Coronavirus Updates: Nassau County launches drive-through rapid testing site

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital officials to announce the opening of a drive-through COVID-19 rapid testing facility in the Five Towns area in response to an increase in infections.

The site is located at the Five Towns Community Center at 270 Lawrence Avenue in Lawrence and will be expanded to the Five Towns Jewish Community Center in the coming weeks. Appointments can be made by calling 516-390-2888.

Hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

“The county is responding proactively to the increase in infections in the Five Towns by making rapid testing available and working closely with the community to ensure health and safety guidance is being followed,” Curran said. “Robust testing is vital to stopping the spread of the virus, and my administration is committed to expanding access to testing for residents. I thank all the men and women at Mount Sinai South Nassau for the life-saving work they do every day.

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

TSA installs new barriers at JFK Airport to keep passengers, employees safe
The TSA has installed acrylic barriers at JFK Airport to protect passengers and the workforce from COVID-19.

The barriers were installed in areas where TSA officers interact with passengers, including the travel document checking podium and the area where passengers get their carry-on items screened.

SUNY Cortland extends online classes for 2 more weeks
An upstate New York college campus that had temporarily switched to online classes because of the coronavirus is extending it for another two weeks. The State University of New York at Cortland says remote learning will now be in effect through November 3 at the campus south of Syracuse, New York.

The initial switch from in-person classes had been announced on Oct. 5. The state had set a threshold of 100 coronavirus cases as a trigger for remote learning for at least two weeks. SUNY Cortland hit that mark to necessitate the initial suspension, and had 166 new cases since Oct. 10, resulting in the need for the extension.

Nearly quarter of NYC Transit workers report having COVID: Study
A new study has found that nearly a quarter of New York City Transit workers who were surveyed reported having COVID-19.

The pilot study was conducted by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health and the results were released Tuesday. A survey of NYC bus and subway workers found that 24% said they contracted COVID-19 and 90% said they fear getting sick at work.

California issues reopening guidelines for Disneyland after monthslong closures
California’s major theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios will have to wait longer to reopen under guidance released by the state on Tuesday.

Larger theme parks will only be allowed to reopen in the least-restrictive, or yellow, fourth tier of the state’s reopening framework, and even then, capacity will be limited to 25%. Meanwhile, smaller theme parks will be able to open outdoor attractions in the orange, or third, tier of the COVID-19 roadmap. Smaller theme parks are considered those with a capacity of 15,000 or fewer.

Moderna says vaccine could be ready by December
Moderna’s CEO reportedly says its vaccine could be ready for emergency use as early as December. It hinges on the company getting positive interim results from its large clinical trial next month. Stéphane Bancel told the Wall Street Journal that it could take longer to get sufficient interim results, which would push back government authorization of the vaccine until early next year.

Cuomo urges against non-essential travel to NJ, CT
The latest update to the Tri-State Travel Advisory that requires travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days includes both New Jersey and Connecticut, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said enforcement for neighboring states is “not practical” while urging against non-essential travel.
“There are just too many interchanges, too many interconnections, too many people who live in one place and work in the another, it would have a disastrous effect on the economy,” Cuomo said. “And remember while we are fighting this public health pandemic, we are also fighting to open up the economy. We are going to be working with Connecticut and New Jersey to see how we can help them with their spikes, and also talk to Connecticut and New Jersey about making it clear that to the extent that travel among the states or between the states is not essential, it should be avoided.”

Pennsylvania is also among 43 states and territories with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average, which is one of the thresholds for admission. Cuomo said Arizona and Maryland have been added to the advisory list.

CT backtracks, will not modify rules of travel advisory list
Governor Ned Lamont reversed course Tuesday, saying Connecticut will not modify the rules of its travel advisory, which determines whether or not incoming travelers have to quarantine upon arrival. The modification had been expected to decrease the number of states on the list. Currently, a state needed 10 cases per 100,000 or a 10% positivity rate to be included on the list. Lamont had suggested it would be changed to 10 cases per 100,000 and a 5% positivity rate, and a state would have to hit both of the metrics to be put on the travel advisory list. Lamont now says New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are keeping the Tri-State Travel Advisory as is, and the three states will not put each other on their own travel advisory. Instead, they will treat themselves as a region and discourage non-essential travel between the three.

Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance, still recovering from COVID-19
Melania Trump is canceling her first campaign appearance in months because she is not feeling well as she continues to recover from Covid-19. She had been set to join President Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, but she has decided not to go. “Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff.

New Jersey’s coronavirus cases on the rise, sparking concern and action
Officials are working to respond to the growing number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey. Health experts say the average number of cases has doubled since last month, and they are using an ominous phrase we haven’t heard in months: community spread. That means so many people are being infected by COVID-19, officials aren’t able to track who passed the virus to whom. New Jersey’s daily number of COVID-19 cases has doubled since last month, reaching about 1,000 each day, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Monday. They are now taking action, including a big change for students in the state’s largest school district.

New York City’s COVID cluster restrictions could be changed in some zones
There is some hope people and businesses can return to the normal of a few weeks ago in places like Rego Park, Queens, where restaurants went to take only. Mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York City’s COVID-19 cases appear to be “leveling off” but there is “still more work to do.” The mayor said that he knows everyone wants the restrictions now in place in the COVID cluster red and orange zones lifted as soon as possible but he asked residents in those areas to “dig deeper” and continue to wear their masks and social distance. De Blasio noted that in Central Queens the numbers have dropped dramatically.

Amid COVID pandemic, NJ names new state education commissioner
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday he was nominating Angelica Allen-McMillan to be the state’s next education commissioner. The appointment comes as the states’ more than 600 school districts work through the COVID-19 outbreak, with many holding online-only or hybrid lessons. Allen-McMillan will succeed Lamont Repollet, who announced his plan to leave over the summer to take the top post at Kean University.

Newark Schools to stay remote-only through most of January
Newark Schools will stay remote-only through January 25th. The move was made due to the recent spike in positivity seen throughout the state of New Jersey. Newark has a positivity rate of about 7%.

Know your NYC COVID Zone
You can find your COVID zone at NYC.gov/covidzone.

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