NY COVID latest: Thursday, October 28, 2021

Coronavirus

New York City municipal workers protest outside City Hall against the coming COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in New York. New York City employees are required to show proof of at least one vaccine dose by Friday, Oct. 29. (AP Photo/Timothy Fadek)

NEW YORK — Find the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state and New York City, including data on positive cases and other indicators, and information from local officials.

Kids in NYC can get vaccine next week, upon CDC approval

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that the city would be ready to begin vaccinating New York City children next week, within hours of final approval.

Mayor de Blasio gives NYC COVID briefing

Vaccines in NYC

  • 12 million doses administered
  • Ready to vax our youngest New Yorkers. READ MORE.
    • 24 hours after CDC approval for 5- to 11-year-olds: Vaccinations available at city sites
    • 48 hours after CDC approval for 5- to 11-year-olds: Vaccinations available at pediatrician offices, pharmacies and vaccine sites.
  • Updating people earlier next week on vaccines for young children.

Broadband for all — Internet master plan

  • “It’s a necessity,” the mayor said.
  • 40,000 New Yorkers at 18 NYCHA developments
  • Connecting 75,000 New Yorkers to free internet by March 2022
  • Up to 1.6 million New Yorkers gaining access to affordable broadband by 2024
  • State Sen. Kevin Parker: “This initiative is instrumental for everyone.” We have to start thinking about high-speed broadband as the fourth essential aspect for people to live.

Halloween in NYC

  • Trick or treaters should stay outside
  • If you’re giving out treats, wear a face mask
  • Costume masks don’t count

Daily indicators

  • Total vaccine doses administered: 12,005,472
  • COVID Hospitalizations: 79 (22% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 0.63
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 711

Officials warn mandate may lead to staff shortages

With a vaccine mandate looming for members of the FDNY, officials warned fire companies across the city could lose staff members. An estimated 20% of fire units could close, officials said, and New Yorkers could see around 20% fewer ambulances on the road.

Vaccines for children in NYC

New York City could begin offering COVID-19 vaccines for children as early as next week, as long as federal regulators grant emergency authorization, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

City employees protest vaccine mandate

City employees in New York City took a stand against a vaccine mandate on Oct. 25, marching over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in protest of the deadline just days away.

FDA says Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids

Federal health regulators said late Friday, Oct. 22, that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the U.S. weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.

NYC teachers frustrated by new $500 vaccine incentive for city workers

Many vaccinated city workers expressed frustration over a new $500 incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19. They argued they did the right thing by getting vaccinated earlier and they don’t understand why people who waited get a big payout. American Federation for Teachers President Randi Weingarten said many teachers feel it’s unfair.

De Blasio announces vaccine mandate for all NYC city workers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Oct. 20 announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all municipal workers, including police officers and firefighters.

The city’s previous vaccine requirement only applied to Department of Education staff and health care workers at NYC Health + Hospitals, but the new mandate would mean all city workers would need to get their first shot by Nov. 1.

Between Oct. 20 and Oct. 29, city employees will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck for receiving their first shot at city-run vaccine sites, the mayor said.

Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave until they show proof of vaccination to their supervisor.

New NY COVID data tracker includes school cases, nursing home deaths

Want to know how many COVID cases have been reported by your school district or the number of breakthrough cases in your area? A new online portal offering expanded public access to New York’s COVID-19 health and safety data was unveiled by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Where COVID relief funds are being used in New York

Billions in COVID relief dollars are coming to New York, to be distributed to local governments, school districts, small businesses, renters, and landlords. Now, there’s a state-run tracker that shows where all that money is going.

IRS sending October installment of child tax credit after delay in September

Families across the country are starting to receive their October child tax credit. The IRS says the program’s fourth monthly payment is already hitting Americans’ bank accounts after a technical issue last month caused delays for some recipients. 

Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated against COVID

Nearly two-thirds of New York residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of Saturday, Oct. 16. About 12.7 million of New York’s 20 million residents were fully vaccinated, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts warn of ‘twin-demic,’ encourage flu shot & COVID vaccine

As the U.S. continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, experts warn of a potential “twin-demic.” If flu cases this year start spreading wildly while the coronavirus is still a threat, medical experts say the country could have two pandemics on its hands at the same time.

Health experts and community leaders gathered in Harlem Saturday to encourage folks to get their flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.

New COVID safety guidance for the holidays released by the CDC

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released updated COVID-19 safety guidance for the holiday season on Friday, Oct. 15, including getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors if you’re not vaccinated and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

FDA endorsement essentially calls for Johnson & Johnson to be 2-shot vaccine

An FDA panel unanimously recommended a Johnson and Johnson booster vaccine on Friday, Oct. 15.  The terms of the endorsement essentially call for the J&J COVID-19 vaccine to be a two-dose shot, rather than the one-dose shot for which it’s been known since it first got emergency use authorization last spring.

The panel called for a second shot to be available to people 18 and older, at least two months after the first shot.

NYC students, coaches say COVID-19 policies create disadvantages for high school athletes

Students, coaches and parents say COVID-19 restrictions put them at a severe disadvantage when it comes to potential athletic scholarships. The New York City Public School Athletic League has some of the strictest rules in the country. 

FDA panel recommends Moderna booster shot, but the process isn’t over

A panel of medical experts affiliated with the Food and Drug Administration endorsed a COVID vaccine booster from Moderna on Thursday, Oct. 14. The panel recommended a half dose as a booster.  

Need to be vaccinated by Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas? Here are the deadlines

People who want to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas are running out of time. Two of the three vaccines available in the U.S. require two doses spread weeks apart and a waiting period once the shots have been administered.

Manhattan rents soaring toward pre-pandemic levels, experts say

After a steep decline during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City rents began climbing again in recent months, returning close to pre-pandemic levels. A report from ApartmentGuide.com found the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city dropped to $2,927 in February 2021, but then jumped back up to $4,266 per month by August.

‘Vax to the Movies’: NYC launches pop-up vaccine sites at theaters

Beginning Oct. 16, pop-up mobile COVID-19 vaccine sites will be stationed near several movie theaters in New York City so people can get vaccinated before going to see a movie.

“We have found these mobile sites, these pop-up sites are some of the most successful things we’ve done in the vaccination effort,” the mayor said.

Judge denies request to block NYC’s COVID vaccine mandate for teachers, DOE staff

New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for teachers and staff cleared another legal hurdle on Tuesday, Oct. 12 after a judge declined to grant a temporary injunction while the requirement is challenged in court — again.

COVID vaccine religious exemption stays for NY health care workers

A federal judge ruled on Oct. 12 that New York must continue to allow health care workers to seek exemption from a statewide vaccine mandate on religious grounds as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds.

COVID vaccine deadline arrives for NY home health aides

Home health aides who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination were barred from working with patients in New York under a new state mandate that went into effect on Friday, Oct. 8.

COVID relief checks for Nassau County residents

Nearly half a million people in the Long Island county are eligible to receive checks for $375 from the Homeowner Assistance Program after County Executive Laura Curran signed the relief bill into law Thursday. Curran joined the PIX11 Morning News on Friday, Oct. 8, to explain the program, who is eligible and how residents can make sure they get their check.

Children will feel impact of pandemic on mental health for years: UNICEF report

UNICEF released a critical report on Friday, Oct. 8, which found that children and young people could feel the impact of the pandemic on their mental health for many years to come.

COVID vaccine for kids: Doctor answers your questions

The Pfizer vaccine for kids could be on the market in about a month after the drug maker filed for FDA authorization Thursday, Oct. 7, for their shot for kids ages 5 to 11.

However, many parents still have questions about the children’s COVID vaccine. Dr. Sallie Permar, the head of pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, joined the PIX11 Morning News on Friday, Oct. 8, to share more information and answer some of the biggest questions.

Pfizer’s request to OK shots for kids a relief for parents

Parents tired of worrying about classroom outbreaks and sick of telling their elementary school-age children no to sleepovers and family gatherings felt a wave of relief Thursday, Oct. 7, when Pfizer asked the U.S. government to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 5 to 11.

NYC teacher vaccine mandate enforcement begins

New York City’s vaccine mandate for Department of Education employees, including public school teachers and staff, took effect Oct. 4, 2021.

As enforcement begins, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said the union’s priority is safety in the classroom.

Mulgrew on Monday said more than 97% of NYC teachers were vaccinated and at work after about 1,000 received their first shot over the weekend. Another 1,000 received an exemption largely for medical reasons.

Less than 4,000 teachers remain unvaccinated, Mulgrew said.

NYC health commissioner pushes COVID vaccine for kids, stops short of mandate

As the Department of Education prepares to enforce its vaccine mandate for teachers and staff on Monday, Oct. 4, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the requirement will add another layer of protection for students.

However, when asked whether the city would issue such a mandate for students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the health commissioner wasn’t ready to commit.

SUNY schools implement vaccine mandate; officials prepare to de-register students

The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for SUNY students went into effect on Sep. 27. While most students were in compliance, those who chose to remain unvaccinated will be de-registered by Oct. 8.

Broadway’s Aladdin goes dark again due to additional COVID cases

A hit Broadway show is putting a pause on performances once again. Aladdin on Broadway performances will be canceled for several more days following additional COVID-19 cases detected within the company. The company released a statement Friday, Oct. 1, stating that additional breakthrough cases were detected.

US hits 700,000 COVID deaths just as cases begin to fall

The United States reached its latest heartbreaking pandemic milestone Friday, Oct. 1, eclipsing 700,000 deaths from COVID-19 just as the surge from the delta variant is starting to slow down and give overwhelmed hospitals some relief.

Vaccine mandate for health care workers upheld for religions exemptions only

A three judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday, Sept. 30, effectively put on hold — for two weeks — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vaccine mandate for health care workers; but only for those who are claiming a religious exemption.

Parents voice concerns about COVID-19 school safety protocols

New York City public school student are in their third week of classes, but many parents say they still don’t have enough information about COVID-19 protocols and safety measures. But a group of parents are taking matters into their own hands, using technology to help families navigate a constantly changing situation.

Gov. Hochul appoints new NY health commissioner

Following the resignation of longtime New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced her pick for the state’s new top doctor.

Hochul on Wednesday, Sept. 29 announced that Dr. Mary T. Bassett will now serve as the state’s health commissioner. Her appointment will go into effect Dec. 1, the governor’s office said.

Bassett has “more than 30 years of experience devoted to promoting health equity and social justice,” a press release from Hochul’s office read.

Hospitals managing new NYS COVID vaccine mandate on first day

Tuesday, Sept. 28, was the first day that health care workers across New York were required to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or lose their jobs. A wide variety of hospitals and other health care facilities had to release workers who refused to get vaccinated from their payrolls. It was a challenge for many facilities, but it seemed surmountable, according to the latest figures provided by the facilities.

Pfizer submits data to FDA

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced they have submitted initial data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from the Phase 2/3 trial of their COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11.

In the trial, which included 2,268 participants 5 to 11 years of age, the vaccine demonstrated a favorable safety profile and elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses using a two-dose regimen of 10 μg doses. 

Federal judges: NYC can impose vaccine mandate on teachers

The nation’s largest school district can immediately impose a vaccine mandate on its teachers and other workers, after all, a federal appeals panel decided Monday, Sept. 27.

Vaccine mandate for NY health care workers takes effect Monday; staff shortage possible

New York’s vaccine requirement for all hospital workers and nursing home employees went into effect Monday, Sept. 27, with enforcement set to begin just after midnight Tuesday, Sept. 28 — and Gov. Kathy Hochul said she’s ready for a possible staffing shortage.

Is it safe to trick-or-treat this Halloween? CDC weighs in

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Face the Nation that kids can trick-or-treat safely this year, adding, “If you’re able to be outdoors, absolutely.”

NYC launches free mental health resources for nightlife workers

New York City has launched an initiative aimed at supporting the mental health needs of workers in the nightlife community, whose shoulders much of the city’s economic revival rests upon.

Federal judge temporarily blocks NYC teacher vaccine mandate

A federal appeals court judge on Friday, Sept. 24, temporarily blocked New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Department of Education staff, just days before the requirement was set to go into effect.

The temporary injunction is separate from a state Supreme Court judge’s ruling on Wednesday, Sept. 22, that allowed the city to move forward with the mandate. The state Supreme Court’s decision was related to a similar lawsuit filed by a coalition of unions representing public school workers.

NY prepares for health care staff shortage as COVID vaccine mandate kicks in

New York officials said they were prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and retirees to address potential staffing shortages caused by an approaching COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

CDC director overrules panel, backs booster for all adults in high-risk jobs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sept. 23 endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendations from a panel of advisers, but then overnight added one more the panel had rejected.

The panel had voted against saying that people ages 18 to 64 can get a booster if they are health-care workers or have another job that puts them at increased risk of being exposed to the virus.

Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in, noting that such a move aligns with an FDA booster authorization decision earlier this week. 

Bill would require remote learning option for NYC schools

A proposed bill would force the city’s Department of Education to offer remote learning when the CDC designates an area with a high rate of COVID-19 transmission.

FDA OKs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for 65 and older, high-risk Americans

The FDA authorized booster doses for Americans who are 65 and older, younger people with underlying health conditions and those in jobs that put them at high-risk for COVID-19. The ruling represents a drastically scaled back version of the Biden administration’s sweeping plan to give third doses to nearly all American adults to shore up their protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

NYC teacher COVID vaccine mandate moves forward after judge lifts order

In a stunning defeat for unions representing municipal workers, a judge ruled on Wednesday, Sept. 22, that New York City can proceed with an order requiring teachers to get at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, Sept. 27, or lose their jobs.

NY announces #VaxToSchool mobile, pop-up vaccine sites

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced new #VaxToSchool pop-up and mobile vaccination sites targeting New York communities with low vaccination rates among children ages 12 to 17.

Hochul said there will be over 120 sites and vans all across the state. The program will run through the fall, according to the governor.

J&J booster shot 94% effective 2 months after 1st dose

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday, Sept. 21, said new data shows a second dose — or a booster shot — of their one-shot COVID vaccine was found to be 94% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 when given two months after the initial dose.

NYC parents debate COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer’s announcement on Monday, Sept. 20, that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11 has some Brooklyn parents celebrating, while others weren’t so sure. Outside P.S. 20 in Fort Greene, parents appeared to be equally divided over the latest development in COVID-19 vaccines for children.

NYC changes quarantine policy, testing protocols in public schools.

Beginning Sept. 27, the city will conduct weekly COVID testing at all public schools — elementary, middle and high schools, the mayor said. The city is also relaxing the quarantine policy for children who are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer said Monday, Sept. 20, its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

COVID cases close over 300 NYC classrooms in 1st week

In the first week of the academic year, more than 800 students and staff in New York City’s public school system tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the closure of hundreds of classrooms, according to Department of Education data.

East Harlem school closing due to COVID-19 outbreak: DOE

A growing COVID-19 outbreak closed an East Harlem school less than a week after the academic year began, according to the Department of Education.

Lawsuit challenges NY mask mandate in schools

A new lawsuit filed Friday, Sept. 17, challenges New York’s requirement that all students, staff and faculty must wear masks while in school buildings due to the ongoing pandemic. The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, advocates for parental choice and claims the state’s regulation “is arbitrary and capricious given the absence of any emergency justifying the use of emergency adoption procedures.”

Moderna vaccine is most effective against hospitalization from COVID-19: study

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared how effective each of the three COVID-19 vaccines are in preventing hospitalization from the virus. The CDC reported that effectiveness was higher for the Moderna vaccine (93%) than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (88%) and the J&J vaccine (71%).

COVID-19 is ‘getting better’ at becoming airborne virus

Recent COVID-19 variants are much more adept at airborne transmission than the original version of the coronavirus, according to a new study. University of Maryland researchers analyzed the Alpha variant first identified in the United Kingdom and discovered that carriers breathe out 43 to 100 times more infectious viral aerosols than those infected with the original strain.

U.S. panel backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters only for 65 and over, high-risk

An influential federal advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans, but it endorsed the extra shots for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease.

COVID cases close nearly 60 NYC classrooms in first 2 days: DOE data

More than 200 students and staff in New York City’s public schools tested positive for COVID-19 in the first two days of the academic year, forcing the closure of dozens of classrooms, according to Department of Education data. The new cases resulted in the full closure and quarantine of at least 58 classrooms as well as 86 partial closures.

FEMA to reimburse NYC’s public hospital system $1B in COVID expenses

After waiting nearly one year to be paid back, FEMA has finally agreed to reimburse the city’s public hospital system for $1 billion in expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Judges temporarily block two vaccine mandates

New York Supreme Court Judge Laurence Love on Tuesday, Sept. 14, issued a restraining order against New York City’s vaccine mandate for public school teachers and staff, temporarily blocking the city from enforcing it.

The court set a Sept. 22 hearing date for both sides to hash it out.

Additionally, a federal judge temporarily blocked the state’s mandate forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their constitutional rights were violated.

The judge gave the state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit.

School starts for 1 million NYC kids amid new vaccine rules

School started Sept. 13 for about 1 million New York City public school students in the nation’s largest experiment of in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike some school districts across the country that are still offering online instruction to families that prefer it, New York City officials provided no remote option despite the persistence of the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19.

NYC municipal workers return to the office

Nearly all of New York City’s 300,000 employees will be required to be back in their workplaces, in person, Monday, Sept. 13, as the city ends remote work. Most will either need to be vaccinated, or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing to remain in their jobs.

Key to NYC vaccine requirement enforcement

Enforcement of the city’s Key to NYC vaccine requirement for all workers and patrons of New York businesses began Monday, Sept. 13.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said civilian inspectors from 13 city agencies will help enforce the law, which requires proof of vaccination at restaurants, clubs and bars, fitness centers, gyms, pools, movie theaters, concert venues, museums and aquariums, sports arenas and more.

See a full list of places in NYC under the vaccine mandate.

New NYC education vaccine mandate

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, Sept. 9, announced the city is expanding its vaccine mandate beyond just teachers and school staff.

All staff at city contracted child care and after-school programs will also need to be vaccinated, the mayor said. They will need to get at least one dose by Sept. 27, the same date as the teachers’ mandate.

NYC Catholic schools welcome students back

Wednesday, Sept. 8 was the first day of school for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

There are some new rules in place compared to last year. Vaccines will be encouraged but not mandatory, which differs from the New York City public school system, which starts class next week.

Masks, though, will be mandatory, and children will be put into “pods” or groups to limit the exposure and spread of potential COVID-19.

NYC schools COVID safety hearing

New York City public schools reopen on Sept. 13, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the health and safety of students and staff.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter and NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi testified at a City Council oversight hearing on the back-to-school health and safety protocols.

NY gov brings back legislature over evictions

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the state legislature into a special session; she said she wanted to extend the state’s eviction moratorium and add protections for tenants and landlords.

EU removes US from safe travel list

The European Union recommended that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infections there.

COVID-19 variants significantly reduce protection of vaccines, prior infection: study

A new study confirms that vaccinations and even prior COVID-19 infection provide significantly less protection against newer variants. Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University say in order to protect against the Alpha, Beta, and now Delta variants, these findings stress the importance of doubling down on both vaccinations and public health measures during the pandemic.

Mask debate moves from school boards to courtrooms

The rancorous debate over whether returning students should wear masks in the classroom has moved from school boards to courtrooms. In at least 14 states, lawsuits have been filed either for or against masks in schools. In some cases, normally rule-enforcing school administrators are finding themselves fighting state leaders in the name of keeping kids safe.

Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is allowing evictions to resume across the United States, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. New York’s statewide rent moratorium remains in effect only through the end of August.

NYC mayor outlines safety guidelines for public schools

The mayor and the schools chancellor outlined several protocols that will be implemented by the start of school, including mask requirements for everyone no matter their vaccination status, three-feet social distancing where possible and health screenings. 

These foods are extra hard to find right now because of shortages, supply chain issues

Notice your grocery store shelves looking a little bare lately? You’re definitely not the only one. Supply chain issues have created shortages of highly specific ingredients.

‘It’s up to us’: Fauci says pandemic could possibly end by spring 2022

The nation’s top infectious disease expert believes the pandemic’s end is near as long as the U.S. follows the right protocols to contain COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci said he sees the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s only open if the country’s 80 million to 90 million unvaccinated people are convinced to get the shot.

Comirnaty: What’s the story behind the new Pfizer vaccine name?

Comirnaty, who? It’s the same exact mRNA vaccine Pfizer has been producing through the emergency use authorization, but now it’s being marketed under a new name.

How in-home COVID vaccinations in NYC help lower infection rate

The five boroughs are seeing COVID case rates decline after weeks of increases. It’s in sharp contrast to the nation’s COVID indicators, and city medical leaders have mainly attributed the decreases to increased vaccinations as well as precautions, including masking and social distancing.

Cardinal Dolan: No vaccine mandate for Catholic school teachers

Timothy Cardinal Dolan spoke with PIX11 News about clergy getting involved in the push for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Is an earache a new COVID-19 symptom?

Doctors say they’re seeing a new COVID-19 symptom in some patients. According to experts, an earache has been reported more frequently by those testing positive for COVID. Earaches can cause pain, a feeling of blockage and sometimes muffled hearing.

With help from Avengers, health officials push COVID vaccinations in Times Square

SOMOS Community Care, the largest minority-led health network in New York, partnered with the city, state, and Marvel Avengers for a pop-up vaccination site at 47th Street and Seventh Avenue to encourage vaccinations among the 12+ age group.

Group in NYC protests COVID vaccine mandates outside City Hall

A large group of employees of the City of New York gathered outside City Hall in Manhattan on Wednesday, Aug. 25, to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Only 0.33% of fully vaccinated New Yorkers diagnosed with COVID

Less than 1% of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have contracted COVID, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, Aug. 25, as the city’s vaccination efforts continue.

Hochul adds 12,000 deaths to publicized NY COVID tally

New York’s new governor acknowledged that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than former Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the public. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said on Wednesday, Aug. 25 that almost 55,400 people had of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of his last day in office.

Johnson & Johnson: Vaccine booster provides ‘rapid, robust’ response

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday, Aug. 25, announced new data the company said supports the use of its COVID vaccine as a booster shot for people previously vaccinated with their single-shot vaccine.

J&J said the new data showed that a booster shot of their vaccine generated a “rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, nine-fold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination.”

Read more here now.

NY health officials optimistic FDA approval will sway more COVID vaccinations

Health officials around New York said they’re optimistic the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine will sway more hesitant people to get protected against COVID-19.

Immunocompromised NYC students will get in-home instruction; no remote learning

Remote learning remains off the table for immunocompromised students in New York City, but they will be given the option of having a licensed instructor teach them at home, the Department of Education told PIX11 on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

NY Gov. Hochul: Expect school mask mandates, vaccine requirements

Safely reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority for New York’s newly sworn-in Gov. Kathy Hochul. The governor on Tuesday, Aug. 24, outlined several ways she plans to ensure children safely return to the classroom in September, including plans for a mask mandate and vaccine requirement.

Hochul ‘not satisfied’ with speed of financial relief for NYers: ‘I want the money out now’

In her first address as the state’s chief executive, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul skewered the COVID relief process from Washington down, saying she’s “not at all satisfied” with the pace in which funds have been distributed.

Cuomo: NY businesses should require COVID vaccinations for eligible employees

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with just hours left in office, called for all employers in New York to require vaccinations for eligible employees. His announcement on Aug. 23 came as the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer.

NYC public school teachers, staff will be required to get vaccinated

All NYC public school teachers and staff (about 148,000 school employees — and contractors who work in schools) will be required to get vaccinated and have to get at least a first dose by Sept. 27. There will be no testing option.

Will COVID booster shot have the same side effects as the first two shots?

The Biden administration said Wednesday, Aug. 18, that COVID booster shots will soon be available, but how will the Sept. 20 rollout work, and what side effects should Americans expect?

Mayoral candidates, union leaders urge NYPD officers to get vaccinated, improve numbers

Less than half of uniformed and civilian personnel in the NYPD are vaccinated, according to new data, a sign of vaccine hesitancy within the department.

Lambda and B.1.621: New COVID variants could be the worst yet, doctor warns

At least two new COVID-19 variants have hit the United States and they could be worse than the delta variant in their infectiousness and ability to stand up to vaccines, according to a top medical authority.

COVID variants a worry even with 75% of adults in NYC receiving at least 1 dose of vaccine

New York State and New York City officials say about 75% of adults have received at least one vaccine shot. But, according to immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh of NYU Langone Heath, the arrival of the delta variant means the 70% vaccination rare won’t bring about the end of COVID any time soon.

U.S. health officials call for booster shots for all to battle COVID-19

U.S. health officials recommended all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and evidence that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling. The announcement was made on Aug. 18.

What is the lambda variant and how contagious is the strain of COVID-19?

Although delta remains the most prevalent variant, the lambda strain of COVID-19 is starting to emerge and there’s little known about it. According to the World Health Organization, lambda was first discovered in Peru last year. Since April, it’s been responsible for more than 80% of cases reported there.

BK business defies Key to NYC vaccine mandate

New York City’s vaccine mandate for restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues began on Aug. 17, but a business owner in Brooklyn says she won’t turn away unvaccinated customers.

NYC indoor vaccine mandate begins

New York City’s vaccine mandate, called the Key to NYC Pass, went into effect on Aug. 17. However, it will not be fully enforced until Sept. 13.

While not actually a vaccine passport as the name might imply, the plan is the first of its kind in the United States, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The plan requires vaccinations for all workers and customers at indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment venues.

NYC COVID vaccine mandate: Who is responsible for enforcement?

Details about the implementation and enforcement of the city’s new vaccination requirement at restaurants, gyms, and theaters are still being worked out. However, one thing is certain: it will not be enforced by the NYPD.

August child tax credit payments issued: Here’s why yours might be delayed

The second installment of expanded child tax credits was issued Friday, Aug. 13, to millions of eligible families, but some payments will likely be delayed due to a technical glitch, the U.S. Department of Treasury said.

Schumer calls for federal crackdown on fake vaccine cards

The Senate’s top Democrat says federal law enforcement officials need to crack down on fake COVID-19 vaccination cards being sold online.

COVID claims more young victims as deaths climb yet again

The COVID-19 death toll has started soaring again as the delta variant tears through the nation’s unvaccinated population and fills up hospitals with patients, many of whom are younger than during earlier phases of the pandemic.

Concerts, outdoor events still risky as delta variant surges, experts say

Concerts and outdoor events are returning, and many are requiring proof of vaccination as part of new safety protocols designed to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. But while experts say being outdoors is less risky in general, they continue to recommend additional precautions for those visiting crowded outdoor venues.

Biden weighs stiffer vaccine rules as delta variant spreads rapidly across US

When the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. first began to slow, President Joe Biden backed incentives like million-dollar cash lotteries if that’s what it took to get shots in arms. But as new COVID infections soar, he’s testing a tougher approach.

Who doesn’t need the COVID-19 vaccine?

It has been eight months since the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to health care workers nationwide. Since then, the vaccine has become available to anyone over the age of 12. Experts explain the few instances in which a person would not qualify for, or should delay getting vaccinated.

Extra COVID shot OK’d for those with weak immune systems

The FDA has approved an extra, third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems.

Diocese of Brooklyn announces mask mandate for schools

All students, staff and faculty at Brooklyn and Queens Catholic academies and Parish Schools will be required to wear masks beginning on the first day of class.

COVID vaccines would be required for military under new plan

Members of the U.S. military would be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Sept. 15, under a plan announced by the Pentagon and endorsed by President Joe Biden.

What to do if you lose your COVID-19 vaccine card

Don’t worry if you’ve lost your COVID-19 vaccine card, there are several ways you can get it replaced. No matter where you got your shots, getting a replacement card is possible.

NYC vaccine push for students

Aug. 9 was the last day NYC public school students can get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose in order to be fully vaccinated by first day of school on Sept. 13.

U.S. teachers union president supports COVID vaccine mandate

The head of the American Federation of Teachers union said on Aug. 8 that she supports a vaccine mandate for educators.

“As a matter of personal conscience, I think that we need to be working with our employers — not opposing them on vaccine mandates,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said during an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Aug. 8. “The circumstances have changed. … It weighs really heavily on me that kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated.”

How do you know if you have the delta variant of COVID-19?

So you’ve tested positive for COVID – but which COVID exactly? Is there a way to tell if you have the highly transmissible delta variant? There is a way to tell, but there’s not really a way for you to tell.

COVID breakthrough cases: Is one vaccine better than others?

COVID-19 breakthrough cases are rising, and now people want to know which vaccine offers the best protection from the coronavirus.

COVID survivors, victims’ families march across Brooklyn Bridge in call for more resources

Survivors of COVID-19, family members of victims, health care workers and others marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 7. The event was held in honor of the more than 616,000 lives lost to the virus in the United States and to bring more awareness to the issues a growing number of COVID survivors are dealing with.

Are kids more vulnerable to the delta variant of COVID-19?

Hospitals around the United States, especially in the South, are starting to fill back up again as the delta variant tears though the country. With previous waves of infection, we’ve been most worried about the elderly being vulnerable. Now, it’s younger people – even children – starting to show up in hospital beds.

U.S. averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day as delta surges

The United States is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge in yet another bleak reminder of how quickly the delta variant has spread through the country. The U.S. was averaging about 11,000 cases a day in late June. Now the number is 107,143.

50% of U.S. population is fully vaccinated, White House says

The United States reached a vaccination milestone on Aug. 6: 50% of the population, all ages, were fully vaccinated, the White House COVID-19 data director confirmed.

CDC says people who’ve had COVID should get shot or risk reinfection

Even people who have recovered from COVID-19 are urged to get vaccinated, especially as the extra-contagious delta variant surges — and a new study shows survivors who ignored that advice were more than twice as likely to get reinfected.

Vaccination will be required for air travel if new legislation passes; lawsuit against vax passes is filed

Federal and local officials are pushing congressional legislation that would require air travelers to show proof of vaccination to board a plane. Meanwhile, those opposed to New York City’s proof of vaccine requirement for indoor restaurants and venues filed their first lawsuit.

New Yorkers warned of dangers of fake COVID vaccination cards

New York Attorney General Letitia James released a consumer alert on Aug. 6 regarding fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. There have been many reports of these cards in the state, which can lead to a list of dangers, according to they attorney general.

Warning of more delta mutations, Fauci urges vaccinations

The White House COVID-19 response team said the delta variant continues to surge across the country. During a briefing on Aug. 5, Dr. Anthony Fauci called on Americans to take precautions to stop the virus from mutating. “The ultimate end game of all this is vaccination,” he said.

Moderna says vaccine 93% effective after 6 months

Moderna said its COVID vaccine has 93% efficacy six months after the second shot, according to a report released on Aug. 5.

Can I get ‘long COVID’ if I’m infected after getting vaccinated?

It’s unclear, but researchers are studying the chances of long-term symptoms developing in anyone who might get infected after vaccination.

Brooklyn nurse honored for COVID fight gets her own Barbie doll

A New York City nurse who fought COVID, contracted the virus herself and then went right back to battling the pandemic now has a Barbie doll designed to look like her.

What is the delta plus variant of COVID?

The latest surge in COVID-19 infections is fueled by the highly contagious delta variant first identified in India late last year. Now, a variation of that variant is beginning to generate headlines. Here’s what we know about the COVID sub-strain being called delta plus.

2021 NY International Auto Show canceled due to rise in delta variant

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) became a casualty of the fast-spreading coronavirus delta variant. Show organizers said on Aug. 4 that they’ve decided to cancel it this year, a little over two weeks before the scheduled start. 

Who are the unvaccinated and how are they being reached?

PIX11 News’ Henry Rosoff spent an eye-opening few hours with vaccination outreach workers to learn more about the unvaccinated population.

More ‘pain and suffering’ ahead as COVID cases rise, Fauci says

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Aug. 1 that more “pain and suffering” is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.

Walmart requiring COVID vaccination, masks for many employees

In a memo, Walmart announced that associates who work in multiple facilities, and associates of its campus office, will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 4. Walmart also required associates, including those fully vaccinated, to wear masks in its stores.

COVID cases rising across NY faster than fall 2020 despite vaccinations

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in New York is rising at a faster and steadier pace now than it did last fall, before anyone was vaccinated.

New delta variant research makes strong case for vaccination

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized the delta variant is more dangerous and fast-spreading than first thought. The findings also made clear why efforts to get more people vaccinated are vital.

Bronx teacher goes door-to-door to encourage vaccination

A Bronx teacher is trying to convince people to get vaccinated and send their kids back to school. High school social worker Justin Spiro says he’s on a mission, alongside the teachers’ union, to speak to parents with concerns.

Broadway will require audiences be vaccinated, wear masks

When curtains rise again on Broadway in September, theatergoers will need to mask up and show proof of vaccination.

CDC data shows delta variant spreads as easily as chickenpox

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new information on July 30, saying the coronavirus delta variant can spread as easily as chickenpox.

NYC will pay $100 to newly vaccinated

New York City officials announced the city will give $100 debit cards to New Yorkers who get their first COVID shot at a city-run vaccination site.

Bronx 16-year-old gets vaccine to help convince hesitant family

A 16-year-old high schooler in the Bronx said she was vaccinated at school in part to convince her doubtful parents and family that the vaccine is safe.

Cuomo warns of schools becoming superspreaders amid COVID spike

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 28 advised school districts to take action and ensure schools won’t become COVID-19 superspreaders. 

Pfizer: COVID vaccine protective for at least 6 months

The effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine wanes slightly over time but it remains strongly protective for at least six months after the second dose, according to company data released on July 28.

Disney World requires masks indoors regardless of vaccination status

Beginning July 30, Disney World required all visitors ages 2 and older to wear a face covering while indoors as well as in Disney buses, the monorail and the Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status.

NY plans COVID vaccine mandate for state employees, health care workers

New York will require all state employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by Labor Day or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Additionally, all patient-facing health care workers at state hospitals will be required to get the vaccine. There will be no alternative testing option for these employees.

NY workers should be back in offices by Labor Day

Employers should bring workers back to offices by Labor Day, the governor said on July 29 amid an increase in COVID cases.

CDC mask guidance: Vaccinated people should wear face coverings in public indoor settings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on some masking guidelines on July 27, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Streamlined NY rent relief application unveiled amid delayed payments

Facing backlash over delayed pandemic rental assistance payments, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a more streamlined online application process for tenants and landlords. The new online application, which will be implemented on July 27, loosens the standards for documentation, including for multi-tenant landlords who need to submit arrears documents. 

Vaccines offered at Summer Rising schools

Starting July 26, select schools in New York City’s Summer Rising summer school program began offering vaccine shots to eligible students, parents and community members.

The free Pfizer shots will be available at 25 Summer Rising sites through Aug. 13 across all five boroughs. Find out when and where here.

U.S. headed in ‘wrong direction’ on COVID-19, Fauci says

The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said on July 25.

Sen. Schumer demands New York release billions in rental assistance

Roughly $2 billion in federal rental assistance remained in the hands of New York State on July 25, as thousands of tenants continued to struggle to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Chuck Schumer released a letter he sent to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, demanding the agency “move heaven and earth” to quickly release the Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding.

NYC mask mandate debate heats up as delta variant spurs new COVID cases

Some New York City officials called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to retighten COVID-19 restrictions as the delta variant spurs an uptick in cases in the five boroughs. De Blasio, however, said he would hold off on reinstating an indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the city remain relatively low.

Doctors warn about slightly different symptoms with delta variant of COVID

As concern grows regarding the COVID-19 delta variant, health leaders are warning about somewhat different symptoms that come with it.

Most unvaccinated Americans unlikely to get COVID-19 shots, new AP poll finds

A new poll shows that most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots. About 16% say they probably will get the vaccine.

Is asking about someone’s COVID vaccine status a HIPAA violation?

HIPAA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 during a time when medical records were being computerized. It was created to simplify the administration of health insurance and to prevent unauthorized access to peoples’ medical histories.

In fact, HIPAA doesn’t block anyone from asking another person about their health status, according to Alan Meisel, law professor and bioethics expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

DOJ says no probe into state-run nursing homes in NY

The Justice Department says it has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response.

NYC public hospitals still awaiting FEMA reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses

The New York City public hospital system said it’s still waiting on a big reimbursement from FEMA for expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccine or weekly testing mandated for NYC health care workers

New York City will require workers in city-run hospitals and health clinics to either get vaccinated or get tested weekly, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The COVID-19 safety requirement for health workers goes into effect beginning Aug. 2. 

NYC COVID-19 uptick: Nearly 70% of new cases are delta variant

As COVID-19 cases slowly rise in the area, the City Council’s health committee chairman said the delta variant has become the dominant strain of the virus. City Councilmember Mark Levine said the delta variant makes up 69% of new cases in the city — up from 44% the week before.

Child tax credit checks: Will they become permanent?

The parents of an estimated 60 million American children began receiving child tax credit payments from the IRS in mid-July in a move expected to lift millions of families above the poverty baseline for the remainder of 2021. Should they become permanent?

Biden grapples with ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’

President Joe Biden is confronting the worrying reality of rising cases and deaths — and the limitations of his ability to combat the persistent vaccine hesitance responsible for the summer backslide.

Common cholesterol drugs may significantly reduce risk of death from COVID-19: study

Statins, a common medication for lowering cholesterol, may be saving lives among patients with COVID-19. A new study reveals hospitalized coronavirus patients who take statins are much less likely to die from the illness.

De Blasio: No plan to bring back indoor mask mandate if hospitalizations remain low

On the heels of the announcement that Los Angeles County will reinstitute its indoor mask mandate, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked on the “Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC radio if he has plans to make a similar move and bring back mask rules for the city.

NYC not dropping mask mandate for students

New York City students will still have to wear masks in schools next fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in July.

Child tax credit: When to expect payments, how it may impact tax returns

Payments for the highly anticipated expanded child tax credits were being sent to families in the tri-state area, and the rest of the nation, for the first time in mid-July. While the additional money may be very helpful for some families across the economic spectrum, the overall tax credit situation is complicated.

WHO chief says it was ‘premature’ to rule out COVID lab leak

The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus.

Wildfire smoke linked to increased COVID-19 risk, study says

A new study suggests that exposure to wildfire smoke is linked to an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

What can I do if I didn’t get my child tax credit payment?

The official disbursement date for the first child tax credit payments from the Internal Revenue Service was July 15, but parents may not see the cash right away.

New York takes conservative approach to counting COVID deaths

The federal government’s count of those who died of COVID-19 in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting virus-related deaths.

NYC COVID hospitalizations likely to grow as delta variant rapidly spreads

The delta variant is fueling new COVID-19 cases in New York City, and health officials are urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi told PIX11 Morning News’ Betty Nguyen that he’s very concerned about the delta variant.

Global COVID-19 deaths hit 4 million amid rush to vaccinate

The global death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 4 million as the crisis increasingly becomes a race between the vaccine and the highly contagious delta variant.

99 percent of U.S. COVID deaths are unvaccinated people: Fauci

America’s top infectious disease expert says about 99.2% of recent COVID-19 deaths in the United States involved unvaccinated people. And Dr. Anthony Fauci says “it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable.”

NY chief judge, family got preferential COVID-19 testing at home, official says

New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and some relatives received COVID-19 testing from the state at her private Long Island residence last summer after a member of the family tested positive, a state court official said. 

Why unvaccinated people still have to wear a mask in New York

The State of Emergency in New York may have ended but the state Department of Health remains cautious about the spread of COVID-19.

The same day the State of Emergency expired, DOH readopted some emergency regulations that would allow the agency and local health departments to react quickly should another spike in COVID cases happen, such as its “Surge and Flex” strategy and requiring masks in public for unvaccinated people.

There’s more to the worker shortage than pandemic unemployment, experts say

The workforce shortage is a combination of several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift in the economy, and changes in the workforce demographics, experts say.

Free health insurance included in stimulus benefits for unemployment recipients

Along with $1,400 stimulus checks and monthly child tax credit payments, the American Rescue Plan has another important benefit available to people who qualified for unemployment assistance this year: free health care.

Essential workers monument to change location, remain in Battery Park City

A monument honoring essential workers’ efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic will change locations after residents in Battery Park City were unhappy with where it was originally going to be built.

Workers enjoy the upper hand as companies scramble to hire

With the economy growing rapidly as it reopens from the pandemic, many employers are increasingly desperate to hire. Yet evidence suggests that as a group, the unemployed aren’t feeling the same urgency to take jobs.

Vaccine freebies

New York, New Jersey and several companies nationwide are offering incentives for those who get vaccinated, including free food, drinks and discounts.

Latest official numbers

As of Thursday, there have been at least 2,524,516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 45,476 fatalities, according to data from the state. There have been 57,889 fatalities, according to data from the CDC.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here

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