This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Saturday, June 6th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order, as well as what the upstate reopening means (NYC is expected to move into Phase 1 on June 8th); 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.

1 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he will allow for 25 percent occupancy at all houses of worship during the second phase of reopening.

“We’re going to accelerate the opening of temples, churches, mosques in Phase 2,” said Cuomo on Saturday morning for his daily news briefing. "I was speaking to a minister about this. He said '25 percent occupancy that's good news because it's better than zero.' He said, 'but 25 percent capacity then I have to have four services to get everyone in.' And then he said, well you know I have to give the sermon four times. He said hopefully by the fourth time I get it right. Yes, 25 percent capacity is not as easy as 100 percent occupancy, but 100 percent occupancy is a mass gathering. You really can't do social distancing."

Phase 2 is currently approved for the Capital, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York regions. "This is an acceleration for us because we are doing so well on the metrics," said Cuomo.

Cuomo also tipped his hat to New Yorkers who have spent months hunkering down waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to get under control after announcing that 35 people in New York State have died from the virus, the lowest drop in two months.

“We didn’t just flatten the curve, we bent the curve,” said Cuomo. “We went from the worst to one of the best in a very short period of time.”

Cuomo’s comments come just two days before New York City is primed for the first phase of reopening on Monday. It also comes a day after he issued an executive order announcing allowing "necessary in-person special education instruction this summer."

Schools that provide these services must adhere to the order under state and federal guidance.

Cuomo also signed a separate executive order banning price gouging of personal protective equipment.

Dr. Fauci Worries Protests Are "Perfect Set-Up" For Virus

Dr. Anthony Fauci told a Washington D.C. radio station that he's worried about spikes in coronavirus cases from the protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd happening across the country.

"Every time I hear about or see the congregation of large crowds at a time and geographic area where there is active infection transmission, it is a perfect set-up for the spread of the virus in the sense of creating these blips that might turn into some surges," the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said to WTOP. "So I get very concerned." 

According to Business Insider, "Fauci emphasized that while demonstrators have both a constitutional right and a good reason to protest, he noted that people gathering in close proximity, shouting and chanting, and possibly being exposed to tear gas or pepper spray – crowd-controlling irritants that make people cough, sneeze, and rub their eyes — increases the risk of transmitting the virus."

He added, "Particularly in a situation where you have a lot of confusion and a little bit of chaos, people running back and forth, taking their masks off, being close in proximity, that does pose a risk."

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have echoed this sentiment. Cuomo, on Thursday, said, "I’m not a Nervous Nelly, I just read the numbers. You have 30,000 people who have been protesting statewide. Many of them wear masks, thank God, but there’s no social distancing. You look at encounters with the police and they’re right in their face."

Cuomo and de Blasio asked protesters to get tested; you can find a site here.

"We have the right to peaceably demonstrate, and the demonstrators are exercising that right," Fauci said. "It's important to exercise your constitutional rights to be able to demonstrate, but it's a delicate balance, because the reasons for demonstrating are valid. And yet, the demonstration itself puts one at an additional risk."

Fauci recommends that protesters wear masks.