This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Thursday, August 6th, 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 professional sports (without fans). 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:

4:30 p.m.: A new national NPR/Ipsos poll of teachers released Thursday shows a majority of educators are worried about returning to in-person instruction this fall.

The poll of 505 educators conducted July 21st-24th found that 82 percent of K-12 teachers are “concerned about returning to in-person teaching this fall, and two-thirds prefer to teach primarily remotely.”

Half of the polled educators teach in low-income communities, NPR said.

The poll also found that 77% of teachers are worried about risking their own health by returning to the classroom in person. Earlier this year, the federal Department of Education released a report showing nearly 30% of teachers in America are 50 and older, putting them in a higher-risk category for the virus.

New York City’s Department of Education anticipates up to 20% of its employee workforce to be eligible to work remotely, based on state and federal guidance regarding age and high risk criteria.

Teachers who have a documented existing medical condition can submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request to work remotely, and instructors over the age of 65 will “automatically” be granted accommodation, while teachers between 50 to 64 years old will be considered.

The NPR poll also found that 78% of teachers “are concerned specifically about accessing sufficient personal protective equipment and even cleaning materials for teaching in person.” This issue has been raised by City Councilmember Mark Treyger, who heads the council's education committee, who said some schools are reporting they’re woefully undersupplied:

“The problem that I see is that every school district across America and around the world is probably ordering the same thing,” Treyger said in a previous interview. “So I am not confident that they're going to have everything they need for the school year ahead.”

The NPR poll also found that teachers were anxious about how they would manage their classrooms: “Seventy-three percent of teachers say they are concerned about connecting with students while wearing a mask. And 84% of teachers say they are likely to have difficulty enforcing social distancing among their students.”

The teachers in the poll reported improvements with the remote learning experience: “compared with the spring, 4 out of 5 teachers feel more prepared to teach online this fall. And 70% think their school district's online or distance-learning effort is headed in the right direction.” But there were still perceptions of problems: 55% of teachers polled said “they cannot properly do their job online,” 84% said “online learning creates gaps in opportunities for students,” and “83% are also concerned about connecting with students they've never met when online classes begin this fall.”

And a vast majority -- 83% of teachers -- reported they are concerned the plans will change after the year starts. That premonition was echoed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who warned New Yorkers last week: “We have to prepare ourselves for a very non-linear experience.”

For more on the city's plans for reopening schools (pending approval by Governor Andrew Cuomo), step right this way.

4:15 p.m.: The New York State Education Department and Board of Regents released a joint 41-page report on Thursday that outlines a set of recommendations for safely reopening higher learning institutions during the pandemic.

That includes equal access to quality remote learning whenever possible, keeping food pantries open, providing emergency grants to students, ensuring emotional needs are met, and reducing semesters from 15 to 12 weeks without impacting a student's financial aid.

While colleges, universities, and other recognized higher learning institutions are allowed to shorten their semesters, they must ensure that students received a minimum of 15 hours of instructions and at least 30 hours of coursework to complete a class.

Colleges and universities that provide room and board will have to abide by state-backed health recommendations that include assigning students to one bathroom to avoid cross-contamination, wearing proper personal protective equipment (i.e. masks), and creating a contact tracing program.

Colleges and institutions are also encouraged to provide the most up-to-date information on mandatory testing and quarantine requirements. The report advises school officials to impose limits to family members helping to move students back into dormitories.

“If the information is not updated and accurate, students and their families will lose faith in the information and not use it as a resource, instead relying on other sources of information, possibly inconsistent with campus policies,” read the report. “Institutions should ensure that students and families are aware of where current information on these issues can be found and should provide contact information for offices or individuals at campuses were questions can be submitted and should ensure prompt and accurate responses to those inquiries.”

Education officials developed these recommendations following a series of regional meetings with various education officials and stakeholders ahead of school reopening.

“We also recognize that planning for colleges to reopen is not a one-time event. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated guidance, policies, and regulatory changes as needed,” read the report.

Delayed COVID Test Results Are "Unacceptable" To Dr. Fauci

2:30 p.m. While New York City's positive coronavirus testing rate is consistently hovering around 1%, the uneven—and sometimes very long—wait times for test results remain a concern. Mayor Bill de Blasio has claimed that the delays have been "resolved" in NYC, but it's still been an issue for some people here and across the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious diseases expert, recently lamented about the results lag in an interview with CNN.

"Right now, you have tests that you want to determine if an individual is infected for contact tracing. The weakness of that, although in some areas it’s doing fine, in others the gap between the time you get the test and the time you get the result, in some respects, obviates the reason why you did the test," he said on Wednesday. "We got to correct that."

Fauci was talking to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who complained about what he ran into, "I got a CAT scan on my patient, I got coagulation numbers on my patient, I got a cardiac echo on my patient, I was doing brain surgery on this patient, and could not get a Covid result."

"The ultimate goal is that you would have a test that you could do and get a result in 10 minutes, that's sensitive, specific and can be upscaled in the sense of – you can do it any place, in anywhere," Fauci said.

This problem is leading some experts to advocate for less precise but faster and more frequently administered tests. According to the NY Times, "The best chance to rein in the sprawling outbreaks in the United States now, experts say, requires widespread adoption of less accurate tests, as long as they’re administered quickly and often enough."

UCLA Health System's director of clinical microbiology, Omai Garner, told the Times, "Even if you miss somebody on Day 1, if you test them repeatedly, the argument is, you’ll catch them the next time around."

Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia are joining together to buy faster antigen tests, which detect the viral proteins from saliva or nasal samples. Science Magazine noted in May, "They already exist for strep throat, influenza, tuberculosis, HIV, and other infectious diseases," however there are currently only two COVID-19 antigen tests with emergency approval from the FDA.

The PCR test detects genetic material in sample and is considered by some to be the "gold standard"—but results take longer. Or, as Geoffrey Baird, a laboratory medicine specialist at the University of Washington, Seattle, put it to Science in May, "What everyone wants is for a test to be cheap, accurate, and fast. You can only ever have two of those."

There are currently 4,842,313 confirmed coronavirus cases—and 708,941 deaths—in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, the most in the world, and about 2 million more cases than the reported cases in Brazil.

"If you had asked me this a couple months ago, I would have said we just need to be doing the PCR tests," Susan Butler-Wu, a clinical microbiologist at USC, told the Times. "But we are so far gone in this country. It is a catastrophe. It’s kitchen sink time, even if the tests are imperfect.”