This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens and bowling alleys. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

Here's the latest:

New York State continues to see record lows in COVID-19 trackers since the beginning of the health emergency as strict measures remain in place to keep the virus at bay. 

For 16 days in a row, the positivity rate has remained at less than 1 percent, according to the Governor’s office. Of 74,043 test results reported to the state on Saturday, .77 percent (572) came back positive. In NYC, the positivity rate was .8 percent. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that hospitalizations, intensive care unit patients, and intubations all saw new lows since mid-March at 472, 110, and 50, respectively. “Our hospitalizations, intubations and people in the ICU are the lowest they've been since mid-March—that's a real achievement,” Cuomo said. 

Five deaths of the virus were reported to the state on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 25,288 deaths. 

None of the deaths were in NYC, though the preliminary numbers of deaths often turn out to be inaccurate as death certificates are officially recorded. Last month, another Saturday first thought to have resulted in zero COVID-19 deaths ultimately ended up with 13 confirmed coronavirus deaths and one probable, the data shows as of Sunday morning.

Cuomo’s office also announced thirteen bars and restaurants—10 in Brooklyn and three in Queens—were slapped with violations by the State Liquor Authority on Saturday in an attempt to force business owners to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The SLA and state police have inspected 1,446 businesses as a part of an ongoing enforcement effort by the state.

Music Stars From "Restricted States" Won't Have To Quarantine Before MTV VMAs

New York has imposed a mandatory 14 day quarantine on anyone coming into the state from one of the "restricted states" around the country—but that rule won't apply to the pop stars who come to the city next weekend for MTV's Video Music Awards.

The NY Post reports that performers will get a "semi-exemption" from New York State's travel advisory requiring visitors from certain states to quarantine for two weeks.

Originally, it was announced that the awards show was going to take place at the Barclays Center, but it has since been reimagined as a socially distanced event for the pandemic. Now, nominees like Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, BTS, DaBaby, Miley Cyrus, and Doja Cat are going to be performing at various "iconic locations across New York City." And many of those performers are coming from California, one of the states in the travel advisory.

While NYU students from travel advisory states are quarantining in their dorms and being fed "Fyre Fest"-esque food, a spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo told the Post that performers can "participate in the production of the show, but they will only interact with other members of the cast and crew and will quarantine when not working."

The spokesperson added that the VMAs agreed to "rigorous safety protocols including testing and screening and compliance checks by a special compliance officer."

Instead of performing at Barclays, the performances will take place at undisclosed locations around the five boroughs to try to keep crowds from gathering, and the whole thing will be streamed online. A few performers, including J Balvin and Roddy Ricch, have already dropped out because of “logistical hurdles” due to concern for health and safety. Balvin told fans he was recovering from COVID-19 on August 14th, writing, “My message to those that follow me, young fans and people in general is to take care. This isn’t a joke. The virus is real and it’s dangerous.”

Cyrus is expected to perform the live debut of her new single “Midnight Sky” and BTS will debut their new single "Dynamite," which they previewed below.

While New York—and New Jersey and Connecticut—have enacted this travel advisory, it's unclear how it's actually getting enforced. Cuomo even said in July, "You can't even keep people who want to come in illegally from coming in right now, if they want to really come into the state." On the other hand, it's probably easy for people to track which stars are breaking the compact via social, the way NBA players bursting the bubble have been spotted.

Cardi B revealed that in order to film the video for "WAP" with Megan Thee Stallion (with cameo from Kylie Jenner) the production bought a $100,000 COVID-19 testing machine.