This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Tuesday, August 25th, 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:

3:30 p.m. The percentage of New York City public school students who have chosen an exclusive online learning option has grown to 33%, up from 26% nearly two weeks ago.

The Department of Education on Monday released updated results of its rolling survey of more than one million New York City public school families who are being asked to decide between sending their children for some in-person instruction or having them stay at home for online learning only.

As of last Friday, 337,394 have alerted the DOE that they will opt for online instruction only. Those who do not fill out the survey, roughly 66%, are put into the default choice of hybrid or "blended" learning. Families can elect online learning at any point during the school year but can elect the hybrid choice only during certain specified times during the school year.

The DOE's data broke up the responses by race as well as school district.

Of those who chose online learning, 37% were Hispanic students, who make up 41% of enrollment and who have, along with Blacks, been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They were followed by Asians, who represented 27% of those opting for remote only. Black students made up 20% of the remote only population, while white students comprised 11%.

District 26 in Queens, which encompasses schools in Bayside, saw the highest proportion of students opting for online learning only, that of 46%. According to, the district is one of the city's highest academically performing districts.

Two districts followed with a 42% online selection rate: District 25, another Queens district which covers Flushing, Whitestone and College Point, and District 20 in Brooklyn, which includes Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and the southern section of Sunset Park. Sunset Park recently saw a spike in coronavirus cases and its four-week positivity rate has been one of the highest among New York City neighborhoods, that of 3.12%.

District 12 in central Bronx, District 31 in Staten Island and District 32, whose schools serve Bushwick and the northern tip of Bedford-Stuyvesant, each had a 27% opt-in rate for online learning, the lowest of any school district outside of District 79, which covers the city's alternative school programs.

The breakdowns were based on last year's enrollment data.

Here's a look at how the choices by district have changed over time.

Fauci Warns Against Rushing Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has spoken out against rushing the federal approval process to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

Both Russia and China have fast-tracked their experimental vaccines by skipping large-scale randomized clinical trials, a step that experts say is crucial in determining whether a drug is safe and effective.

Fauci specifically warned against allowing the Federal Drug Administration to grant an emergency use authorization (EUA) without sufficient testing.

“The one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA before you have a signal of efficacy,” Fauci told Reuters.

He added allowing an unproven vaccine to enter the market would wind up hampering the efforts to launch large trials for other candidates.

“One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial,” he added.

The Financial Times recently reported that the Trump administration had floated the idea of granting emergency approval for a vaccine before the completion of Phase 3 trials, the largest and most critical phase of a drug's testing process. Top unnamed officials later denied the story, according to the New York Times, but President Donald Trump has frequently raised hopes about a vaccine being approved soon.

On Saturday, he tweeted an unfounded claim that a "deep state" was leading the FDA to delay the vaccine approval process in order to influence the November presidential election.

"The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd," he tweeted.

On Sunday, the FDA gave emergency approval for the expanded use of blood plasma from recovering virus patients to help those critically ill with the disease. Scientists have since criticized the FDA's decision, saying officials misrepresented the studies and the benefits of the treatment.