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L.I. preps for Phase Four reopening Wednesday

Whether students return to school is to be decided


Long Island is set to begin Phase Four reopening of the economy on July 8, including universities and colleges. As of press time Monday, however, Governor Cuomo said there was no word yet whether the state’s 700 public school districts could return to in-person classes.

The governor said all school districts have been directed to develop reopening plans, but he is taking a wait-and-see approach whether students will head back to their school buildings in September.

In addition to higher education, industries that will be able to open Wednesday include:

Film and music production.

Low-risk indoor arts and entertainment.

Low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment.

Professional sports without fans.

Low-risk indoor entertainment includes museums, historical sites and aquariums. Examples of low-risk outdoor entertainment are zoos, botanical gardens and nature parks.

The governor praised New Yorkers for their vigilance and resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. He said, though, that he worried people might become apathetic and arrogant, believing they had beaten the virus.

He noted that the infection rate remains just below 1 percent statewide — down from nearly 17 percent on Long Island and more than 20 percent in New York City at the height of the pandemic in April.

More than 54,000 New Yorkers were tested for the coronavirus on Sunday, and 518 of them were positive for the disease.

“The numbers have actually declined since we started reopening” seven weeks ago, Cuomo said.

He also said there were fewer than 10 deaths statewide overnight from July 5 to 6. But he said, the virus is still out there, so people must continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing in public spaces, according to state law. He implored local police departments to enforce the law.

New York City began Phase Three reopening on Monday, without indoor dining.