This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Saturday, September 5th, 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. 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:

While Serena Williams plays in front of empty grandstands during the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, and the Mets face empty seats at Citi Field, there is one place in New York where athletes can play in front of an actual crowd: the West Point football stadium, where the Army football team is playing Saturday in front of up to 4,400 spectators at their season opener game against Middle Tennessee State, the Times Herald-Record reported.

West Point’s Michie Stadium has a special reason for the exemption, the Times Herald-Record explained: “the U.S. Military federal property under federal jurisdiction, granting it the latitude to allow cadets to take to the stands for Army's home games in spite of state restrictions.”

That means West Point cadets are exempt from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policies of a 50-person maximum on large group gatherings, and no fans at all at sports events.

Only Army cadets are allowed to attend Saturday’s game, and the Times Herald-Record pointed out that all cadets have been inside a bubble since they came to campus in July: “all cadets were tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival, with those who tested positive placed in isolation or quarantine. The Military Academy has its own laboratory that can process rapid tests on campus, and about 1,400 members of the West Point community are tested each month, according to the academy.” Michie Stadium also typically can hold 40,000 spectators, so the 4,400 cadets allowed at Saturday’s game is about 11% of total capacity.

While school officials said the first two games of the season were limited to only cadets, “In an email last month to ticketholders, West Point's athletics department said attendance would be limited to the Corps of Cadets for the first two home games, but left the door open for fans to potentially attend later games,” the Times Herald-Record reported. "Decisions on fan attendance at future home games will be determined at a later date and communicated as soon as possible," the email read.

The state Department of Health acknowledged they don’t have jurisdiction over the military institute but still urged caution.

"West Point is operated by the federal government, but every New Yorker should continue to practice the behaviors that have allowed New York to successfully flatten the curve — washing hands, socially distancing, limiting non-essential gatherings, and wearing masks," said DOH spokesperson Jonah Bruno told the Times Herald-Record.

"These steps have been shown to make an enormous difference in our capacity to slow the spread of COVID-19 and we encourage West Point to ensure adherence to these requirements."

In June, 1,100 West Point cadets spent two weeks in quarantine in order for President Donald Trump to deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2020 there.

New York State Continues 29th Day Of Positive Infection Rates Below 1%

12 p.m. New York continues to maintain a positive COVID-19 infection rate below 1% for the 29th day in a row, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

There were two deaths from the virus recorded Friday -- one in Brooklyn and one in Suffolk County, Cuomo said in his update.

The state had a 0.80% positive rate in COVID-19 tests Friday, with 801 new cases in the state, bringing the total to 438,772 cases statewide. There were 67 newly admitted patients to hospitals in the state Friday, for a total of 425 patients hospitalized, down three patients from Thursday. There were 115 patients in ICUs, down one patient from Thursday. The number of patients in ICUs on intubation remained steady at 61 people.

"New York went from one of the worst situations in the country to one of the best: Our state has gone 29 straight days with an infection rate remaining below one percent," Cuomo said in his update. "Overall, our numbers continue to be good news - our progress proves that this virus responds to science, not politics. But we cannot go backwards. As we celebrate this Labor Day Weekend, we must all continue to wear our masks, socially distance, wash our hands and stay New York Tough."

With Labor Day weekend likely to lead to more gatherings, health experts warn such gatherings could spur more cases.

On Thursday, SUNY-Oneonta announced that there have been 507 positive cases since the start of the fall semester. The soaring 13 percent infection rate on the campus led to their decision to close campus and sent students back home for remote learning for the rest of the fall semester.

Two people wearing masks walk outside a building with space for lease

People walk on Fifth Avenue

People walk on Fifth Avenue

Worries Mount Over Potential Labor Day Weekend Case Surge

11 a.m. Public health experts are asking Americans to be cautious this Labor Day Weekend, in order to avoid similar surges in COVID-19 cases after Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th holiday.

"In some ways we’re entering Labor Day with a more volatile mix than we did before Memorial Day," Thomas Tsai, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told the Washington Post. "We have masks and treatment, but we’re starting with a much higher base of cases, and we’re still seeing new hot spots rise across the country."

The Memorial Day weekend coincided with the end of lockdowns in some states—which then had to roll back their reopenings with more people getting sick. There are new states drawing concern this time around. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pointed to North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois as places where cases are increasing rapidly.

"Those states are starting to see an increase in the percent positive of their testing; that is generally predictive that there’s going to be a problem," he said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg reported, "Fauci joined Vice President Mike Pence on a call with governors this week to urge them to tell their residents to follow guidance on masks, social distancing and other measures to lower the risks of contagion to ensure there aren’t repeats of the surges following the Memorial Day and July 4th weekends."

"If we’re careless about it, then we could wind up with a surge following Labor Day," Fauci said. "It really depends on how we behave as a country."

Fauci also wasn't sure what President Donald Trump meant when he claimed that the United States is "rounding the corner" on coronavirus.

The United States has 6,202,483 cases, with 187,777 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. A new model from University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests that without compliance to measures like mask-wearing, deaths could reach 410,000 by January 1st.

"We seem to go back and forth between people actually realizing that this is a thing that exists and taking precautions and then deciding it’s all over," Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University School of Public Health, said to Bloomberg.