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New York breaks one-day COVID-19 testing record

August 3, 2020 Associated Press
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New York broke a COVID-19 testing record on Friday by conducting 82,737 tests, the highest number ever conducted in a single day in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday.

“Today is five months since we had our first case, and yesterday we hit a record number of tests — 82,737 — the most tests ever conducted in a single day in this state,” the Democrat said in a written statement, noting 0.91 percent of the results were positive.

State data released Saturday also showed there were 581 total hospitalizations on Friday and four deaths, for a total of 25,164.

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Cuomo urged residents to remain vigilant, practice social distancing, wear masks and not attend crowded parties.

“Since [March], we have brought the infection rate way down through our collective action. Our future STILL depends on what we do today and everyday,” he tweeted.

Registered nurse Stephanie Mundo conducted a COVID-19 test at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on May 13. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP File

In other coronavirus news in New York:

Reopening schools

Cuomo said Saturday that an initial decision will be made next week regarding schools across New York reopening this fall, promising the state’s COVID-19 infection rate will help guide that decision.

“At this point, schools should plan on reopening and then we’ll watch to see what happens with the infection rate,” he said during a briefing, noting the comfort level of parents allowing their children to return to the classroom will ultimately be “one of the big variables.”

Cuomo said he’s been “deluged with phone calls” from parents who are worried about their children contracting COVID-19. The governor said he understood their concerns, especially given reports of an overnight camp in Georgia where there were at least 260 positive cases — as well as the cases of children who’ve acquired a new inflammatory ailment associated with COVID-19 that resembles a rare illness called Kawasaki disease.

“So, it’s not flicking a switch; it’s like all of these decisions, it’s more complicated than we often think,” he said. “If the parents are not comfortable, the children will not be sent.”

Local districts had until Friday to submit their reopening plans to the state. Cuomo said he was disappointed New York City Public Schools did not provide its plan in time, but a spokesperson said the governor’s comments were not accurate.

New York City restaurants

Foodies will have more options for outdoor dining in York City this weekend.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that 15 more locations have been added to the city’s Open Street and Open Restaurant program, which allows expanded restaurant seating options on car-free streets on weekends.

This marks the third group of participating restaurants. The expanded seating option will be allowed from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday nights, and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

“New Yorkers deserve more public space in our ongoing fight against COVID-19, and we’re proud to offer more places to get a safe outdoor meal on the weekends,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “With two extra months of outdoor dining now approved, restaurants will have more chances than ever to get back on their feet.”

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