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Global Endoscopes Market – Analysis By Product Type, Application End User, By Region, By Country: Market Insights and Forecast with Impact of COVID-19 – Yahoo Finance

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Executive Summary The Global Endoscopes or endoscopy devices market is projected to display a significant growth represented by a CAGR of 6. 50% during 2021 – 2026. The global Endoscopes market was valued at USD 10.
New York, Nov. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global Endoscopes Market – Analysis By Product Type, Application End User, By Region, By Country: Market Insights and Forecast with Impact of COVID-19" – https://www.reportlinker.com/p06180319/?utm_source=GNW
97 billion in the year 2020 with North America region leading the regional market share. Increasing preference for minimally invasive surgeries, rising prevalence of chronic diseases (cancer, heart diseases, gastrointestinal diseases ), aging population, increasing healthcare expenditure and introduction of new endoscopic products are the major factors that are expected to boost the demand of endoscopes in the region. Meanwhile, the demand in developed economies is already really high and the future growth is going to remain quite significant.

However, the Asia Pacific region is expected to witness lucrative growth over the forecast period owing to high demand for endoscopic procedures along with improving healthcare infrastructure that will drive the market for Endoscopes in the forthcoming years. Intense competition among endoscopes makers exists due to the increasing demand for endoscopes for various diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, coupled with technological advances. Increasing market demand is likely to encourage entry of new companies in the future, driven by the increasing awareness and acceptance of endoscopes and related technologies.

The COVID-19 is an incomparable global public health emergency that has affected almost every industry, including the endoscopes, non-urgent surgical care and other healthcare industries in multiple ways. The COVID-19 episode has disrupted the market of Endoscopes in different nations because of lockdowns, travel boycotts, and implementation of stay-at-home orders. The highly infectious nature, hospitalization and mortality rates associated with COVID-19 has impacted clinical care for many life-threatening conditions and has quite naturally postponed many non-urgent surgical or endoscopic procedures in order to minimize the risk of infection and to compliance with various governmental orders. As, the healthcare resources, including the surgical and endoscopy centers were deviated towards Covid care.

Rising prevalence of chronic diseases, increasing adoption of endoscopes for treatment and diagnosis, and technological advancements leading to enhanced applications of endoscopes. Furthermore, the growing preference for minimally-invasive surgeries over traditional/open surgeries are driving the utilization of various endoscopic procedures for diagnosis, such as gastrointestinal endoscopy, laparoscopy, arthroscopy, cystoscopy etc. These factors, in turn, are projected to fuel the demand for Endoscopes over the coming years.

One of the global leaders in medical devices industry, Olympus Corporation has focused on endoscopes innovation and some strategic M&A activity. For instance, in 2020, the company announced their U.S. FDA approved new and most advanced endoscopy system EVIS X1, it will improve outcomes from disorders of the stomach, colon, and oesophagus, as well as from bronchial diseases, by providing every endoscopists with innovative and proven tools worldwide. Alongside, in 2021, the company acquired Quest Photonic Devices B.V. (Netherlands) to strengthen its surgical endoscope business and add abdominal surgical instruments to its portfolio.

Scope of the Report
• The report presents the analysis of Endoscopes Market for the historical period of 2016-2020 and the forecast period of 2021-2026.

• The report analyses the Endoscopes Market by value (USD Millions).

• The report analyses the Endoscopes Market by Product Type (Flexible Endoscopes, Rigid Endoscopes, Others).

• The report analyses the Endoscopes Market by Application (GI endoscopy, Laparoscopy, Arthroscopy, Others)

• The report analyses the Endoscopes Market by End User (Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Others)

• The Global Endoscopes Market has been analysed By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, LAMEA).

• The Global Endoscopes Market has been analysed By Country (United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, Japan, India, Australia).

• The key insights of the report have been presented through the frameworks of SWOT Analysis and Porter Five Force Analysis. Also, the attractiveness of the market has been presented by region, by Product Type, by Application and by End User.

• Also, the major opportunities, trends, drivers and challenges of the industry has been analysed in the report.

• The report tracks competitive developments, strategies, mergers and acquisitions and new product developments. The companies analysed in the report include Olympus, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, Stryker Corporation, ConMed Corporation, Hoya Corporation, Medtronic, Steris Corporation, Fujifilm, Karl Storz SE.

Key Target Audience

• Endoscopes products or Endoscopy devices Manufacturers

• Pharmaceutical Industry

• Biotechnology Companies

• Government and Research Organisations

• Consulting and Advisory Firms

• Investment Banks and Equity Firms
Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p06180319/?utm_source=GNW

About Reportlinker
ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need – instantly, in one place.


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Here are N.J.’s top 15 hospitals for maternity care, says U.S. News – NJ.com

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Fifteen hospitals in New Jersey are among the best in the nation for maternity services, according to a new analysis by U.S. News & World Report.NJ Advance Media file photo
Fifteen hospitals in New Jersey are among the best in the nation for maternity services, according to a new analysis by U.S. News & World Report.
The list, which does not rank the hospitals, is the publication’s first such look at maternity care. To select the highest-performing hospitals in the specialty, U.S. News & World Report examined data provided by facilities on non-high-risk pregnancies. Its Best Hospitals for Maternity evaluation focused on five factors: C-section rates, newborn complications, the rate of breast-feeding, scheduled early deliveries and the option for vaginal birth following previous cesareans.
U.S. News also took into consideration amenities such as child birthing classes and private rooms.
More than 550 of the 2,700 hospitals in the nation that offer maternity services submitted 2019 data for the evaluation, said U.S. News & World Report, which has published closely watched ratings on health services for more than 30 years. In New Jersey, 29 hospitals participated.
Ben Harder, the managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report, says he hopes the participation rate will increase for the sake of transparency.
“By displaying this data publicly, we’d like to empower families to make informed decisions,” Harder told NJ Advance Media, “and to encourage transparency at the same time.
“It boils down to [the fact that] maternity care is something that is shoppable — a patient can decide where she goes to deliver a baby because she has time to prepare, and there is more than one hospital to choose from. Maternity care is the not same at every hospital.”
Maternal health has long been a concern in the U.S., particularly in New Jersey, which has among the nation’s highest maternal mortality rates.
The situation is most dire for Black women, who are seven times more likely than white women to die from complications stemming from pregnancy and childbirth.
U.S. News & World Report did not break down its analysis according to race and ethnicity, Harder said, but expects to do so in future examinations of the best hospitals for maternity care.
New Jersey’s cesarean rate — 33.3% of hospital births in 2019 — is 7% higher than the national rate, according to the state Health Department.
A March of Dimes report card released last month on maternal and infant health showed nearly one out of 10 children in New Jersey was born prematurely last year, putting them at risk for developmental delays, health problems and death. Of this group, 13.4% were Black, 12.2% were Native American, 9.8% were Latino, 8.7% were Asian and 8.3% were white.
The report gave New Jersey a “C+” for its efforts, a couple of notches above the nation’s “C-” grade, the report said.
“The United States is among the most dangerous developed nations to give birth,” said Stacey D. Stewart, president and CEO for the March of Dimes, at a news conference announcing the report card results. “We have a lot of work to do.”
New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy has made maternal and infant health, particularly in underserved communities, one of her key issues. After Gov. Phil Murphy took office in 2017, the first lady launched several initiatives, including the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan.
The governor and the state Legislature have passed several measures in recent years to improve maternal and infant health, including a law prohibiting the state’s Medicaid program from paying for cesarean sections that are not proven to be crucial or safe.
Another law requires Medicaid to cover doulas, typically non-medical people who are trained or certified to be coaches during labor and childbirth. And in the summer, Murphy signed a bill establishing a universal home visitation program. A registered nurse checks in with parents within the first two weeks of a baby’s birth, and a few more free visits are available in the first three months.
Here are the 15 N.J. hospitals that made the list, in alphabetical order:
Capital Health Medical Center-Hopewell, Pennington
Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood
Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center, Westwood
Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy
Inspira Medical Center, Elmer
Jefferson Health, locations in Stratford, Cherry Hill and Washington Township
Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune City
Morristown Medical Center, Morristown
Newton Medical Center, Newton
Ocean University Medical Center, Brick
Overlook Medical Center, Summit
Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden
Virtua Voorhees Hospital, Voorhees
NJ Advance Media staff writer Susan K. Livio contributed to this report.
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Daily coronavirus cases up 18 percent, according to CDC director – The Washington Post

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Biden administration lays out some agency vaccination rates
Vaccinated people ‘should feel good and safe’ about Thanksgiving gatherings, Fauci says
French Prime Minister Jean Castex tests positive for coronavirus
U.S. Army awards Pfizer $1.4 billion for additional 200 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech
Unvaccinated adults 14 times as likely to die of covid-19, according to CDC
Buttigieg says vaccine mandate for U.S. flights isn’t necessary
Harris says gap between Black and Latino adults and other groups has effectively closed
Key coronavirus updates from around the world
House panel asks former FDA commissioner Hahn to sit for interview
White House says 95% of federal employees have complied with vaccine mandate
Analysis: The most pernicious anti-vaccine talking point
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trial data confirms high efficacy, long-term protection in adolescents
D.C. is changing its mask rules, but the city’s colleges are staying the course
White House plans to invest in $1.5 billion to bring more doctors to underserved communities
Treatments will change the pandemic, but they can’t end it alone
Biden administration lays out some agency vaccination rates
Vaccinated people ‘should feel good and safe’ about Thanksgiving gatherings, Fauci says
French Prime Minister Jean Castex tests positive for coronavirus
U.S. Army awards Pfizer $1.4 billion for additional 200 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech
Unvaccinated adults 14 times as likely to die of covid-19, according to CDC
Buttigieg says vaccine mandate for U.S. flights isn’t necessary
Harris says gap between Black and Latino adults and other groups has effectively closed
Key coronavirus updates from around the world
House panel asks former FDA commissioner Hahn to sit for interview
White House says 95% of federal employees have complied with vaccine mandate
Analysis: The most pernicious anti-vaccine talking point
Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trial data confirms high efficacy, long-term protection in adolescents
D.C. is changing its mask rules, but the city’s colleges are staying the course
White House plans to invest in $1.5 billion to bring more doctors to underserved communities
Treatments will change the pandemic, but they can’t end it alone
The Washington Post is providing this news free to all readers as a public service.
Follow this story and more by signing up for national breaking news email alerts.
This live coverage has ended. For the latest coronavirus news, click here.
The seven-day average of reported coronavirus infections has increased by 18 percent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at a Monday news conference.
The rise in cases and a 6 percent increase in the seven-day average of hospital admissions come just days after the Food and Drug Administration recommended booster shots for all adults 18 and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose, making more than 135 million people eligible for boosters. Anyone who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine also is eligible for a booster.
“Heading into the winter months, when respiratory viruses are more likely to spread, and with plans for increased holiday season travel and gatherings, boosting people’s overall protection against covid-19 disease and death was important to do now,” Walensky said.
Walensky and Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, implored unvaccinated Americans to seek shots for protection as recent CDC data showed the increased risks of being unvaccinated and catching the virus.
“Most tragic are the vaccine-preventable deaths we are still seeing from this disease,” Walensky said. “Even in our updated data, unvaccinated people are at 14 times greater risk of dying from covid-19 than people who are vaccinated.”
Here’s what to know
More than 90 percent of 3.5 million federal employees covered by the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate have received at least one dose, and a “vast majority” of those have been fully vaccinated, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said at a news conference Monday.
The figure is high compared with the approximately 59 percent of the general population that is fully vaccinated, about 196.3 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The White House announced earlier in the day that 95 percent of federal employees complied with the vaccination mandate before Monday’s deadline, which the Biden administration set in September.
Zients said the deadline isn’t an “endpoint or a cliff” for employees, and he added that more federal employees have been getting vaccinated.
“We have 98 percent compliance at the IRS, with nearly 25 percent of IRS employees getting vaccinated after the president announced the requirement,” he said. “At the FBI, 99 percent compliance.”
There’s nearly 98 percent compliance at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 93 percent at the Transportation Security Administration and 99 percent at the Federal Aviation Administration.
A full agency-by-agency report will be released Wednesday, Zients said.
The vaccine requirements have prompted political and legal brawls across the nation, with several states fighting against the federal government, some local governments fighting against their states, and employees fighting against employers.
Employees generally can apply for a medical or religious exemption from the mandate. Those who are unvaccinated and do not have an exemption will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or removal from their jobs.
In an interview for the “Post Reports” podcast, Fauci said that vaccinating people is the priority in fighting the pandemic and that those who have been immunized should readily mingle with others during this week’s holiday.
“If people are vaccinated, then they should feel good and safe about enjoying in their own homes or the homes of relatives a typical type of a Thanksgiving meal,” the White House medical adviser said.
But being around those whose vaccination status is unknown is a little less easy, he said.
“We still have to be careful of congregate settings indoors in which you are not sure of who is there with you,” he said.
He also gave advice for people who may be interacting with friends or family members who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“If you really want to be really risk-free, you should tell them, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t feel that we should be in the same room with you,’ or … have them get a test within 24 or so hours before they come to the house.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases urged vaccination as well as subsequent booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, saying it was people’s duty to end the coronavirus’s spread.
“When you’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic, it isn’t only about you in a vacuum, it’s about your societal responsibility,” he said. “You do have a societal responsibility to help contain this outbreak, and you do that by getting vaccinated.”
Listen to the podcast
PARIS — French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday evening and is displaying slight symptoms, his office told the Agence France-Presse and Reuters news agencies, amid rising case numbers in France and much of Europe.
The 56-year-old prime minister’s positive test was announced hours after he met with his Belgian counterpart, Alexander De Croo. Photos showed the two men standing side by side without masks inside Egmont Palace in Brussels, though they kept distance between each other. Both wore masks when they greeted each other outdoors with a fist bump and embrace.
Castex, who is fully vaccinated, will be in isolation for 10 days, France’s public broadcaster reported.
The prime minister had entered quarantine earlier Monday after his 11-year-old daughter tested positive for the virus. The European Medicines Agency has not yet approved a coronavirus vaccine for children under 12, but it has said a decision could be reached this week.
The Defense Department announced Monday evening that Pfizer-BioNTech was awarded $1.4 billion to a contract that will enable the company to produce an additional 200 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine for international donation.
The Army funds will allow work on the additional doses to take place in New York with an estimated completion date of June 30.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of the most popular vaccines in the world. A report released in October by Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group, found that Pfizer often placed the interests of the company ahead of the public health needs in negotiating contracts with governments, The Washington Post reported.
Unvaccinated people are six times as likely to risk testing positive for the coronavirus and 14 times as likely to die of covid-19 than vaccinated people, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data showed that people in the United States who have been vaccinated with one of the three available coronavirus vaccines had significantly reduced rates of infection and death compared with those who have not.
In early October, unvaccinated adults 65 and older had death rates that were more than eight times those of their vaccinated peers, data showed.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a news conference Monday that the new data further emphasizes the government’s mission to vaccinate everyone. More than 47 million eligible American adults and more than 12.4 million teenagers are not vaccinated.
“Infections among the unvaccinated continue to drive this pandemic, hospitalizations and deaths — tragically, at a time when we have vaccines that can provide incredible protection,” she said.
Despite a recent push from dozens of lawmakers for the United States to add a vaccination requirement on domestic flights, the prospect of a federal mandate is looking slim.
During an interview Sunday on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Buttigieg said strategies other than a vaccine mandate — such as requiring masks and vaccinating travel industry workers — are “highly effective.” The Transportation Security Administration has extended the federal mask mandate for planes, airports, trains and other mass transportation through Jan. 18.
Host Chuck Todd pressed Buttigieg on the matter, questioning whether he was nervous about putting a policy in place that was politically divisive. The back-and-forth came at the beginning of the busy Thanksgiving holiday season in which TSA expects to screen about 20 million people.
“If we’re trying to get to the end of this pandemic, continuing to have sort of loopholes to avoid a vaccine seems to elongate this pandemic,” Todd said.
Sidestepping the political question, Buttigieg said current practices are working.
“Between the masking and the other mitigations, we’re very confident in the safety of air travel and travel generally in this country,” he said.
Vice President Harris said Monday that a host of initiatives launched by the Biden administration to increase vaccinations among Black and Latino adults has been effective.
As a result of all that work today, we have effectively closed the gap in vaccination rates among black and brown adults,” she said. “Now, to be sure, there is still work to do to end this pandemic. And right now we are especially focused on getting our children over the age of 5 vaccinated.”
“What we have done shows us what is possible when we focus on equity,” she said.
A recent Post-ABC poll suggests that vaccine hesitancy has declined substantially from early in the year, although there is still some room for the nation’s vaccination rate — three-quarters of adults — to increase.
Harris pointed to the administration’s efforts setting up mass vaccination sites and sending mobile vaccination clinics to communities with limited access to community health centers with a priority for those places that were hardest hit.
The vice president also praised the private sector for partnering with the White House in helping reduce obstacles to vaccination for employees.
“Employers offered paid time off,” she said. “Child-care providers offer drop-in services, public transit agencies offered free rides to vaccination sites. Churches and barbershops opened their doors to become vaccination sites.”
Here’s what to know about the top coronavirus stories around the globe from news service reports.
The House panel probing the government’s coronavirus response has asked former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn to sit for an interview and turn over relevant documents about last year’s events, including President Donald Trump’s efforts to boost some drugs still unproven as coronavirus treatments.
“Given the sustained campaigns to promote the use of dubious coronavirus treatments, the Select Subcommittee seeks to understand the full extent and impact of Trump Administration officials’ efforts to influence these FDA decisions,” Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the panel’s chair, wrote Monday in a letter to Hahn that was shared with The Washington Post.
The panel is asking Hahn to produce all documents by Dec. 6 and to sit for an interview on Dec. 13.
Through a representative, Hahn declined to comment to The Post.
Democrats say they have specific questions about White House officials and Trump allies pressuring the FDA to increase access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, malaria drugs that Trump publicly touted as virus cures despite a lack of evidence. The panel cited messages from Amy Abernethy, a top FDA deputy, who in April 2020 warned Hahn of the risks of the drugs, which Fox News host Laura Ingraham and others were privately pushing administration officials to approve.
In March 2020, the FDA granted emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to be used to treat patients hospitalized with covid-19, although it revoked that authorization in June.
The panel also said it is probing the White House’s role around the FDA’s August 2020 decision to authorize convalescent plasma as an emergency treatment for covid-19, another therapy championed by Trump despite scientists cautioning that more research was needed.
In their letter, Democrats cited internal emails in which Hahn praised an erroneous talking point that the treatment led to a 35 percent increase in survival rates. Hahn, who publicly repeated that claim at a news briefing with Trump, subsequently retracted it and acknowledged that the actual benefits of the treatment were much smaller.
The White House announced Monday that 95 percent of federal employees have complied with the vaccination mandate ahead of a Monday deadline set by President Biden.
“Already 95% of USG employees are in compliance with the President’s vax requirement,” White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz wrote on Twitter. “There are no disruptions related to the requirement; we’ll avoid COVID-related disruptions through vaccinations. Today isn’t a cliff and we’ll be working with employees.”
According to Reuters, more than 90 percent of 3.5 million federal employees covered by the vaccine mandate have received at least one dose and a “vast majority” of those have received two doses.
The figure is high compared with the approximately 59 percent of the general population — 196.3 million Americans — who are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A full report on vaccination rates across individual government agencies is expected Monday afternoon during a White House briefing.
Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Marsha Espinosa said Monday on Twitter that 98 percent of Customs and Border Protection employees and nearly 93 percent of those in the Transportation Security Administration have met the vaccine requirement.
She added that there will not be “any disruptions to holiday travel from the vaccination requirement.”
Employees can generally apply for a medical or religious exemption from the mandate. Those who are unvaccinated and do not have an exemption will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination or removal.
According to guidelines from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force published in September after Biden announced the mask mandate, employees who do not comply should first face a five-day “education and counseling” period.
If the employee still “does not demonstrate progress,” the person should be suspended for 14 days or less.
Those who continue to avoid vaccination during the suspension risk removal. Contractors could have their contracts discontinued or not renewed.
Politics is a business that rewards saying things that are technically true — or at least not provably false — in the service of promoting one’s viewpoint.
Such is the case with the most ascendant and pernicious talking point among anti-vaccine activists, mandate critics and even just conservatives who are playing to the vaccine-skeptic crowd: that the coronavirus vaccines don’t prevent infections or the transmission of the virus.
The talking point is everywhere these days, including among those who say that they are pro-vaccine. It’s also utterly misleading, even in the cases in which it’s not presented in an entirely false manner.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday morning that their vaccine provides long-term protection against the coronavirus in youth ages 12 to 15, according to data from their late-stage vaccine trial.
A two-dose series of the vaccine proved to be 100 percent effective against the coronavirus, measured seven days to over four months after the second dose, the company said in a news release.
“As the global health community works to increase the number of vaccinated people around the world, these additional data provide further confidence in our vaccine’s safety and effectiveness profile in adolescents,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
Data from the trial with 2,228 participants show that of the 30 confirmed symptomatic cases of covid-19 in the trial, all 30 were in the placebo group and zero cases were in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine group, resulting in 100 percent vaccine efficacy, the company said.
“This is especially important as we see rates of COVID-19 climbing in this age group in some regions, while vaccine uptake has slowed,” Bourla added.
The long-term data will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for full regulatory approval of the vaccine for use in people over age 12 in the United States and worldwide. The vaccine received emergency use authorization for 12-to-15-year-olds in May
The vaccine was granted full approval for use in people 16 and above in August.
On Friday, the FDA authorized Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccine boosters for all adults, designed to shore up Americans’ defenses against the virus ahead of the holidays and reduce confusion over guidelines that have varied based on people’s age, occupation and residence.
While Washington, D.C., is easing its indoor masking requirement on Monday — impacting office buildings, retail stores, gyms and more — colleges and universities across the city say their own mask policies are staying in place.
Since returning to full-scale in-person learning in August, D.C.’s major universities have required students and employees to wear masks in most indoor settings, and all but Catholic University have required coronavirus vaccinations. Now, as the holidays approach, university officials and public health experts say mask-wearing will remain essential in protecting against virus surges.
“You probably don’t want to open this up for more transmission by telling people you can take off your masks in the classroom,” said Lynn R. Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “We’re not ready yet to say that it’s going to be safe for our community.”
The Biden administration plans on Monday to announce $1.5 billion in funding to help eliminate a shortage of doctors and nurses in underserved communities by providing scholarships and repaying the student loans of providers who work in medically needy areas.
The pandemic has highlighted what has long been a barrier to accessing quality medical care in rural areas and communities of color — provider shortages. The lack of primary care physicians impeded testing, treating and educating patients about covid-19 and the coronavirus vaccines, and now growing staffing shortages in hospitals are aggravating an already inadequate health-care infrastructure.
This money, made available through the American Rescue Plan, will be able to support nearly 23,000 providers through the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps, according to a White House fact sheet about the investment.
Currently, more than 16,000 clinicians are caring for millions of patients through the National Health Service Corps, which was founded in 1972 in response to dwindling numbers of primary care physicians. They work in areas with limited access to health care, and during the pandemic thousands served in community health centers and hospitals across the country, administering coronavirus tests, caring for covid-19 patients and putting shots in arms.
Vice President Harris, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy and Luis Padilla, director of the National Health Service Corps and himself an alumnus of the program, are scheduled to deliver remarks about the funding Monday afternoon.
The funding, according to a White House official, is in response to recommendations from the White House Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force to invest in a representative health workforce and increase equitable access.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges: About 17 percent of U.S. doctors are Asian, 6 percent are Latino, and fewer than 1 percent are American Indian and Alaska Native.
Medical school student loan debt, which averages more than $200,000, is often a barrier to pursuing graduate studies in health care. The National Health Service Corps helps offset the cost through loan repayments and scholarships. More than 25 percent of the physicians in the service corps are Black or Latino.
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FTC's health data breach rule covers apps, fitness trackers, agency says – Modern Healthcare

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Read Time:4 Minute, 10 Second

The Federal Trade Commission is taking a closer look at how health apps and internet-connected medical devices handle and safeguard the data they collect, the agency made clear Wednesday.
The FTC issued a policy statement on the scope of its Health Breach Notification Rule, a regulation from 2009 that requires personal health records vendors and related companies that collect health data but aren’t covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to notify users of data breaches.
The new guidance clarifies that the rule not only covers personal health records, but also newer health apps and fitness trackers.
Apps that collect fertility, glucose, heart and other health data have proliferated in recent years, without the safeguards afforded by HIPAA.
Digital health companies collectively raised $14.9 billion in the first half of 2021, a record for the sector, according to data from Mercom Capital Group. Health app companies collected $1.6 billion of those investments.
The FTC may look beyond cybersecurity incidents and investigate how the companies themselves use the information they gather on their customers, FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a news release.
“While this rule imposes some measure of accountability on tech firms that abuse our personal information, a more fundamental problem is the commodification of sensitive health information, where companies can use this data to feed behavioral ads or power user analytics,” Khan said. “The commission should be scrutinizing what data is being collected in the first place.”
Under the FTC’s Health Breach Notification Rule, companies are required to notify customers and the agency within 60 days of an incident. When breaches affect more than 500 people, companies must notify the FTC within 10 business days. That’s separate from HIPAA, which only applies to healthcare providers, insurers and their business associates.
The policy statement “seems to be a pretty clear statement that enforcement is coming,” said Valerie Montague, a partner at law firm Nixon Peabody who focuses on health data privacy and security. And breaches aren’t limited to a security incidents or hacks because the FTC also defines a “breach” as a company disclosing a user’s health data without permission, she said.
Companies covered by the rule should review their practices to determine how they’re using health data and ensure they have permission from users where needed, Montague said.
“Patient authorization or individual authorization is always the gold standard, and gives you the greatest flexibility to use information in the way that you want to,” Montague said.
Companies that don’t comply with the Health Breach Notification Rule could be subject to up to $43,792 in monetary penalties per violation per day.
The FTC has not enforced the Health Breach Notification Rule since it went into effect. But the agency plans to do so, consistent with the new policy statement.
The fact that the FTC has fallen behind in enforcing the rule is “disheartening,” said Lani Dornfeld, an attorney at law firm Brach Eichler who focuses on healthcare regulations and compliance. Without notifications about data breaches, customers don’t have opportunities to protect themselves, she said.
The FTC could already be eying companies that may not be in compliance, Dornfeld said. “They issued this because they have concerns,” she said. “I think we’re going to see some activity.”
The FTC voted 3-2 to approve the policy statement, with the agency’s three Democratic commissioners voting in favor and the two Republican commissioners opposing.
Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine Wilson, the commissioners who voted against the policy statement, argued it broadened the scope of health tools covered by the rule without statutory authority. The commissioners also said the new policy statement interferes with an ongoing process to update the Health Breach Notification Rule, which the FTC requested public comments on last year.
Privacy has been a growing area of concern about apps and other technology tools.
In June, the FTC finalized a settlement with fertility tracker Flo Health, which allegedly shared personal health data with marketing and analytics firms like Facebook and Google.
The following month, an investigation by a software company found several popular opioid treatment recovery apps were sharing sensitive user data with third parties. And ahead of data-sharing regulations from the Health and Human Services Department going into effect earlier this year, provider groups raised concerns about patients using apps that aren’t covered by HIPAA to access health data.
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Find a Doctor – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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Read Time:25 Second

Now scheduling COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5+, boosters and third doses
Schedule your appointment
Think you may have COVID-19?
New drive-thru testing available in Northeast Ohio (registration required)
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Nonessential surgeries postponed in Ohio through Dec. 31, 2021
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Choosing the right doctor can be difficult. How do you know that you can believe the ratings you see online? Cleveland Clinic is committed to helping you find the right physician for you with ratings you can trust.


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Mom tells of rescuing 7-year-old son from fire – Chicago Sun-Times

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Read Time:3 Minute, 17 Second

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Melissa Compean broke a window to get to her son Brayden Findlay, who suffered third-degree burns on his arms and hands.
Melissa Compean’s lungs burned with each breath and thick smoke clouded her vision, but she knew her 7-year-old son was somewhere in the room.
She grabbed a blanket and put it over her face, reaching out until she finally felt her son’s arm. Brayden screamed out in pain, but Compean was relieved to know he was alive.
“I felt his arm and it was wet from being burned, so I was like, oh no, he’s hurt,” she said in a video released Monday by Loyola Medical Center, which treated Brayden for severe burns on his arms and hands.
Compean said she was able to get her son to stand and guided him toward the window, which she had broken to get into the burning house. Her stepfather was waiting at the window for them.
“I’m terrified of fire, so me going into the fire was my mama bear response. I didn’t want him hurt at all,” Compean said. “I was trying to save him. Thank God, I faced my own fear.”
The boy’s grandmother, 60-year-old Susan Collopy, died in the fire that broke out Nov. 29 in the 5700 block of West 64th Street. Brayden suffered a life-threatening inhalation injuries and third-degree burns to his arms and hands.
Dr. Joshua Carson, regional director of Loyola’s burn center, said his team administered specialized aerosol treatments to reduce the swelling in Brayden’s airway. Later, they were able to safely insert a tube into his trachea for surgery.
The boy was on a ventilator for several days but is back to breathing on his own.
Brayden’s burns were treated with an special technique that focuses on the “regenerative properties” of a patient’s skin, Carson said. Unlike traditional skin grafts, the new technique requires a much smaller section of skin.
“You can mix it into a spray and you spray that skin on top of just little bitty pieces of graft,” Carson said. “So rather than have a big slab of his skin scarring up his arms, he’s got little lines of skin graft. And then he’s got this spray so that it can heal more like natural skin.”
Brayden will now head to a rehabilitation center, where he will work with therapists to rebuild muscles in his arms and hands. Carson said the technique they used should make it much easier for his hands to get back to where they were.
“For a kid like him at his age who needs to grow with his hands and use them, that’s I think a huge advantage,” the doctor said. “He’s healed really well, he won’t need anymore surgery.”
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The vehicle was engulfed in flames, and the driver was unable to be identified.
Just after midnight, he was walking in the 1000 block of North Lockwood Avenue, when a blue-colored sedan drove by and someone inside fired shots.
There was plenty of yellow flying around Soldier Field on Monday night.
Hicks was highly emotional knowing Monday could be one of his final games in Chicago with the Bears. He has one home game remaining.
All the scores from around the area.


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50 Best Companies to Work For – 24/7 Wall St.

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Read Time:1 Minute, 27 Second

In light of the economic shakeup caused by COVID-19, Americans are leaving their jobs in droves in search of new employment opportunities. This phenomenon, known as the Great Resignation, has empowered American workers to seek higher salaries and better benefits, and has allowed them to emphasize work-life balance. 
While some companies are struggling to adapt to the new employment landscape, others are able to keep a full and qualified workforce by providing employees with the flexibility and compensation they seek. A select few companies are able to provide employees with better work-life balance, compensation, benefits, flexibility, and office culture than nearly all others.
To determine the 50 best companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from jobs review aggregator Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2021 report. Rankings are based on Glassdoor employee satisfaction reviews over the period from Oct. 22, 2019 to Oct. 19, 2020. Data on CEO approval rating is also from Glassdoor. Only companies with at least 75 ratings and at least 1,000 employees throughout the eligibility time frame were considered.
There is no specific recipe for making a company a desirable place to work, but Glassdoor found that workers tend to prioritize businesses that offer good career advancement opportunities, high compensation and competitive benefits, positive company culture and values, quality management, and a healthy work-life balance.
The 50 best companies to work for are spread among just a few industries, including tech, health care, consulting, and more. This is no coincidence, as careers in these fields tend to offer relatively high salaries, and compensation plays a large role in overall job satisfaction. These are the highest paying jobs in America.
Click here to see the 50 best companies to work for


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Planet 13 Orange County offers largest California dispensary – Los Angeles Times

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Read Time:7 Minute, 27 Second

The first thing you need to know about the Southland’s newest pot-superstore-meets-theme-park — Planet 13 Orange County, which opens to the public in Santa Ana today — is that it’s big. Like furniture-store big, CityTarget big and largest-dispensary-in-California big.
The second thing you need to know is that even if you’ve never heard of Planet 13’s over-the-top approach to slinging weed (a larger flagship opened in Las Vegas in November 2018) and your knowledge of pot culture begins and ends with Cheech & Chong’s 1978 stoner comedy “Up in Smoke,” the immersive, entertaining and totally Instagram-worthy approach to cannabis commerce is going to become only more prevalent as the state’s legal marijuana market matures.
That’s because the over-the-top visuals and selfie-worthy backdrops are as much — if not more — a savvy marketing play as they are over-the-top entertainment. “We have a hard time advertising, because we keep getting shut down on Facebook and so on because we’re cannabis,” Planet 13 co-Chief Executive Larry Scheffler said during a pre-opening tour. “[Customers] advertise for us when they take a picture. … It’s unbelievable. That’s what’s helping us grow so fast; it’s the social media.”
Scheffler said the dispensary’s proximity to Disneyland (the Anaheim theme park is 8.4 miles away) and the South Coast Plaza shopping center (three miles away) and its adjacency to the 405 Freeway will help it tap into a Vegas-like flow of tourists.
“Las Vegas gets about 55 million visitors a year; there’s about 50 million to here — Orange County — so it’s almost the same visitor volume,” he said. (It doesn’t hurt that Santa Ana is the only city in a county of more than 3 million residents with legal retail cannabis storefronts up and running.)
What, exactly, is on tap for cannathusiasts who trek to this Disneyesque dispensary? Below are the seven trippiest things that caught my attention during a walkthrough of the O.C.’s newest palace of pot.
The first visual you’re likely to see — especially if you’re rolling in off the 405 and heading east — is the massive red orb shimmering with cascading water that marks the entrance to the dispensary. Big enough to be seen from several blocks away, the globe represents the planet in the Planet 13 branding. (In case you were wondering, the numerical part of the name comes from the fact that the word marijuana starts with “M” — which is the 13th letter of the alphabet.)

In a nod to the surf and sand vibe of Southern California, the interior has several beachy elements, including an architectural wooden wave that crests over the check-in desk just inside the front door to the left.

One of several focus-pullers in the lobby area is an 80-foot-wide digital waterfall that takes up the entire wall across from the check-in desk. It appears to cascade from the ceiling, flowing and splashing around the arched portal that marks the entrance to the dispensary sales floor and onto faux rock outcroppings.

If you walk along the interactive computerized beach to the right of the arched entryway, you’ll leave footprint-like marks in the digital sand that remain until the faux waves roll in and wash them away. If you’re really paying attention, this is where you might spot a message in a bottle hidden near the shoreline and a delightfully mad crab that darts unexpectedly around the edge of the floor.

One of the most popular interactive elements of Planet 13 Las Vegas — a VW party bus — has been duplicated in the lobby here with surfer-stoner tweaks. While the bus’ bright yellow, pink and purple paint job and surfboards strapped to the roof certainly make for a fun visual, what takes it to the must-share-on-social-media level of irresistibility is a green button just inside the sliding door labeled, “Get smoked out.” Pressing the button fills the bus’ interior with fake smoke and makes it appear that the occupants have been seriously hotboxing. (“People wait in line in front of the one in Vegas to get their picture taken,” Scheffler said.)

The visual centerpiece of the 16,500-square-foot, 50-cash-register retail sales floor is a 16-foot-tall sculptural installation of a bright red octopus perched — tentacles outstretched — atop another massive red orb. Despite being in the shadow of two Orange County theme parks (Knott’s Berry Farm is about 14 miles away), the cephalopod doesn’t have a moniker. “I actually don’t think it has a name yet,” Scheffler said when asked. “I guess we’re going to have to have a contest and name the thing.”
If you happen to pull your gaze away from the glass-topped cases crammed with all manner of cannabis flower, concentrates, vaporizer cartridges and edibles and look up, you’ll see dozens of brightly colored umbrellas (another visual touch carried over from the Vegas location) dangling from the ceiling. “The ultimate goal, once I have time to work it all out with the fire department, is to have a CO2 machine that goes on top of every umbrella and hits so that it drips down intermittently like rain,” Scheffler said.

The indoor rain effect isn’t the only new thing visitors can expect on future visits. Scheffler said the aim is to add new elements every couple of months and that next up will be mechanical butterflies — with 18-inch wingspans — fluttering around the dispensary. Beyond that, he and co-CEO Bob Groesbeck have ambitious plans for their Orange County outpost, of which the dispensary represents just the first of three phases. In Phase 2, the rest of the 40,000-square-foot horseshoe-shaped building will be built out and used for ancillary retail and on-site private-label production (both with immersive entertainment elements). But it’s the vision for Phase 3 that will truly make touching down on Planet 13 the weed head’s equivalent of visiting Disneyland:
Plans are to add a 15,000-square-foot space at the center of the horseshoe. “That will be the consumption lounge,” Scheffler said, ” A club that will be elevated two stories with live plants inside [and] splash pools so you can take your [shoes] off and dance in the water while you’re consuming cannabis.”
To be clear, you can’t fire up doobies on the premises — yet — but you can lay in a supply for later, thanks to a deep bench of budtenders (at opening, Planet 13 Orange County has a workforce of 250) manning some 50 cash registers. Although the shelves and cases weren’t fully stocked at the time I took a tour, expect a robust assortment of Stiiizy vaporizer batteries and cartridges, pre-rolled joints, flower and concentrates, and Select’s gummies, tinctures and vape pens (both brands have fully built-out shop-in-shops on the sales floor) as well as Sonder’s Space Crystals (a sublingual that’s like a grown-up, THC-infused version of Pop Rocks that snaps and crackles under the tongue), Sauced vape cartridges and Wana gummies.
Planet 13 Orange County SuperStore Entertainment Complex
Where: 3400 W. Warner Ave., Santa Ana
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. daily

Info: planet13dispensaries.com, (562) 732-1313

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Senior features writer Adam Tschorn writes about a range of style-centric pop-culture topics for the Los Angeles Times. Holding a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in journalism makes him well-qualified to look at something and ask: “Why?”

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California's yoga, wellness and spirituality community has a QAnon problem – Lookout Santa Cruz

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Read Time:12 Minute, 30 Second

It seemed like the end of a typical reiki attunement: A group of women wearing yoga pants and flowing floral skirts, gathered in a healer’s home after a course in the alternative therapy of balancing chakras, clearing auras and transferring energy.
But it was the early days of the pandemic and COVID-19 was spreading fast. The women in the room stood so close that their bodies touched. No one wore masks.
Kathleen Abraham, 61, saw that the Facebook photo of the group had been taken in the Orange County home of one of her dearest friends, a woman she had known for 15 years who had helped her recover from breast cancer and introduced her to the world of New Age spiritualism.
Weeks later came another jolt. Her friend announced on Instagram that she had been red-pilled, a term used by QAnon adherents to describe their conversion to belief in the conspiracy. Another old friend, Abraham’s first reiki master, was also growing more extreme, writing that the COVID-19 pandemic was a conspiracy and face masks were toxic.
Community collaboration leads to Housing Now
Community collaboration leads to Housing Now

QAnon’s conspiratorial belief system has now pulled in at least a dozen people in Abraham’s spiritual social circle, including two of her closest friends and two friendly psychics who always claimed the booth next to hers at New Age trade shows.
“I realized that I had to release them with love,” said Abraham, an energy healer and certified crystal practitioner from Trabuco Canyon. “It’s hurtful — it’s a deep, painful heart hurt. It’s just really sad to lose so many people. But it just got to the point where I had to let them go.”
A world that has long embraced love, light and acceptance is now making room for something else: QAnon.
More commonly associated with right-wing groups, the conspiracy theory is spreading through yoga, meditation and other wellness circles. Friends and colleagues have watched with alarm as Instagram influencers and their New Age peers — yogis, energy healers, sound bathers, crystal practitioners, psychics, quantum magicians — embraced QAnon’s conspiratorial worldview and sprayed it across social media.
The health, wellness and spirituality world has always been primed for that worldview, followers say. Though largely filled with well-meaning people seeking spiritual or physical comfort, the $1.5-trillion industry can also be a hotbed for conspiracies, magical thinking, dietary supplements with dubious scientific claims and distrust of institutional healthcare, including vaccines.
“It’s always been the water we were swimming in,” said Julian Walker, 50, a Mar Vista yogi, ecstatic dance teacher and co-host of the “Conspirituality” podcast, which tracks the marriage of conspiracy theories and spiritualism. “Now we’re seeing what happens when the water rises.”
Once a fringe movement, QAnon exploded in popularity during the Trump administration, gaining more believers in the U.S. than several major religions. Two recent polls have found that about 1 in 6 American adults believes its key tenet: that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles are trying to control the country’s government, mass media and financial systems.
Just how deeply QAnon has penetrated the wellness world is difficult to quantify, but its effects are tangible: broken friendships and business partnerships, lingering sadness and frustration, and a growing number of spiritualists who are speaking out against the spread of the false conspiracy theory.
Several New Age spiritualists in Southern California interviewed by The Times said they knew a total of more than a dozen former friends and colleagues at the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with ties to yoga, meditation, energy healing and dietary supplements hawked by multilevel marketing companies.
Jake Angeli, whose face paint and horned headgear during the Capitol riot earned him the nickname “the QAnon Shaman,” carried a sign at earlier protests that read, “Q Sent Me,” and successfully petitioned a federal judge on religious grounds to receive only organic food in jail. One of the best known of the rioters is Alan Hostetter, a ponytailed former police chief, yoga teacher and sound healer from Orange County who spoke at a QAnon conference and was indicted by federal officials this month.
Vocal QAnon support has dwindled since the insurrection, New Age watchers say, but some of the extremism is calcifying into something equally concerning: long-term conspiratorial thinking that encourages radical autonomy and sows distrust in vaccinations, elected officials and institutions woven into the fabric of American life.
Much of that thinking has been on display in Southern California, the heart of U.S. wellness culture, where many people with enough disposable income to pay for raw, organic diets and $250 chakra realignments are also disengaged from their civic responsibilities, said Derek Beres, a tech worker who lives in the Westside neighborhood of Palms and co-hosts the “Conspirituality” podcast.
When public health orders closed L.A.’s yoga studios, meditation rooms and other spiritual hubs in spring of last year, those privileged wellness seekers were told, “some for the first time, that they can’t do something,” Beres said. “Since they don’t have any public health knowledge, since they don’t have any civics knowledge, the only place they have to turn is their Instagram feeds.”
As the number of yoga studios soared in Southern California and rents rose, studio owners realized that offering $3,000 teacher trainings was more lucrative than charging students $25 per class, Walker said. Those classes created a glut of newly licensed teachers, some of whom turned to Instagram to build a following and secure sponsorship deals.
In behind-the-scenes marketing trainings, aspiring wellness influencers were told that “being controversial, taking definitive positions that make people love you or hate you, is a great way to build your brand,” Walker said.
That proved true for many spiritual influencers and platforms: A Venice kundalini yoga teacher who has worked with pop star Alicia Keys interviewed a conspiracy theorist for an hour on YouTube. A Sacramento yoga teacher who posted, then deleted, an abbreviation for the popular QAnon slogan, “Where we go one, we go all.” And on Gaia, a kind of Netflix for spiritualism, subscribers can watch a 13-episode series by British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who popularized the claim that the world is run by shape-shifting, blood-drinking lizard people.
UCSC’s year in review: giving voice to the challenges of our time
UCSC’s year in review: giving voice to the challenges of our time

Holding influencers accountable for spreading those beliefs has proved difficult, as the vast majority of the industry is unlicensed and unregulated.
“It has fostered an enormous amount of mistrust,” said Seane Corn, a L.A.-based yoga instructor and co-founder of “Off The Mat, Into the World,” a nonprofit organization that bridges yoga and social activism. “It has ended friendships.”
Corn was among the wellness leaders who shared a statement in September warning that QAnon’s tactics resembled cult psychology and that the ideology would sow confusion, division and paranoia. Corn estimates she knows at least 10 people who embraced “hardcore QAnon,” including two people who participated in the attack on the Capitol — and is aware of more than 30 colleagues and peers who subscribe to some forms of the ideology, as well as a “countless” number of yoga students.
Corn said she has watched bots and real-life QAnon devotees try to harness her social media comment sections as a recruiting ground, using “wellness language and nonviolent communication” in an attempt to lead her followers toward more conspiratorial thinking.
Her criticism of QAnon also triggered a flood of homophobic and violently sexual messages in her inbox, she said, and her Facebook page was hacked.
After the failed insurrection at the Capitol, QAnon is now something of a “damaged brand,” said Matthew Remski, a cult researcher and co-host of the “Conspirituality” podcast. Corn said some of her acquaintances who have fully embraced the conspiracy theory would be embarrassed to be described that way.
When the world shut down in March of 2020, Eva Kohn of San Clemente created a group text to stay in touch with nine other women in the area. Niceties about families and lockdown hobbies devolved over the months into false conspiracy theories: that Democratic elites were harvesting adrenochrome from tortured children to use in satanic rites, that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was perpetrated by antifa, that the COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility.
Kohn, who studied engineering, pushed back again and again. What’s the evidence? What are your sources? Here’s a scientific study that disproves the theory.
“I have a pretty analytical brain,” Kohn said. “No matter what evidence I would present, they would not hear it. They have gone through a rabbit hole and they won’t come out.”
By the end of the year, seven of the 10 women in the group chat had embraced QAnon. Kohn eventually excused herself, but one of them still texts her anti-vaccine propaganda. She estimates that she knows of more than 30 people who’ve embraced Q-related conspiracies. For some, she said, “the influence of natural wellness is what has driven them to this type of thinking.”
Last spring, extremist researchers began to note with alarm that bigoted, far-right ideology was being laundered through vivid sunset photos and slickly designed “educational” slides on Instagram. That recruiting tactic, aimed largely at women, has since been dubbed “pastel QAnon.”
“Instagram is the platform where yoga and QAnon intersected,” said Cécile Guerin, a yoga teacher and extremism researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London. She said the ideology was a clear fit for a community that has long been taught to search for and decode hidden meanings and patterns.
Federal officials have classified the conspiracy theory as a domestic terrorism threat. An intelligence report released last week suggested that while some adherents will pull back as false prophecies do not come true, others will shift from “serving as ‘digital soldiers’ towards engaging in real world violence.”
The theory’s promised “Great Awakening” echoes the yogic views of ascension and consciousness. The anti-mask and anti-distancing rhetoric focused on bodily autonomy and sovereignty, themes embedded in New Age practices, too: that you are your own guru, that you know your body better than anyone else.
Those who have embraced the conspiracy belief and search for hidden clues often describe themselves as having been “red-pilled,” a reference to the 1999 film “The Matrix.” In a famous scene, Keanu Reeves’ character is offered a choice between a blue pill that will keep him in a clueless but contented dream state, and a red pill that will reveal the world’s harsh realities.
Yoga teacher Laura Schwartz saw that rhetoric rear its head last year, when one of her acquaintances in the yoga community in Alexandria, Va., began to rant on Instagram that the COVID-19 vaccine, which was still in development, contained aborted fetuses.
Then came a flood of even wilder conspiracy theories: that Bill Gates was using the vaccine to depopulate the world, that the Rothschilds were controlling the world’s banks, that Donald Trump would expose and arrest a global ring of elite pedophile Democrats.
“Every talking point QAnon had, she checked them off,” said Schwartz, 41, who has a master’s degree in public health and watched in horror as the posts piled up.
Schwartz eventually severed ties with the acquaintance and moved to Carlsbad in San Diego County. Over the next year, as she watched more New Age clients, peers and acquaintances venture down the rabbit hole, Schwartz coined her own term for the phenomenon: “Woo-Anon.”
“People aren’t taking QAnon as seriously as they should, given how pervasive it is in these worlds — evangelical Christians, yogis — that otherwise have very little in common,” Schwartz said. “They’re creating a world where truth is whatever you feel like it is.”
The extent to which influencers are consciously embracing QAnon belief systems, or just picking and choosing the types of details that will do well online and attract a wider following, is “still a mystery,” Remski said. “Nobody will give you a straight answer.”
Jen Pearlman, a certified life coach who has dabbled in holistic healing for years, also watched the conspiracy theories growing last year.
First, theories that COVID-19 was caused by 5G wireless technology. Then an explosion of posts sharing the viral anti-vaccine movie “Plandemic,” coupled with criticisms of mask rules. In the summer, the embrace of the “Save the Children” campaign, an anti-sex-trafficking campaign co-opted by QAnon. By November, Pearlman said, people were talking about their 2nd Amendment rights and Trump’s reelection campaign.
Most alarming, she said, was that many of the posts seemed antisemitic, with allusions to a New World Order and comparing the United States’ public health shutdowns and vaccination policies to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.
It felt “terrifying,” Pearlman said — a reminder that “even though as a community we’re really peppy, we love everybody, and it’s all very ‘kumbaya,’ there is a dark underlying worldview.”
Abraham, the energy healer from Trabuco Canyon, is Jewish. She said she struggled to reconcile the creep of extremist ideology into her inner circle, especially among people whom she had “put on a pedestal” when she first entered the New Age world.
She unfollowed her dear friend and her reiki master, removed their photos from her home and took down her own training certificates from her walls.
“I had to let go of really close mentors,” Abraham said. Her heart hurt so intensely, she said, that she designed and began wearing a bracelet made of crystals that are supposed to cure heartache.
Ultimately, she realized that both women had been key parts of her journey into the metaphysical world. The certificates bearing their signatures are up on her wall again — this time, in a less prominent place.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
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Domhnall Gleeson Feels That Crackle in the Air – The New York Times

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Whether it’s the emotion coursing through Enda Walsh’s plays or the energy pulsing through the streets of New York, the star of “Medicine” is picking it up.
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The first time the Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson tried to go to Coney Island, it was February, he was 22 and he never actually found the place. A few years later with his brother Brian, he had better luck, sort of — feasting on hot dogs at Nathan’s Famous, then boarding what he recalled as a tame-looking “whirly” ride.
“As we got on, I said something like, ‘I think this is for kids,’” Gleeson, 38, said late last week at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo, a sleeker corner of Brooklyn than the setting of his tale. “My strong belief is that the person running that machine heard me, because it spun us in three different directions for like an hour and a half, and I’ve never been so sick in my life.”
Ridiculously entertaining, thoroughly self-deprecating, his anecdote also involved a ride on the old wooden roller coaster (“like being put in a paint shaker”) and his younger brother’s far sturdier constitution. But Gleeson was only telling it because I asked if he’d ever been there.
“How dare you bring up traumatic pasts,” he joked, “when I’m doing a play like this?”
In Enda Walsh’s “Medicine,” running through Dec. 12 at St. Ann’s, and streaming live Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, Gleeson plays John Kane, a psychiatric inpatient whose apparent drama therapy session with two visiting actors and a drummer trawls through traumatic episodes from his life. Absurdism abounds.
It is not, then, the safe fare you might expect from an actor known for playing General Hux in the “Star Wars” franchise, Tim in the time-travel rom-com “About Time” and Bill Weasley in the “Harry Potter” films — in which his father, Brendan Gleeson, played the gruff, good-guy wizard Mad-Eye Moody. Domhnall (rhymes with “tonal”) has also been seen recently opposite Merritt Wever in the HBO drama “Run,” and with his brother Brian in the Amazon comedy “Frank of Ireland,” which they spent part of the pandemic making.
He proved his stage chops in New York before any of that, though, making his Tony-nominated Broadway debut at 22 in Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” in 2006. His affinity for Walsh’s work has history, too; in 2015, at his instigation, he, Brian and their father starred in a Dublin revival of Walsh’s 2006 play “The Walworth Farce.”
But Walsh wrote “Medicine” for Gleeson and the rest of its cast: Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin and Sean Carpio. In the script, John describes himself as “a tall ginger man,” which Gleeson, at 6 foot 1, very much is. “And pale, too,” John adds, which is also true.
Drinking Throat Coat tea and bottled water to preserve his voice, Gleeson was cautiously game as he talked about his life and Walsh’s work, hyperaware of the danger of saying the wrong thing or seeming arrogant. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Tell me about you and Enda Walsh’s plays. What is it about them?
I really didn’t understand Enda fully, I don’t think, or get the full dose of him until I saw “The Walworth Farce.” Which I saw in a tiny room in Galway. It blew my head off in a way that was totally new. I was shocked to my core by it.
It’s a father and two sons, and he forces them to put on this farce every day. And what we’re watching is one day when the farce breaks down. They’ve been doing it for like 15 years, 20 years, this farce, and this other person arrives into their midst, and things just go off the rails. I left like, shook, really shook. I’d laughed so much, but I’d also never fully cried — like fully just wept, twice.
In a theater, you hadn’t ever fully cried before?
No. I’d been moved to tears, maybe, but not like this. Not mouth agog and tears just going as you were still engaged. And I was like, I don’t know what this is. Enda makes me react in a way that I don’t understand, and I just love that about him.
When people ask what “Medicine” is about, what do you tell them?
It’s a play partly about how we treat those that we describe as mentally ill. And the role of empathy in that and the role of medicine, good and bad, in that, and the importance of care, you know, and love. I think that’s at its core what it’s about. But it certainly doesn’t let you know that up front.
I mean, the lobster costume is a distraction.
[Laughs] Yeah, I know.
Your character, John, dreams of being invisible. Are you able to go out and be a regular person around here, anonymous on the street?
There are days where you feel much more anonymous, in a nice way. I’m living close to the theater, so just getting to see the skyline and feel New York and all the rest of it, it’s amazing. Being able to walk around and feel like you just disappear into the fabric of that is gorgeous. I love that. It makes me feel very young and reminds me of when I was back here when I was 22. I just love soaking up that energy, and I love the cold air. And then other days you do feel a little bit like, “Oh, no,” conscious that maybe people have recognized you.
When you played Bill Weasley, you’re the one who said, “Mad-Eye’s dead.” How was that?
I think I would feel differently about it now. At the time, I would have maybe lost one grandparent — who I love very deeply. But I was in my mid-, late 20s maybe? I was like, this is a hilarious thing to announce in a big movie. I probably wouldn’t find it so — maybe I would still find it funny now. I think my dad would find it funny, so yeah.
What does theater do for you that film and TV don’t? If anything.
Oh, no, it does. What happens in the theater, the live connection is what’s paramount. That crackle when the work is good, there’s nothing like it. That feeling in the air, and with somebody like Enda, a sense of threat, of possibility — possibility of hilarity, of huge sadness, huge anger, chaos breaking out. It feels like it’s spilling out of control.
I read something about you scheduling other projects around “Medicine,” that it’s been a priority for you.
It’s just that I believe you only live once, right? I had the opportunity to do this thing that, in my life, I want to have done. Because Enda means so much to me, the notion of being in the first version of one of his plays, the fact that he wrote it for us, I mean, God. Of course.
You don’t know when you’re going to get sick, you don’t know when you’re not going to be able to do things. You don’t know when the work will dry up. You don’t know when people will decide they’re not interested in you expressing yourself anymore. That all can happen really fast. If there’s something you want to do, then do it now.
I would also say backing out on theater at the moment would be bad form. Theater needs people to back it. Theater needs actors to do it. Crew to do it. And right now, more than ever, it needs audiences to turn up. There are many places on a knife edge. If you care about it or if you think it might be interesting, then now’s the time. Go.


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Man uses fake arm to try to get vaccine certificate without actually getting the jab – The Mercury News

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Read Time:3 Minute, 1 Second

A 50-year-old man tried to pass off a silicone arm as his own at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in northern Italy, in an attempt to get a vaccine certificate without actually getting inoculated.
The deception was spotted by a nurse, Filippa Bua, as she was about to administer the vaccine in Biella, Piedmont on Thursday. Bua told CNN she noticed something odd about the arm.
“The color of the skin was anomalous, much lighter compared to the hands or the face of the patient,” she said.
After inspecting the area, she realized that the arm was fake, made of silicone.
“I first felt sorry for the man, thinking that he had a prosthesis and wondering if I had somehow forced him to give me the wrong arm,” Bua said. “But then he admitted he was wearing the fake arm on purpose to avoid getting the vaccine!”
The revelation prompted a range of emotions for Bua, who said she has been a nurse since 1987 and has administered thousands of jabs.
“At the very beginning I was surprised, then I was angry, I felt professionally offended, he showed no respect for our intelligence and our profession,” she said. “I would never expect such a thing in my life.”
The Piedmont regional government condemned the man’s attempt to cheat the system.
“The case could be classified as ‘ridiculous,’ except that we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity, unacceptable for the sacrifice that the whole community is paying for the pandemic,” a joint communiqué from the Piedmont region’s President and health councilor reads.
In a video message, the President of the Piedmont regional government, Alberto Cirio, went further, saying the incident was “an offense to the region’s health system, that is among the first in Italy for vaccination capacity and for booster doses.”
On November 30, Cirio tweeted a map from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control in which Piedmont appears among the few areas in Europe marked in green, meaning the Covid-19 infection rate is below 1%.
The Biella health department has filed a complaint with the local prosecutor’s office.
The Italian government last month signed a decree making a Covid-19 “super green pass” mandatory in bars, restaurants, theaters and other indoor entertainment venues.
Under the new measure, only those with full vaccination or proof of recovery from coronavirus are allowed entrance to such venues.

The original “green pass,” in force for indoor venues and long-distance trains since September 1, allows people to show proof of a negative Covid test within the previous 48 hours, rather than full vaccination or proof of recovery, in order to access leisure venues. The green pass still applies in work spaces and has been extended to local public transportation.
Protests were held in a number of Italian cities in mid-October, when the requirement for all workers in the country to show the government-issued green pass came into force.
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
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NY COVID latest: Sunday, December 19, 2021 – WPIX 11 New York

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Read Time:70 Minute, 1 Second

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.

NYC mayor holds COVID briefing

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams held a COVID-19 briefing Sunday afternoon, amid a sharp uptick in cases over the last few days.

Omicron cases rising in NYC

  • Over 5,730 new COVID cases reported — a shocking figure and one that will undoubtedly keep growing.
  • “This is going to be a tough and challenging few weeks.”
  • Omicron is clearly a new challenge, but one we can beat it.
  • Vaccinations and booster shots are key.
  • We expect a very big surge in cases followed by a drop-off point.
  • That’s what we’ve seen so far in other areas of the world, notably in South Africa where omicron was first identified.

Immediate steps to fight omicron

  • We’re adding new testing sites this week.
  • At-home COVID tests will be handed out in high-volume areas.
  • Boosters are key: Millions of New Yorkers can get boosters right now or will be eligible soon.
  • Everyone who is eligible should get it immediately.
  • We’ll launch a new $10 million PSA campaign encouraging booster shots.
  • We’ll increase booster shot access at nursing homes.
  • Reminder to pediatricians: Medicaid will reimburse you when you encourage parents to get their 5- to 11-year-olds vaccinated.

Federal help: Asking for

  • A surge of monoclonal antibody treatments;
  • Accelerate authorization of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID pill;
  • Invoke Defense Production Act when it’s needed.

Mayor-elect Adams

  • We’re in this together, that means getting vaccinated, getting boostered, and getting tested.
  • We’ve been through this before, we’ve beat it and we can beat it again.
  • I know everyone is tired. The only way to get our city back is to put our heads down and do the things we already know work to slow the spread of COVID.
  • This is a pivotal moment for us.
  • We’re here today to tell you that we will do everything needed to bring our city back from this crisis.

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi

  • Omicron is the fastest-spreading variant and more easily evades vaccine protection.
  • Vaccinated people are more likely to get the omicron variant than any other strain.
  • Wear a high-quality mask at all times in public.
  • Improve ventilation indoors or gather outdoors.
  • Stay home if you feel sick, even if it’s just a scratchy throat or runny nose.
  • Vaccination can prevent you from getting seriously sick if you have a breakthrough case.
  • Plan your holidays around your most vulnerable family members, that means considering people with weakened immune systems and children under 5 years old.
  • Folks in the most vulnerable categories should consider scaling back in-person gatherings and spending time in public settings for the next few weekes.
  • Many people are experiencing traumatic echoes of the first wave, but we have so many more tools at our disposal than the spring of 2020.
  • It will be a challenging few weeks, but we will get through this.

Plans for NYE in Times Square

De Blasio: We’re going to make a decision before Christmas. We’re looking at omicron but remember it’s an outdoor, vaccination-only event. We’re talking to the Times Square alliance about making the event even more protected. 

Watch the news conference in the video player below.https://www.youtube.com/embed/vwIxxYQVQ74?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

4 NYC schools closed amid COVID outbreaks, 25 more could also shutter: DOE data

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across New York City, four public schools have shuttered and another 25 are under investigation for possible closure, according to city data on Sunday. Information made available by the Department of Education also shows there were at least 799 active classroom closures and 2,881 partial classroom closures citywide, as of Friday.

As COVID cases spike, toll on NYC hospitals nowhere near last year

Soaring COVID-19 case numbers, long testing lines and event cancellations might feel a bit like déjà vu, but so far New York City hospitals aren’t seeing a repeat of the surges that swamped emergency rooms early in the pandemic.

Positive for COVID-19 and need to isolate? NYC has a free option

New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and live with others can isolate in hotels, Councilmember Mark Levine reminded the city on Friday, Dec. 17, amid a new wave of infections. And the rooms don’t cost a dime for those who choose to use them.

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant out on COVID safety protocols: reports

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two of the Brooklyn Nets’ biggest stars, are unable to play after being placed into the NBA’s COVID health and safety protocols, according to the team and multiple published reports.

Breakthrough COVID infections may create ‘super immunity’

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University say they’ve found evidence to suggest that breakthrough infections create “super immunity” to the virus that causes COVID-19.

“You can’t get a better immune response than this,” senior author Fikadu Tafesse, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the OHSU School of Medicine, said.

Watch out for these 5 early omicron symptoms, study says

Wondering if you have a cold or the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus?

Well, based on the top five symptoms according to one study, it might be hard to tell.

Rockettes cancel annual Christmas Spectacular early

MSG Entertainment said The Christmas Spectacular is forgoing the rest of its season. The entertainment company noted “increasing challenges from the pandemic” in its announcement.

Unvaccinated Nets star Kyrie Irving to play out-of-state games

Nets star Kyrie Irving, who’s been unavailable since New York imposed vaccine requirements, will return to the team as a part-time player for out-of-state games, according to reports.

Surging COVID-19 cases bring a 2020 feel to the end of 2021

Though the calendar is about to change, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, had a distinctly 2020 feel: NFL games were postponed because of COVID-19 infections. The Rockettes Christmas show was canceled for the season. European governments imposed a spate of restrictions that ground travel to a halt and saw travelers lying low.

Much remains unknown about omicron, but officials warn that it appears more transmissible than the delta variant, which has already put pressure on hospitals worldwide. The uncertainty alone was enough for many people to change their plans.

NYC COVID positivity rate has tripled in last month

With the omicron variant in New York City and the holidays nearing, the seven-day average for COVID cases has tripled in the last month, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said Thursday, Dec. 16.

He warned the data indicated an “alarming trend” in all five boroughs. Cases are expected to increase in the coming days. Despite the rapid growth in cases, there hasn’t been a major change in hospitalizations or a major change in COVID deaths, officials said.

Everything to know about NYC’s COVID vaccine mandate for private sector workers

Private sector workers in New York City have less than two weeks to get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine under a mandate issued last week by Mayor Bill de Blasio. On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the mayor outlined new guidance for workers and employers ahead of the deadline and promised to provide clear, straightforward instructions online to help business owners navigate the new requirement. Click here to learn more about the vaccine mandate.

US COVID-19 death toll hits 800,000

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 800,000 on Dec. 14, a once-unimaginable figure seen as doubly tragic, given that more than 200,000 of those lives were lost after the vaccine became available last spring.

Hochul’s mask or vax mandate gets mixed reviews

Just over the course of those four-and-a-half days, key indicators of COVID spread have spiked, including a rapid increase in the percentage of cases attributed to the omicron variant.

It’s part of an overall situation that’s resulted in Hochul saying Tuesday, Dec. 14, that her mandate is justified.

‘Alarming jump’ in COVID cases, hospitalizations in NY: Hochul

An “alarming jump” in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York since Thanksgiving sparked major concern among health and government officials, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The average number of cases per 100,000 people in New York has surged by 58% since Thanksgiving, Hochul said. The average number of hospitalizations per 100,000 people in New York jumped 70% since Thanksgiving, according to the governor.

Kids now included in NYC vax mandate for restaurants, theaters, gyms

Starting Tuesday, Dec. 14, children ages 5 to 11 will be included in the city’s Key to NYC vaccine mandate for indoor businesses, dining, entertainment and gyms.

Young kids will need to show proof of getting at least one shot of a COVID vaccine in order to eat indoors or enjoy a show with family. Additionally, children 12 and up will now be required to show proof of full vaccination. Read more here.

Supreme Court won’t block vaccine mandate for NY health workers

The Supreme Court refused on Dec. 13 to halt a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious reasons.

NY new indoor mask mandate goes into effect

A new mask mandate, announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul applies to both patrons and staff at businesses and will be in effect from Monday, Dec. 13 to Jan. 15, after which the state will reevaluate.

New Yorkers do not need to mask up in indoor public spaces that require proof of vaccination to enter. In New York City, that would include all restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues. Individual businesses can implement their own vaccine requirement to avoid requiring masks.

But at those indoor establishments that don’t have vaccine requirements, both staff and patrons must mask up or face a maximum $1,000 fine. Click here to learn more about the mandate.

Downstate NY nurses head to upstate hospitals amid COVID surge

Nurses employed by Long Island-based Northwell Health have been dispatched to western New York to help at two hospitals dealing with a surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Sunday, Dec. 12.

Gov. Hochul announces new indoor mask or vax policy

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced stricter COVID policies on Friday, Dec. 10, including a mask requirement for all indoor businesses and venues unless they already require proof of vaccination to enter.

“We’re entering a time of uncertainty, and we could either plateau here, or have cases rise out of control,” Hochul said at a press event.

The governor said the day before that current COVID rates were “an alarm going off.” She said New York as a state has an average of 49.83 cases per 100,000 on a seven-day average — up from 34 per 100,000 just two weeks ago.

“I don’t want to go back ever again to that place where people couldn’t go to their jobs safely, people couldn’t congregate, kids couldn’t go to school,” Hochul said.

New law aimed at housing insecurity

Hochul also said she was signing the Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplements bill into law, helping thousands more New Yorkers move out of shelters and into homes. The bill was passed by state legislature in November.

“If we want to get people out of shelters, we have to give them enough money to afford the rent,” Hochul said.

The program’s voucher payment will now be raised to 100% of fair market rate set by the federal government, according to the governor.

Hochul said the Legal Aid Society estimated an additional 2,300 New Yorkers will now be able to move out of shelters, on top of the 12,000 already helped by the program.

More omicron cases in NYC

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said on Wednesday, Dec. 8, there are eight confirmed cases of omicron within the five boroughs. He also believes there is community spread at this point, and known omicron cases are consistent with community transmission.

Pfizer says COVID booster offers protection against omicron

Pfizer said on Wednesday, Dec. 8, that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective.

NY detects 4 more cases of omicron, bringing total to 12

Four more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected in New York on Monday, Dec. 6. That brought the state’s number of cases up to 12. Two of the latest cases were found upstate, in Oneida County, and the other two were in Long Island’s Suffolk County. Of the previous eight cases, one was in Suffolk County and seven in New York City. 

NYC private sector vaccine mandate announced

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans for a first-in-the-nation COVID vaccine mandate for private sector employees on MSNB on Monday, Dec. 6.

According to the mayor’s office, the mandate will go into effect starting Dec. 27. De Blasio said he will be issuing additional guidance and rules on Dec. 15.

Additionally, starting Dec. 14, children ages 5 to 11 will be included in the city’s vaccine mandate for indoor businesses, dining, entertainment and gyms. Read more here.

New U.S. travel restrictions go into effect

Beginning Monday, Dec. 6, travelers heading to the U.S. will be required to show evidence of a negative COVID test within one day of boarding their flight instead of three days prior, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status. See what you need to know here.

Additionally, the TSA will extend the requirement to wear a mask on planes, trains, subways and other public transportation hubs including airports and bus terminals through the winter.

NY hospitals strained under delta COVID surge as more omicron cases identified

The arrival of omicron in New York comes as hospitals statewide continue to strain under a surge in coronavirus cases, most traced to the delta variant, along with staffing shortages. The number of people testing positive statewide each day for the virus has doubled in the last 30 days.

Scientists call omicron variant ‘most mutated’ version of virus

There’s one thing we keep hearing from the scientists who’ve gotten a close look at the omicron version of the virus: It’s really mutated. More mutations don’t necessarily make a virus more dangerous, but viruses evolve over time to increase their chance of survival, which can be bad for humans.

More omicron cases confirmed in New York City: Gov. Hochul

The state Health Department confirmed three new cases of the omicron variant on Dec. 4, bringing the total in New York City to seven. An eighth case was identified in Suffolk County on Long Island.

De Blasio will ‘look at’ requiring at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to enter businesses

The emerging omicron variant of the coronavirus should cause people to take more precautions, a respiratory expert said on Friday, Dec. 3, the same day that Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he’d consider raising the minimum number of doses of coronavirus vaccine a person may have to prove that they’ve taken in order to be admitted into bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and other venues.

Vaccination rate climbs for jail staffers, DOC says

After New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for jail staffers went into effect on Monday, Nov. 29, the vaccination rate for uniform jail officers rose to 83% — an increase of over 30% from October’s numbers.

Restaurant industry concerned as winter and omicron arrive in NYC

There is still so much unknown about the new COVID-19 variant and how vaccine-resistant it is. But the hospitality industry is watching it closely — the pandemic has been particularly hard for restaurants. 

Health commissioner addresses variant questions, concerns

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi spoke with the PIX11 Morning News about omicron and what New Yorkers can do to protect themselves the most.

Omicron found in New York

Five cases of the omicron COVID variant were identified in New York on Dec. 2, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. Four of the cases were in New York City and one was in Suffolk County.

2nd U.S. omicron case in Minnesota; man recently in NYC

The second known case of the COVID omicron variant in the United States was identified as a Minnesota man who recently traveled to New York City for a convention at the Javits Center, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Thursday, Dec. 2.

Omicron COVID variant identified in California; 1st known US case

The first known case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified in California, the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29.

Hundreds of NYC DOC workers face suspension over vaccine mandate

New York City’s troubled jail system is facing the suspension of hundreds of corrections officers for failing to meet a deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The city’s Department of Correction reported 77% of its uniformed staff had gotten at least one vaccine dose as of 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29.

Times Square New Year’s Eve plans still on despite omicron variant threat: mayor

New Year’s Eve revelers will still be welcomed back to Times Square later this month despite the threat of the new omicron COVID variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

US panel backs first-of-a-kind COVID-19 pill from Merck

The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-10 that the antiviral drug’s benefits outweigh its risks, including potential birth defects if used during pregnancy.

DOC officers face vaccine mandate deadline amid Rikers crisis

Tuesday marked the deadline for Department of Corrections officers to be vaccinated. As of Monday night, just 74% of uniformed correction officers had gotten at least one shot.

How to pronounce the new COVID-19 variant

Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant of concern designated by the World Health Organization, gets its name from a letter in the Greek alphabet. But unlike the alpha or delta variants before it, omicron might not roll off the tongue so naturally to English speakers.

Masks urged indoors amid omicron concerns: NYC DOH commissioner

While health officials locally and beyond work to learn more about the new omicron COVID variant, New York City’s top doctor on Nov. 29 advised all New Yorkers to mask up whenever they’re indoors in public.

Omicron variant prompts new US travel ban on South Africa, other nations

The United States’ ban on non-citizen travel from South Africa and seven additional African nations began on Monday, Nov. 29, due to omicron, a new COVID-19 variant of concern, White House officials said.

Gov. Hochul mandates booster availability at all NY nursing homes

New York nursing homes will be required to make booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Sunday, Nov. 28. The governor’s order comes as officials and health experts around the world monitor the spread of omicron, a new “variant of concern.”

5 things to know about omicron, the new COVID ‘variant of concern’

The announcement of a COVID-19 variant called omicron by scientists in South Africa, where it was first detected, has sent governments and financial markets around the world reeling. Click here to learn more about what experts know about the new “variant of concern.”

Hochul announces state of emergency over new COVID omicron variant

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an executive order aimed at boosting hospital capacity ahead of a potential winter spike in COVID-19 cases.

She announced the new protocol on Friday, Nov. 26, amid warnings about a new and highly transmissible coronavirus variant known as omicron, which has not yet been detected in New York. Hochul’s order allows the state health department to limit non-essential surgeries, if needed, to ensure enough capacity if cases spike.

Omicron not yet detected in NY, Gov. Hochul says

Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement on Friday, Nov. 26, in response to the World Health Organization’s designation of a new COVID variant of concern. The governor said no cases of B.1.1.529, also known as the omicron variant, have been identified in New York. 

“The Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 virus samples selected from throughout New York State to compare sequences and identify circulating and new variants. While we have not yet identified any Omicron cases, we are not surprised that new variants are emerging and may likely end up in New York. We will continue to monitor WHO actions and work with our partners at the CDC to keep a close eye on developments,” the governor said.

What is this new omicron COVID variant in South Africa?

South African scientists have identified a new version of the coronavirus that they say is behind a recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province. It’s unclear where the new variant actually arose, but it was first detected by scientists in South Africa and has also been seen in travelers to Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.

COVID hospitalizations on the rise in New York

As we reach the holiday season, New York continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to state data released Saturday, Nov. 21. Nearly 6,100 people per day are testing positive for COVID-19. That’s up 22% from roughly 5,000 for the seven days through Nov. 11. It’s also the highest seven-day average since mid-April.

CDC approves expanding COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all adults

The U.S. on Friday, Nov. 19, opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, aiming to ward off a winter surge as coronavirus cases rise even before millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

Pfizer agrees to let other companies make its COVID-19 pill

Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.

Getting a COVID vaccine before the holidays? Here are some key dates to know

Time is running out if you plan to be fully vaccinated against COVID by the holidays. Click here for the deadlines to be fully vaccinated before each holiday.

NYC sees uptick in COVID cases amid cold weather

New York City is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases as the region experiences cooler weather, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said Monday, Nov. 15.

COVID booster shot eligibility expands to all NYC adults: health commissioner

New York City has expanded its eligibility criteria for the COVID booster shot to all adults, the city’s health commissioner announced on Monday, Nov. 15.

Health experts warn of holiday COVID-19 cases

“As we gather for the holidays, in the winter, we’re careful with who we gather with and this is a great opportunity to talk with family and chat with co-workers to make sure they’re trying to fit under the umbrella as best as possible, of being vaccinated,” said Dr. Louis Morledge.

According to health experts, the vaccine is the best way to get ahead of COVID and the delta variant.

10 mass vaccine sites now open to kids 5-11

Ten of New York state’s mass vaccination sites will now be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11.

US gives final clearance to COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11

U.S. health officials on Tuesday, Nov. 2 gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opens a major expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign to children as young as 5.

The Food and Drug Administration already authorized the shots for children ages 5 to 11 — doses just a third of the amount given to teens and adults. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally recommends who should receive FDA-cleared vaccines.

New ‘Vax to School’ pop-up sites announced

Gov. Kathy Hochul detailed 14 new pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites aimed at increasing the vaccination rate among school-aged children in New York on Nov. 2. Two of the new pop-up locations are located in Brooklyn: Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Van Siclen Avenue and Hebron Baptist Church on Fountain Avenue.

NYC vaccine mandate for city workers in effect

New York City’s controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all city employees went into effect at midnight on Nov. 1. As city workers rushed to meet the deadline, Mayor Bill de Blasio said 91% have gotten the shot as of Sunday, Oct. 31. That number rose from about 83% on Oct. 29. Overall, vaccination rates among workers impacted by the mandate increased by 14% over 10 days, according to the mayor’s office.

Mayor says 91% of city workface is vaccinated

Thousands of city municipal workers remained unvaccinated Oct. 30, a day after the vaccinate mandate deadline. Those who remain unvaccinated will be put on unpaid leave starting Nov. 1. The mayor said 91% of city-employed workers had gotten the jab.

Thousands of NYPD, FDNY, sanitation workers remain unvaccinated past deadline

Thousands of New York City firefighters, NYPD officers and other city workers remained unvaccinated several hours after the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all city employees went into effect, new data released on Saturday Oct. 30, shows.

Vaccinated just as likely to spread delta variant within household as unvaccinated: study

People who have received COVID-19 vaccinations are able to spread the delta variant within their household just as easily as unvaccinated individuals, a new study published on Friday, Oct. 29, shows.

Child tax credit 2022: What we know so far

As inner-party conflict continues to shave off elements of President Joe Biden’s sweeping domestic policy package, there may be good news for parents. While it’s unclear what the ultimate bill will include, Democrats arrived at a framework Thursday, Oct. 28, that included a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit.

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.

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 on Saturday, Oct. 16, 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, Oct. 7. 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Masks 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 decided to cancel it this year.

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 Saturday, there have been at least 2,917,716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020. There have been 47,492 fatalities, according to data from the state. There have been 60,252 fatalities, according to data from the CDC.

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