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Calls to end school mask rules continue

Calls to end school mask rules continue 1

Rally message: End school mask mandate now

A protest including at least two dozen children rallied Wednesday in Mineola, demanding an end to the state mask mandate and calling on Nassau County to defy the governor’s order.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday the order for students to wear masks indoors at schools would remain in place. The state relaxed outdoor mask requirements for schools, but cited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising that students should continue wearing masks inside, as they have all year.

County officials have said the state supersedes Nassau’s authority on when to end the mandate, but Nassau County Executive Laura Curran supports dropping it.

“This is child abuse,” said organizer Rose Stein, of Massapequa, during the afternoon rally outside the county legislative building. “It’s 92 degrees and our children are in hot classrooms covering their mouths and noses and it’s not healthy.”

Curran did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Read more about the rally in this story by Newsday’s John Asbury.

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Plus: Parents at a Smithtown Central School District board meeting on Tuesday rebuked school leaders for not doing more to overturn the mask directive.

The number of new positives reported today: 43 in Nassau, 34 in Suffolk, 302 in New York City and 566 statewide.

Search a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

Experts: Pent-up demand will lead to ‘revenge spending’ spree

Consumers, reshaped by the pandemic, are going on a buying spree, academics, researchers and business leaders said.

The so-called “revenge spending” — to reclaim pieces of their life stolen from them during the lockdown — will buoy businesses this year as the pandemic ebbs, and shoppers’ newly adopted buying habits will continue to change the marketplace in the longer term, the experts said.

Though the economic reopening is in its early innings, businesses on Long Island are already feeling the impact.

Read more about some of those businesses and how people are getting ready to open their wallets in this story by Newsday’s Ken Schachter.

LI students among latest winners of NY vaccine scholarships

Two Long Islanders are among the latest round of young people to win full four-year scholarships to any state college in a lottery for people who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Natalia Low, of Suffolk County, and Jasmine Thalon, of Nassau County, were among the 10 winners announced by Cuomo on Thursday in the second week of the lottery drawing. A Westbury resident had been among the first winners last week.

Anyone age 12 to 17 is eligible for the lottery if they get vaccinated. It’s part of the state’s efforts to get more children in that age group inoculated since the numbers are low, officials said.

Tips for traveling during COVID-19

What do you need to know when it comes to making vacation plans in a world still unraveling pandemic restrictions?

Experts broke it down on the latest Newsday Live webinar, “Travel & COVID-19: Where Can I Go?” and agreed that even if you and your loved ones are eager to go places where there’ll be no masks on your faces, where and when might just be the least of the questions in your planning sessions.

You not only need to stay current on the ever-changing rules and regulations for both domestic and international travel. You need to ask, “will I feel comfortable?” experts explained.

Read more and watch the full webinar.

Plus: Mask wearing is no longer mandatory, but vaccinations aren’t universal — how should employers, employees and customers respond to the rules? Experts discussed this in another Newsday Live webinar. Watch the replay.

More to know

The Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show is returning this year with separate sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated spectators, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

President Joe Biden will outline plans for the U.S. to donate 500 million vaccine doses around the globe over the next year, on top of 80 million doses he has already pledged by the end of the month.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the sixth straight week to 376,000 from 385,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported.

Banks have charged Long Islanders an estimated $120 million in overdraft, ATM and maintenance fees since the start of the pandemic, compounding the economic hardships experienced by low-income residents, according to a new report.

News for you

A ‘floating concert’ boat. Blue Point Brewery is hitting the bay this summer. The Patchogue-based business is set to launch its double-decked 40-foot pontoon boat Salty B for live music along the bay. Get the details.

Getting back to summer dinner parties. Some are easing back into gatherings with outdoor dinner parties — but you might want to check out these summer party hacks to make it seamless.

Why do some people get side effects after the vaccine? Temporary side effects like a headache, fatigue and fever are signs the immune system is revving up. The rapid-response step of your immune system tends to wane with age, one reason younger people report side effects more often than older adults. Read more.

Plus: Nassau County homeowners facing financial troubles can get help at a series of free mortgage foreclosure clinics in July and August.

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How work will change permanently after the pandemic. Joel Kotkin writes for the Los Angeles Times: Last spring, the COVID-19 pandemic caused perhaps the worst job losses since the Great Depression. The decrease in the labor force participation rate — from 63.3% to 61.3% — has been steeper than that seen in the Great Recession and is among the largest 12-month declines in the post-World War II era, according to the Pew Research Center and federal labor data.

But for all the pain, this terrifying year could augur potentially positive changes in the workplace. Pandemics change economies, a truth going back centuries. The post-COVID-19 period may well see a transformative, long-lasting effect on employers.

The shifting balance between employers and workers was evident before the pandemic, with wages for the first time in decades rising for lower-income laborers. While the unemployment rate is over 6% and the country had 8 million fewer positions in March than before the pandemic, there’s still a growing shortage of workers and 7.4 million unfilled jobs. Keep reading.

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