COVID-19 News and Long Island Resources: August 24-28

Rachel Hollander | August 28, 2020

A still from a PBS NewsHour segment on August 23, 2020.

WLIW21 and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus COVID-19 that addresses the disease, emergency response measures, the economic impact and the safety precautions that are best for your health. Here is the latest from medical professionals and experts, politicians and officials, and journalists who cover coronavirus news. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

Recent COVID-19 News and Numbers

Click for Hotlines and Information Sources for Nassau and Suffolk Counties

On Sunday, August 23, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new lows for COVID-19 hospitalizations, patients in ICUs and intubations. Hospitalizations dropped to 472, the lowest number since March 16, and the number of patients in ICUs dropped to 110, the lowest number since March 15. Intubations dropped to 50, the lowest number since mid-March.

On Monday, August 24, Nassau County reported 64 new COVID-19 cases and Suffolk County reported 42.

WLIW21 offers coronavirus coverage updates via email or mobile. Sign up for email alerts here, or text INFORMATION to 30644 for mobile notifications.

MetroFocus Interviews

(l to r): Hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus is on weeknights at 5, 7 and 11 p.m. on broadcast and livestream; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 pm.


PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is on weeknights at 6pm and weekends at 6:30pm on broadcast and livestream. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WPPB weeknights at 6pm. See PBS NewsHour Essential Coronavirus FAQ.

August 26: Frieden on ‘Unprecedented’ Political Influence in Science

Questions are again being raised about whether the Trump administration is injecting politics into science — and the national pandemic response. Recent moves by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appear to conflict with the medical community’s consensus on handling COVID-19. William Brangham talks to Dr. Thomas Frieden, former head of the CDC.

August 24: News Wrap: WHO Urges Caution Over COVID-19 Plasma Treatment

In our news wrap Monday, the World Health Organization urged caution in treating COVID-19 patients with plasma from people who have had the virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the treatment at President Trump’s urging, but top WHO scientists reiterated it is still experimental.

August 24: How Coronavirus Forced Republicans to Downsize Convention

In 2016, Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president in front of a roaring crowd of thousands. But the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the GOP’s plans for a similar event this year. Instead, a greatly reduced crowd of delegates has gathered at the RNC site in Charlotte, and Trump will accept the nomination from the South Lawn at the White House.

August 21: The Role of Face Masks in Pandemic History and Culture

Face masks have become part of our daily lives in a way few would have anticipated only months ago. Yet the coronavirus pandemic is not the first American crisis in which face coverings have played a central role. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History is preserving artifacts from this pandemic — and placing them in historical context.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

Left to right: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company is on Monday – Saturday at 12am; repeats at 5am and 3pm. Watch broadcast or livestream.

August 25: Seizures and Memory Loss: One Patient’s Post-COVID Reality

The effects of coronavirus on the human body are still unclear. Michael Reagan was fit and healthy before contracting COVID-19 in March. Since then he has been admitted repeatedly to New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital with serious, recurring symptoms. He speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about his experience, alongside the doctor running Mount Sinai’s Center for Post-COVID Care.

August 24: The Science Behind Convalescent Plasma Therapy

One of President Trump’s top campaign promises is tackling coronavirus. On Sunday, the President announced emergency authorizations of Convalescent Plasma Therapy as a potential treatment. Dr. Paul Offit is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He joins Christiane Amanpour to explain the science behind the treatment.


See the NJTV News Coronavirus hub for coverage of the disease and its impact on New Jersey.

August 28: To Reopen, NJ Needs Faster, More Accurate COVID Tests

NJ still needs to acquire faster, more accurate Covid-19 tests, if it wants to fully reopen schools and workplaces.

August 27: Gyms Reopening, Some Health Experts Say It’s Too Soon

Gov. Phil Murphy finally set the reopening date of Sept. 1 for gyms. The governor’s decision to open indoor gyms is alarming to some health experts.

August 27: RU Scientists Conceive Faster Way to Decontaminate N95 Masks

Rutgers University scientists figured out a faster, less expensive way to decontaminate N95 masks and on a large enough scale that it could rescue the healthcare industry during times of shortage for personal protection supplies.

August 26: Convalescent Plasma Treatment ‘Safe’ but Research Needed

Dr. Marc Klapholz, who is the chair of the department of medicine at Rutgers Medical School and the principal researcher into the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19, spoke with NJTV about the promising treatment.

August 24: Diner Reopens Despite Indoor Dining Ban

One NJ diner defiantly reopened with inside meal service Monday despite multiple citations for violating the state’s indoor dining ban. Meanwhile, other Jersey restaurants keep struggling to survive without indoor dining, even as eateries in neighboring states now offer patrons that option, at a social distance.

August 21: Rental Cars Scarce Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Panic

Rental cars in the NYC metro area can be hard to find with many places having waiting lists and minimum rental requirements. The prices can be double or triple what people are used to paying. Like so many other upheavals, it’s due to COVID-19’s impact on the car rental and sales industries, and more people deciding that it’s safer to drive during the pandemic.

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

Firing Line is broadcast Fridays at 8:30pm and streams live.

Friday, August 21: Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer discusses interviewing to be Joe Biden’s VP, Michigan’s key role in the 2020 election and the challenges of voting by mail. She weighs in on the federal government’s handling of the pandemic and lockdown protests.

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer, host of GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer. Photo: Richard Jopson.

Ian Bremmer. Photo: Richard Jopson.

Ian Bremmer, a renowned political scientist, entrepreneur and bestselling author, shares his perspective on recent global events and interviews the world leaders, experts and newsmakers. Watch Sundays at 10:30am or stream now.

Sunday, August 30: Journalism on Trial in the Philippines

Maria Ressa has become the most famous journalist in the Philippines. She very well may go to prison for it. Then, a dispatch from Colombia where the pandemic has forced many Venezuelan refugees to consider the unthinkable: a return home.

Hotlines and Information

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
See New York State coronavirus updates here. Sign up for Governor Cuomo’s daily emails here.

Covid19.NYC is an independent website offering public health information to New Yorkers, aimed at centralizing and aggregating info from a range of medical authorities. All information is sourced from WHO, CDC, NYS Department of Health and NYC Department of Health websites and guidelines.

Nassau County

Text COVID19NC to 888777 to get updates on Coronavirus in Nassau County on your mobile device.

Nassau County Coronavirus Hotline: 516-227-9570

Nassau County COVID-19 information and resources. The site updates its data on cases, deaths, hospitalizations, number of ventilator patients and discharges daily at 5pm.

Suffolk County

Text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to get updates on Coronavirus in Suffolk County on your cell phone.

Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions about travel and symptoms.

Suffolk County COVID-19 information and resources, including daily reports of deaths, cases, and cases by county.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

Programs for remote learning air on THIRTEEN, WLIW21, WLIW WORLD and NJTV to better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Let’s Learn NYC!, for children in grades 3K through second grade, offers lessons to supplement remote learning. Watch weekdays on THIRTEEN at noon or stream episodes here.
  • Camp TV is a day camp experience in your living room. An enthusiastic head counselor, played by Zachary Noah Piser, guides “campers” as they learn through play. Content partners include the New York Public Library, the New Victory Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Bedtime Math, Wildlife Conservation Society, and more. Watch weekdays on WLIW at 10am or stream episodes here.
  • WORLD At Home Learning for grades 6-12 airs Monday-Friday from 12 noon – 5 p.m. See program details and schedule information for science, history and English language arts programming.
  • NJTV Learning Live lessons are taught by some of New Jersey’s finest public school teachers. They are archived on

Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.