COVID-19 News and Long Island Resources: August 31- September 4

hollanderr | September 4, 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

New York State is responding to a COVID-19 cluster on-campus at SUNY Oneonta. The state’s guidance for college campuses: Schools must return to remote learning with limited on-campus activity for two weeks when 5 percent or 100 individuals test positive for COVID-19 within a two-week period. See New York State’s guidelines for higher education during the COVID period.

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.

September 4: What Universal Health Care Means During a Pandemic

Our series on universal health care, The Best Health Care? America and the World, was filmed before the novel coronavirus pandemic exploded. How have the three countries we explored — the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia — responded to this global crisis? And what lessons might they offer the United States? William Brangham reports and talks to Dr. Ashish Jha, our series collaborator.

September 3: What Accelerated COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline Means for Safety

Some of the federal government’s top health officials are suggesting a vaccine for COVID-19 could be released in less than two months. The move would be made through a special emergency authorization of the Food and Drug Administration. But the accelerated speed of the process is also raising questions. Amna Nawaz reports and talks to Dr. Michael Mina of Harvard’s School of Public Health.

September 2: How Iowa Became a Coronavirus Hot Spot

Iowa is dealing with a surge of coronavirus cases that has turned the state into a hot spot for the disease. The increase has been driven in part by the return to school, with virus clusters developing around the state’s major universities. But Gov. Kim Reynolds has resisted measures like widespread bar closures and mask mandates. Amna Nawaz talks to O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa.

September 2: How CDC’s Eviction Moratorium Affects Renters and Landlords

The Trump administration has announced a temporary national moratorium on evictions for tens of millions of renters who have lost work. The action comes via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says evictions pose a health hazard during the pandemic. We hear from people dealing with this issue, and Judy Woodruff talks to Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

September 1: How Pandemic, Politicization Could Jeopardize 2020 Census

The United States Census is always a daunting challenge, but in 2020, the effort is further complicated by the novel coronavirus pandemic. With a compressed timeline to complete the once-per-decade population count, some census officials worry that the effort is being politicized — and is likely to undercount certain groups. Amna Nawaz talks to NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang, who covers the Census Bureau.

August 29: Can We Fix the Inequalities Exacerbated By Remote Learning?

When schools across the nation shifted to remote learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the change exacerbated several inequities between students including class, race, access to technology, and learning abilities, indicating which students may or may not succeed. Wayne Lewis, former Kentucky Education Commissioner and Dean of Belmont University joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

August 29: Will Outdoor Schooling Work for NYC?

For a preschool program along New York’s Hudson River, taking kids outdoors, no matter the weather, is built into the school’s model. But for an urban district like New York City, schools face a bigger set of challenges as they prepare to reopen in less than two weeks.


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

September 3: How Will Kids Be Affected By the Absence of School?

Child and family psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore talks about the impact the stress of the pandemic is having on children and how being separated from support staff, teachers, and friends is only making it worse.

September 3: What Are the Long Term Effects of COVID-19?

73-year-old Ernesto Averia is reminded of his battle with coronavirus every day. Months after his initial diagnosis, he’s still being treated at the Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute.

September 2: State to Provide More Financial Help to Small Businesses

More help is on the way for New Jersey’s struggling small businesses. The Economic Development Authority has announced a $10 million expansion of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan program. Starting in the fall, businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for up to $100,000 in low-cost financing to cover payroll and other costs including rent, mortgages, utilities, personal protective equipment and other equipment.

September 2: Pending Bill Requiring Flu Vaccine for Students Making Waves

As health experts predict a possible twindemic this fall, a new bill introduced by Assemblyman Herb Conaway would mandate that all New Jersey school children get an annual flu shot. Opponents say it’s not a one size fits all solution.

September 1: The Day Has Arrived: Gyms Reopen in New Jersey

After five and a half months, gyms were finally allowed to reopen their doors to customers. Indoor amusement parks and water parks were also able to reopen Tuesday. What’s it been like so far? Take a look inside.

August 31: Restaurant Owners Race to Reopen Limited Indoor Dining

Gov. Phil Murphy announced that limited indoor dining can resume at 25% capacity on Sept. 4. Restaurant owners and patrons must follow a number of rules in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.

August 31: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial Launches in Hackensack

The head of the FDA says he may be willing to fast track a coronavirus vaccine before phase three trials end. Phase three clinical trials are considered to be the most rigorous, large-scale testing. In New Jersey, two major hospitals are already on phase three and are recruiting more volunteers to test out a potential vaccine.

August 28: The Speed and Accuracy of COVID Tests in New Jersey

Brenda Flanagan reports on problems like false positives and long test result turnarounds, which underscore the dilemma facing New Jersey schools and businesses as they look to reopen. See segment on NJTV News site.

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

To better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic, WLIW21 will offer an At Home Learning educational programming block starting Tuesday, September 8 at 9 a.m. Grades 3K-Grade 2 are served by Let’s Learn, NYC!, followed by a NJTV Learning Live lesson for 3rd graders at 10 a.m. and one for 4th graders at 11 a.m.

  • Let’s Learn NYC!, for grades 3K through second grade, are led by literacy specialists from the New York City Department of Education. 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. 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. Stream at

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