This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Saturday, July 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 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:

12:20 p.m.: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily update on New York's battle against COVID-19 shows hospitalization rates have dropped while the death count remains low even as other states begin to show alarming increases in hospitalizations and deaths.

But Cuomo stressed the “pandemic is far from over,” emphasizing that mask and hand washing remain the priority in staving off an uptick in cases. Figures provided by Cuomo’s office show 646 people were hospitalized because of the virus, the lowest since March 18th. The number of people in ICUs also dropped from 156 to 149 statewide, the lowest since March 15th. The state saw steadily lower infection rates, where 750 of 71,466 people, or 1%, tested positive.

The new figures come as the country grapples with a virus that is spinning out of control in some states. Yesterday, the nation saw more than 1,000 total COVID-19 deaths for a fourth straight day, according to the Washington Post. New York accounted for a total of 10 deaths, with seven reported deaths happening within the five boroughs.

Atilis Gym co-owners Ian Smith, left, and Frank Trumbetti welcome a customer to their gym in Bellmawr, NJ, on May 19th, 2020

Judge Says NJ Gym Defying Shutdown Order Can Be Closed

9:30 a.m.: A New Jersey gym that has challenged Governor Phil Murphy's lockdown order by staying open was found in contempt of court, and can be shut down by the state, according to a state judge.

However, Atilis Gym co-owner Ian Smith said on Facebook, "No surprise, we lost. [Co-owner] Frank [Trumbetti] and I will be held up inside the gym and WILL not be leaving... It’s fucking showtime."

The Bellmawr gym reopened in May, in spite of Murphy's decision not to allow gyms to reopen as the state moved through its reopening phases. While gyms and fitness centers were initially slated to reopen, Murphy pulled backed, explaining, “I want to get gyms opened as much as anybody in this state, if not this planet, but there’s a difference between the way I’m speaking right now and ... singing, shouting, breathing heavily, grunting, whatever it might be associated with running on a treadmill or lifting weights or whatever."

Experts have said that social distancing and cleaning are concerns for gyms; as Vox put it, "One problem with gyms is that the equipment is shared between all members. Every piece of equipment you touch has likely been touched by someone else... Gyms know this and employ people to clean equipment, but that doesn’t mean every yoga mat or dumbbell or pull-up bar gets thoroughly cleaned."

On July 1st, NJ started to allow gyms to offer "individualized" training indoors. Murphy also signed an executive order for mask-wearing indoors, at places like retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses. Instagram posts show Atilis gym goers without masks in recent days.

According to Law 360, "Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy granted the state's renewed contempt motion that highlighted coronavirus safety hazards — including face mask violations and social distancing gaffes — unearthed by health inspectors and a surveillance team that closed in on Atilis Gym... over the past week after its owners publicly announced their plans for continued defiance of the coronavirus mandates."

Camden County officials contended that the gym "fail[ed] to provide gloves and masks to all staff, as well as [hung] window signs 'blocking view into the premises,'" in addition to social media videos showing excessive capacity of gym members, who were breathing heavily.

"While I wish it had not come to this, I am grateful that the court recognized the need for compliance," NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. "The vast majority of businesses and residents are following these rules and doing their part to keep their friends and neighbors safe, and those few companies who flout our Executive Orders are once again on notice that we will hold them accountable."

Atilis owners Smith and Trumbetti vowed to remove their front doors so officials couldn't lock them. Their lawyer is exploring an appeal.