Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Infection rates continue to dip, variant concerns remain

Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Infection rates continue to dip, variant concerns remain

NEW YORK (WABC) — There’s encouraging news about infection rates, but some doctors warn this could be the calm before the storm as variants of the virus spread.

More states are easing COVID restrictions, but experts warn now is not the time for complacency.

“In New York, things have been trending in the right direction for at least three weeks now which is a very good sign,” said Dr. Ryan Ribeira, ABC News Medical Contributor. “That said, indoor dining is a pretty high-risk activity, and opening up shortly before a busy day like Valentine’s Day does seem pretty aggressive to me.”

Restaurants in New York City will reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday.

In the race to vaccinate Americans, major pharmacy chains are rolling out their programs this week.

Walgreens begins accepting appointments Tuesday and CVS on Thursday.

What to know about coronavirus:
Tracking COVID-19 availability and progress in NYC
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Coronavirus by zip code – New York City
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?

Here are more of today’s headlines:

1 million COVID vaccines administered in NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city has administered more than 1 million vaccines. New York City has given out 1,032,158 vaccines to be exact as of Tuesday morning’s press conference.

Citi Field Set to Open for Vaccines
Citi Field is set to open for vaccinations starting on Wednesday, February 10. Half of the doses there are reserved for Queens residents and the other half is for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers. The site will be open 24 hours a day from Wednesday to Saturday. CLICK HERE for signup information or call 877-VAX4NYC.

Rockland vaccination clinic rescheduled
The Rockland County Department of Health announced that the COVID-19 2nd dose vaccination clinic scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, 2021, from 1 PM – 5 PM has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 1 PM – 5 PM due to the weather.

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Anyone who has a 2nd dose appointment for Tuesday will receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday at the same time as the original appointment. No new appointment will be scheduled — come at the same time as the appointment scheduled for Tuesday.

NJ reaches 1M COVID-19 vaccinations administered
New Jersey surpassed more 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Murphy, a Democrat, said the 1,037,657 doses include both the first and second of two shots. While it marks a milestone, he said, the state is short of the number of vaccines it would need to meet demand.

65 and up vaccinations start Thursday in CT
Governor Ned Lamont announced that Connecticut residents over the age of 65 will be eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments starting on Thursday, as the state rolls into the next part of phase 1b of its vaccination program. Vaccinations for individuals over the age of 75 and those within phase 1a will continue. With approximately 350,000 individuals in Connecticut between the ages of 65 and 74, and a slightly increased but relatively small weekly supply of the vaccine being received in the state from the federal government, Governor Lamont and state public health officials are stressing the need for patience on the part of Connecticut residents. Currently, the state anticipates receiving about 60,000 first doses of the vaccine per week from the federal government.

“In a perfect world, we would receive enough doses of the vaccine to make it available to everyone in Connecticut right now, however each state is being given a very limited supply, which is why we need to phase it in and give priority to the most vulnerable populations,” Governor Lamont said. “I know that people are anxious to receive it, and I will continue advocating for our state to receive increased allocations in the coming weeks and months.”

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Facebook taking steps to crack down on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
After years of struggling to crack down on vaccine misinformation, Facebook is once again revising its policies to get tougher.

On Monday, the company announced several ways it plans to better combat vaccine misinformation, including making it harder to find accounts through searches on Facebook-owned Instagram that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

Disney California Adventure Park to debut ticketed food and entertainment event
A “limited-time ticketed experience” will debut at Disney California Adventure in mid-March, focused on food and beverage offerings and carefully crafted entertainment as nearly 1,000 park workers return to work.

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock announced the event in a letter to employees commemorating the 20th anniversary of California Adventure.

Schumer, AOC announce FEMA to help pay for COVID-related funerals, burials
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) will help pay for COVID-related funeral and burial costs incurred by low-income families. The money will be available by application only to New York families in need. Families can be reimbursed for funeral and burial costs up to $7,000.

Paterson giving on-site COVID-19 vaccines at public housing senior residences
Residents at Paterson Housing Authority Senior complexes began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations on site Monday. Mayor Andre Sayegh visited the Gordon Canfield Plaza Senior Residence to make the announcement, in partnership with CVS Pharmacy-Omnicare, saying the safety and wellbeing of the city’s senior residents is a priority. As they are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus, he said, administering the vaccine is urgent.

NY vaccine appointments for those with comorbidities
The New York State Department of Health announced that people with comorbidities can begin making appointments at state mass vaccination sites on Feb. 14 for appointments beginning Feb 15. Local health departments will determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions beginning Feb 15.

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NYC indoor dining to resume on Friday
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that indoor dining will resume in New York City earlier than expected. Indoor dining at 25% capacity will begin this Friday. It had been scheduled to begin on Valentine’s Day, but this gives restaurants a few extra days to get ready and hopefully benefit from a holiday weekend boost in business.

Fleet Week cancels in-person events
The Navy announced Monday the cancelation of in-person events associated with Fleet Week New York 2021 due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19. For the second year, the Navy will host Fleet Week New York in a virtual environment on social media May 26-31.

New York City to reopen public middle schools
New York City will reopen public middle schools later this month for the first time since November. Teachers will report the week of February 22, with students returning to class February 25. Those teachers and staff who return to school buildings will be prioritized for vaccinations over winter break.

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

Positive COVID-19 cases by zip code – New York City

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Find out if you are eligible and where you can go to get your vaccine
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?
Where to get tested in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

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