NEW YORK (WABC) — There are heightened fears about Labor Day celebrations potentially sparking a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Images could be seen nationwide of packed beaches.

In Florida and Tennessee, there were crowded bars with what appears to be no social distancing, and not everyone wearing masks.

This comes as the number of states seeing an increase in cases tripled in just one week from 10 to 30 states.

Experts say it could take weeks to determine how the holiday weekend will affect the number of cases.

A new forecast over the weekend predicted the United States could more than double its death toll and hit 400,000 deaths by the end of the year.

What to know about coronavirus:
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Here are more of today’s headlines:

Thousands of Connecticut businesses got critical loans during pandemic
When a large swath of Connecticut was forced to shut down during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, state officials quickly created an emergency loan program from scratch, hoping to help small businesses – from pizza shops to yoga studios – weather the economic crisis.

Months later, records obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show the fledgling Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program ultimately funded 2,123 one-year, no-interest loans, averaging $19,705 a piece. Because of the massive flood of applications, officials decided to cap loan amounts at $37,500 – half of the $75,000 originally promised when the program was launched in March – to help twice the number of businesses.

The change was made after officials had to stop accepting applications the day after the program was announced and decided to double the $25 million investment to $50 million, underwritten by the state’s venture capital organization.

NJ zoo reopens
The Bergen County Zoo reopened just in time for Labor Day. It has several newly-installed upgrades to enforce social distancing and encourage proper hygiene – including hand sanitizing dispensers and viewing barriers. Visitors must wear masks. Customers also must buy tickets in advance. The zoo opens each day at 10 a.m., but will close from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. for cleaning and then reopen again before closing at 4:30 p.m.

High Line expands
There’s new reason to make tracks to the High Line in New York City. The park is now open from Gansevoort Street all the way up to 30th street, which includes the spur at 10th Avenue and 30th. The park reopened to 23rd Street back in July after a four-month shutdown. All traffic must go in the same direction heading north.

New York hits positive milestone
New York reported 30 straight days with an infection rate remaining below 1%. Saturday’s positive tests were at 0.85%.

“We know based on experience that an incremental, data-driven reopening is the best way to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers. As this virus continues to be a national crisis, it’s clear that caution is a virtue, not a vice,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our infection rate has been below 1 percent for 30 days, and New Yorkers can help us keep that streak going by wearing masks, socially distancing and washing their hands. Our actions today determine the rate of infection tomorrow, so as the Labor Day weekend continues, I urge everyone to be smart so we don’t see a spike in the weeks ahead.”

Berlusconi in ‘most delicate phase’ of the virus
Silvio Berlusconi’s doctor says that the hospitalized former Italian premier is responding “optimally” to COVID-19 treatment, but that he belongs to the most vulnerable category of patients and is in “the most delicate phase” of the virus.

Dr. Alberto Zangrillo, who is head of intensive care at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, repeated Sunday that he nevertheless remained “cautiously optimistic” about Berlusconi’s recovery.

“The patient is responding optimally to treatment,” he said. “This doesn’t mean we can claim victory because, as you know, he belongs to the most fragile category” given his age. He also suggested Berlusconi would not be released anytime soon, recalling that the virus “requires adequate treatment and takes its time.”

The three-time premier turns 84 in a few weeks and has had a history of heart problems that required being fitted with a pacemaker several years ago. He checked into San Raffaele Friday after testing positive for the virus earlier in the week. Zangrillo said at the time that he had the early stages of a lung infection.
Surge in India
India saw another record surge of 90,632 cases in the past 24 hours, as infections spread to smaller cities and parts of rural India.

According to the Health Ministry, India’s caseload reached 4,113,811, slightly short of Brazil’s confirmed 4,123,000 infections. Brazil is the second worst-hit country after the United States with 6,245,112 cases.

The ministry on Sunday also reported 1,065 deaths for a total of 70,626. More than 1 million cases have been detected in India in less than two weeks. Authorities say India’s daily testing exceeds 1 million now.

Phoenix school calls off in-person learning
A suburban school district in metro Phoenix has put off its plan to return its high school to in-person instruction from remote learning starting Tuesday.Cactus Shadows High School Principal Tony Vining announced late Friday that Cave Creek Unified School District’s sole high school didn’t “have enough staff to safely open and will need to revert to our distance learning model.”

Some Arizona schools have reopened for in-person instruction, but J.O. Combs Unified in San Tan Valley, was thwarted last month because numerous teachers called in sick while voicing concerns about the safety of reopening schools. The state Department of Health Services on Saturday reported 836 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with 36 additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 205,516 cases and 5,207 deaths.

Reporting social distancing violations in NJ
New Jersey now has a form residents can report large gatherings or social distancing violations.

Holiday weekend warning
The Connecticut Department of Health is warning people to be on high alert of events that may lead to outbreaks this Labor Day weekend. The alert specifically targets college students and other young people – after recent clusters at universities. The Department says it’s also concerned with holiday celebrations like cookouts. Experts are urging people to limit the size of their gatherings, practice social distancing, and wear masks.

As New Yorkers pack city parks, trash piles up
As New Yorkers pack city parks to escape the confines of their homes during the coronvirus pandemic, trash is piling up. But now, the Riverside Park Conservancy is stepping in to clean up and maintain Riverside Park — and asking for help to do so.

Long Island, NY state extend summer season for beaches, parks, campgrounds
New York State Parks, Nassau County and Suffolk County joined with Discover Long Island Thursday to announce an extension of the 2020 summer season for many attractions, parks, pools, campgrounds and beaches in order to give Long Islanders a little bit more of glorious summer. The start of the season was delayed this year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, making many feel as if the summer was cut short. But officials came together to say there will be plenty to do past Labor Day.

MORE NEWS: Moving companies turn customers away as people leave Tri-State in record numbers

RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list

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