This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Thursday, November 26th, 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, museums, and gyms, as well as 25% indoor dining. Certain parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island under a zoned shutdown. Get answers to questions youmay have with our "Ask An Epidemiologist" series, or learn more about NYC COVID-19 testing options with our explainer. 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:

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is already sketching out a "winter plan" to combat the spread of coronavirus before a vaccine is publicly available, and that a central component of the plan would be ensuring that schools stay open and safe with increased testing regimens.

"Keeping the schools open and keeping them open by setting a safe positivity rate," Cuomo told reporters on a Thursday morning call. "All the data says the schools are safer than the surrounding community. But we need a sustainable testing rate in the schools."

Cuomo did not say if this meant that he would override Mayor Bill de Blasio's citywide positivity threshold of 3% for closing schools, which the mayor cited when closing public schools last week. The governor has repeatedly pointed out that state law dictates almost every other aspect of city life under COVID-19 restrictions, but with schools he has maintained that local municipalities have control as long as they stay below the state's 3% positive test rate. Cuomo's office said they would still respect this system going forward.

"He hit 3% today, he closed the schools at 3%, that is totally within his prerogative," Cuomo said in an interview with WAMC last week, referring to de Blasio's decision to close schools based on city data, not differing state data. "In retrospect, it turns out that it was low, in retrospect, yes," Cuomo added. "I don't think it was a mistake. At the time, it was reasonable."

De Blasio has said that the 3% threshold was created in consultation with the teachers unions and his public health experts, and promised that he is coming up with a plan to reopen the schools now.

On the call on Thursday, Cuomo said the winter plan would stick with his microcluster strategy, but that he would change the formula that triggers restrictions to include the available number of hospital beds in a neighborhood. This week, a field hospital on Staten Island had to reopen to deal with the influx of COVID-19 patients, as the borough struggles to keep its positivity rate down.

"We want to see what Thanksgiving did and see if it did it evenly across the state," Cuomo said.

The governor also met with President-elect Biden's COVID-19 team on Wednesday, and called it a "welcome relief." One of the main topics of discussion was vaccine distribution. Cuomo stressed that vulnerable New Yorkers and health care workers would be the first to get it, but that he was still working on how to equitably distribute it.

The governor has promised his own state review of any FDA-approved vaccines, to ensure that the public would trust it and take it, and said that the review would take 24 hours after FDA approval.

"I will be the first person to put the needle in his arm after the state panel says its OK," Cuomo said.

Overall, the state's positive COVID test rate is 3.1%, down from 3.6% the previous day; without the "hot zones," the rate is 2.6%.

According to the governor, 67 New Yorkers died of the virus yesterday.