid or in-person. "Though six weeks ago we thought that we could safely house 60 percent of Columbia College and Engineering undergraduates in our residence halls, today we have concluded that we must drastically scale back the number of students we can accommodate in residence on campus, thereby limiting residential-style living only to Columbia College and SEAS undergraduates who must be present on campus due to personal or academic circumstances. Housing arrangements for School of General Studies undergraduates will remain unchanged. We will continue to evaluate undergraduate housing options for the spring term," Bollinger said.

NJ governor confirms mail-in voting for November election
Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that the November election in New Jersey will be held mostly with mail-in ballots. He says just like the coronavirus, mail-in voting is sticking around.

City Council members want to delay NYC in-person learning
Several New York City Council members are now calling for a delay in reopening public schools in the city. They want to postpone in-person teaching until they say adequate funding and resources are identified to safely reopen schools, and they're also questioning the city's plan to put a nurse in every school building.
Brooklyn couple's dazzling date nights shine light during pandemic
EMBED More News Videos

Naveen Dhaliwal has more on a Brooklyn couple who has found creative ways to keep their date nights fresh and exciting during the pandemic.


COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates

New York City
New Jersey
Long Island
Westchester and Hudson Valley

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

abc7NY Phase Tracker:
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.