Coronavirus in New York

More hospitals are requiring masks as flu and COVID-19 cases surge

BY Associated Press

NEW YORK — More U.S. hospitals are requiring masks and limiting visitors as health officials face an expected but still nasty post-holiday spike in flu, COVID-19 and other illnesses.

While many experts say this season likely won’t prove to be as deadly as some other recent winters, it still could mean hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and many thousands of deaths across the country.

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Hochul: New COVID-19 vaccine available in New York starting Friday as numbers tick up slightly

BY Luke Parsnow

The newest COVID-19 vaccine will be made available in New York starting Friday as the state sees a slight increase in case numbers and hospitalizations now three-and-and-half years after the pandemic began, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

“I know everyone wants to be done with COVID, but COVID is not done with us,” Hochul said at a briefing in New York City.

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New York makes COVID-19 tests, masks available to schools as new year begins

BY Luke Parsnow

New York state is making COVID-19 rapid test kits and masks available to school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) by request as the academic year begins, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Tuesday.

This comes amid reports of the new BA.2.86 variant and following a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the summer.

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New York monitoring COVID-19 samples for new variant

BY Luke Parsnow

New York state is monitoring the new COVID-19 variant, known as BA.2.86, and while state leaders say there are no confirmed cases of the variant in the state at this time, the Wadsworth Lab is working to expand the pool of clinical COVID-19 samples submitted for analysis to increase the opportunity for detecting it, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Tuesday.

“While New Yorkers might want to be done with COVID-19, COVID-19 isn’t done with us,” Hochul said in a statement. “With the increase in hospitalizations and reported cases this summer, I strongly urge everyone to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their communities. To keep New Yorkers safe, my administration will continue to monitor this situation, share information on the new boosters as soon as it’s available, and continue to make N-95 masks available statewide.”

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Officials urge caution amid COVID-19 uptick in New York

BY Erica Brosnan

City and state officials are urging New Yorkers to exercise caution amid an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state.

Data from Aug. 2 shows hospital admissions rose by 22% compared to the previous week, with more than 100 people being admitted to hospitals each day statewide, the New York State Department of Health said in a news release.

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New York will shut down its COVID-era vaccination app

BY Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A $64 million mobile app used by New Yorkers during the pandemic to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be shut down in the coming weeks, according to state officials.

The Excelsior Pass app, a digital relic of the pandemic, has rarely been used during the past two years, but it costs the state at least $200,000 a month to maintain, according to the Times Union of Albany. The app will be decommissioned on July 28, and state officials say the stored personal data will remain “private and secure.”

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New York health officials to end COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers

BY Nick Reisman

New York state health officials signaled Wednesday a requirement that health care workers receive the COVID-19 vaccination will end as pandemic-era rules more broadly are expiring.

The announcement comes after years of legal challenges to the vaccine requirement, which resulted in health care workers who refused to receive the vaccine losing their jobs as a result.

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CUNY to end COVID vaccine mandate for students and faculty

BY Estefania Hernandez

The City University of New York will end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate at the end of the spring semester.

Twenty-two CUNY colleges will lift the mandate for students, faculty and staff members on May 23, the last day of the spring semester, the public university said in a news release.

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New York nursing homes will no longer require negative COVID-19 test for entry

BY Nick Reisman

Visitors to New York state nursing homes will no longer be required to show a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to the facilities, state Department of Health officials on Friday announced.

The updated guidance for nursing homes in the state is meant to align with federal policies that no longer require a negative COVID-19 test result.

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Adams urges mask removal upon entering stores to deter crime

BY Spectrum News Staff

The city will attempt to crack down on masked criminals by urging stores to require customers to remove their masks when they first walk in, Mayor Eric Adams said this week.

Shop and bodega owners should “not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask,” Adams said in an interview Monday, maintaining the measure would deter shoplifting and “serious crimes” alike.

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New York health officials seek to expand COVID-19 booster participation

BY Nick Reisman

New Yorkers who have underlying medical issues and are at risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19 are being encouraged by state health officials to stay up-to-date with a bivalent booster shot.

The state Department of Health on Friday announced the launch of a public service campaign to highlight the booster doses and their availability.

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Hochul: No plans to change COVID-19 vaccine rule for health care workers

BY Nick Reisman

Workers in the health care field will continue to be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as other pandemic-era regulations like requiring facemasks inside health care facilities are ending, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday said.

The ongoing vaccination requirement is consistent with federal policy set by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, Hochul said.

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Officials: Mask mandates in N.Y. health care facilities to end Sunday

BY Patrick Adcroft

New York state health officials will allow masking mandates in hospitals and other health care facilities to lapse come Feb. 12, acting state Health Commissioner James V. McDonald said.

The emergency regulation was put in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and applied to all staff, patients and visitors.

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NYC to drop COVID vaccine mandate for city workers

BY Juan Manuel Benitez and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 8:41 PM ET Feb. 06, 2023

The city will drop its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers later this week, Mayor Eric Adams said Monday.

COVID-19 vaccines will become optional for current and prospective city workers on Friday, Feb. 10, after "the expected ratification at the next Board of Health meeting" scheduled for Feb. 9, Adams said in a press release.

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'Most transmissible' COVID variant linked to 73% of NYC cases

BY Spectrum News Staff and Maya Rajamani

A highly transmissible new omicron subvariant known as XBB.1.5 accounts for more than 70% of the COVID-19 cases New York City has seen in recent weeks, the city health department said Friday.

As of Dec. 31, 73% of reported COVID-19 infections in the five boroughs were linked to the subvariant, data from the city’s Department of Health shows.

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NYC issues mask advisory amid spike in respiratory illnesses

BY Maya Rajamani

The city has issued an advisory urging New Yorkers to mask up as the “triple threat” of COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, becomes a reality.

The five boroughs are seeing an “unusually high” simultaneous spike in infections caused by the three respiratory viruses, the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said in a press release Friday.

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New York COVID-19 levels remain low as winter holidays approach

BY Luke Parsnow

Although COVID-19 levels in New York state have been relatively low since the late spring, many officials and health experts have kept a watchful eye lately as the colder months and holiday gatherings have led to case increases over the last two years.

As of now, COVID-19 levels remain much lower than this point in 2021 and 2020, according to the latest data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Hochul approves notification law for New York nursing homes

BY Nick Reisman

Residential care facilities in New York will be required to notify residents and their families when an infection is confirmed in the facility under legislation approved Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new law will also require nursing homes in the state to have a plan to aid exposed or infected residents.

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Why advocates want more oversight at New York nursing homes

BY Nick Reisman

Advocates for older and vulnerable New Yorkers say more funding is needed for an oversight program at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

More than half of the nursing homes and long-term care facilities in New York have not received a visit from a member of the state's ombudsman program so far this year. It's a problem the needs to be addressed, said Bill Ferris, the legislative representative for AARP New York.

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City hospitals, ICUs overwhelmed as RSV cases rises

BY Stef Manisero

In a Nov. 3 video that’s part of a public awareness campaign, state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett warned New Yorkers about a so-called "triple threat" of respiratory viruses going around.

“This fall we’re facing a triple threat from respiratory infections like RSV, flu, and COVID-19,” Bassett said.

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Boutique fitness companies power ahead post-pandemic

BY Spectrum News Staff

The fitness industry was hard hit during the pandemic. They were among some of the last businesses to reopen.

Anne Mahlum, founder of Solid Core and the new wellness company called Ambition, joined NY1 to talk about how the industry is recovering, particularly here in New York.

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City relaunches sexual health services at five clinics

BY Estefania Hernandez

A handful of city-run sexual health clinics that shifted to rapid COVID-19 testing and vaccination during the pandemic have begun offering sexual health services again, officials said Friday.

Five of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene’s eight sexual health clinics — including its Chelsea Express, Fort Greene Express and Corona clinics — are now offering sexual health services, the agency said in a press release.

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Exclusive: 32,000-hour New York pandemic review expected to start in days

BY Kate Lisa

Emergency management consulting firm Olson Group Ltd. expects to have a final contract by the end of the week to start reviewing the impact of New York's response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the next year.

The Olson Group, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is prepared to review the state's policies and decisions related to the coronavirus and their impact on schools, businesses, nursing homes and more for a maximum of $4.3 million.

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Emergency management consulting firm to lead New York's $4.3 million pandemic review

BY Kate Lisa

*Editor's note: The state has selected the Olson Group Ltd. in Alexandria, Virginia, to conduct the one-year review. An earlier version of this story identified a different Olson Group Ltd. in New York City.

A consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia is closing in on finalizing a state contract to evaluate policies and decisions made in New York throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New York lawmakers ready to revive push to mandate COVID-19 vaccine in schools

BY Kate Lisa

New York lawmakers who introduced a bill last year to require the COVID-19 vaccine for school children weren't successful in advancing that proposal. But they're not giving up.

State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz sponsors legislation to require school students in New York be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It died in the Health Committee this session.

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What to know about the 'triple threat' of RSV, COVID and flu

BY Maya Rajamani

The city is seeing an “uptick” in COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus cases, Mayor Eric Adams said this week, and health officials are warning that the so-called “triple threat” of the three illnesses could worsen in the coming months.

Here’s what you need to know about the viruses, from how to protect yourself from them to how many infections the city is seeing.

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City drops COVID vaccine mandate for high-risk school activities, private employers

BY Estefania Hernandez

Health officials on Tuesday voted to drop COVID-19 vaccination requirements for high-risk extracurricular activities in schools and for private-sector employers.

The decision at a health board meeting comes after the city announced it will appeal a Staten Island judge’s Monday ruling to reinstate municipal workers who were fired for not getting their vaccine.

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Stefanik pledges more aggressive nursing home investigation

BY Nick Reisman

As Republicans try to win back power in the halls of Congress, the third-ranking Republican lawmaker in Washington is pledging to ramp up investigations.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik says that will include subpoenas of New York ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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CDC: 10 counties in upstate New York have 'high' COVID-19 levels

BY Luke Parsnow

Ten counties in New York state are classified as having "high" COVID-19 community levels, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, the nine counties are all in the Capital Region and the state's North Country.

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Hochul: Kids age 5 and older eligible for bivalent COVID booster

BY Nick Reisman

Children ages 5 and above are now eligible to receive the bivalent COVID booster shots that are meant to increase protection against variants of COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced.

"Being able to provide the bivalent boosters to an even greater number of children throughout the state will expand protection against the Omicron variants, as we collectively work to stay up to date with these safe, effective vaccinations," Hochul said. "I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get these boosters to protect themselves, their families, their children, and our communities from this virus as we head into the cold weather months."

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Number of COVID-19 booster shots administered in NYC up to 363,000, city says

BY Patrick Adcroft

More than 363,000 COVID-19 bivalent booster shots have been administered in New York City since the updated vaccine was rolled out in early September, the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said at a briefing Wednesday.

The number represents a modest jump from the end of September, when the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told NY1 that 175,000 New York City residents received the latest COVID-19 vaccine, which is referred to as bivalent because it has been designed specifically to better inoculate against omicron and other prevalent COVID-19 subvariants.

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Federal study finds COVID vaccinations reduced hospitalizations and deaths in New York

BY Nick Reisman

Thousands of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 among Medicare recipients were avoided in New York due to the widespread use of the vaccine, a report released this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found.

The report comes as public health officials are rolling out COVID booster shots for eligible people ahead of the winter months in order to reduce the spread of the virus as the pandemic continues, but many guidelines like mask wearing in most indoor places has ended.

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Health officials fret COVID-19 and flu could complicate winter

BY Nick Reisman

Public health officials and experts are closely watching flu and COVID-19 cases this season as the cold-weather months set in.

At the same time, they're encouraging eligible New Yorkers to get their flu shots and COVID-19 boosters to limit the chances of both illnesses overwhelming brittle hospital systems that have bended during the pandemic.

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New York health officials launch campaign for flu shots, COVID-19 boosters

BY Nick Reisman

Health officials in New York are launching a public awareness campaign to urge people to get their COVID-19 boosters and flu shots this season.

The campaign launches Monday, and comes as flu cases are on the rise in New York compared to this point a year ago. Fifteen-second and 30-second videos to air on social media, search ads and some transit advertising will appear in English and Spanish.

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NYC has lots of new COVID boosters. Will New Yorkers get enough to avoid a wave?

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

Only 175,000 New York City residents have received a dose of the latest COVID-19 booster vaccine since their release earlier this month, according to the health department, leaving public health experts concerned about the population’s immunity levels ahead of an expected wave of infections.

In early September, the latest COVID-19 “bivalent” booster vaccine, tailored to battle omicron strains of the virus, became available. It arrived at an ideal time: Infection rates in the city were the lowest since the spring, offering a chance to preemptively supercharge immunity ahead of an expected winter wave of new cases.

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As city relaxes COVID-19 rules, health experts urge masking to slow a next wave

BY Ari Ephraim Feldman

New York City is entering its third pandemic winter with the least amount of public health rules in place since COVID-19 prompted a citywide shutdown in March 2020.

Mayor Eric Adams rescinded the vaccine requirements for private employers and for public school students participating in extracurricular activities. Gov. Kathy Hochul this month ended the mask requirement for public transit.

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Judge: City must reinstate PBA members who refused vaccine

BY Maya Rajamani
UPDATED 6:00 PM ET Sep. 23, 2022

The city must reinstate Police Benevolent Association members who were fired or put on leave for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, a state supreme court judge has ruled.

In a ruling handed down Friday, Judge Lyle Frank deemed the city’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers “invalid” for members of the five boroughs' largest police union.

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New York health officials launch long COVID-19 data site

BY Nick Reisman

New York health officials on Wednesday launched a website with audio resources meant to aid people who are struggling with the lingering side effects of a COVID-19 infection.

The webpage includes resources for how New Yorkers can seek treatment from health care providers.

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Supreme Court to consider whether to take up NYPD detective's request to block vaccine mandate

BY Erica Brosnan
UPDATED 3:00 PM ET Sep. 21, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to take a case brought by an NYPD detective asking to stop the city from firing him and others for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a court spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

Lawyers for Detective Anthony Marciano asked the court in August for an emergency injunction to block the city from enforcing its vaccination requirement for all municipal employees.

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NYC to drop COVID vaccine mandate for private-sector workers

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 2:45 PM ET Sep. 20, 2022

New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private-sector workers will come to an end on Nov. 1, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday morning.

Additionally, the mayor said the city will end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for student athletes effective immediately.

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Bill to review COVID-19's impact on group homes goes to Hochul's desk

BY Nick Reisman

A measure to create a task force reviewing the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on group homes in New York is heading to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for her consideration.

The bill, approved earlier this year, would also seek feedback from the residents of those facilities with the goal of improving living conditions and the communication between residents and families.

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Hochul to let COVID-19 powers lapse

BY Nick Reisman

Gov. Kathy Hochul will allow her office's power to conduct the government's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to lapse when they are up for renewal at midnight, she said on Monday in New York City.

Hochul's decision to allow the expanded authority to end comes after she has already scaled back many requirements and mandates related to the pandemic, including relaxed guidance for mask wearing in schools and on public transportation.

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What you need to know about the new COVID-19 booster shots

BY Maya Rajamani
UPDATED 11:20 AM ET Sep. 09, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended two updated COVID-19 booster shots on Sept. 1 — and pharmacies and health care providers across the state have since begun offering them.

Here’s what you need to know about the new vaccines, including who is eligible to receive them and how you can schedule an appointment.

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Hochul's COVID-19 oversight remains under debate

BY Nick Reisman

This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul ended the mask requirement on public transit as the state moves to a new phase of combatting COVID-19.

But even as Hochul is winding down COVID-19 restrictions in New York, some Republican lawmakers want her to completely relinquish her power to oversee the pandemic.

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Here's where masks will — and won't — be required in NYC

BY Maya Rajamani
UPDATED 4:40 PM ET Sep. 08, 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted New York state’s mass transit mask mandate on Wednesday, making face coverings optional on subways, buses and other modes of public transport.

There are still a handful of indoor settings, however, that will require face coverings. Here’s where masks will and won’t be required in New York City:

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Former NYC Transit head says ending mask mandate is 'a reflection of our reality’

BY Estefania Hernandez

The former interim president of the city’s transit authority says the governor’s decision to make masks optional on subways and buses is an indication of the current conditions found in the subway system — fewer riders are wearing masks.

“I think it’s a reflection of the reality that we are seeing in the subway and on buses right now,” Sarah Feinberg said. “Anyone who’s in the system is seeing that we are not seeing nearly the masks that we used to see.”

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Hochul, health officials say omicron-specific booster shot is vehicle to containing COVID-19 this winter

BY Luke Parsnow

The coming of fall means that New York is heading toward its third winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, a season that has complicated the state’s progress on the virus each year, starkly contrasting the low-case levels and relaxed restrictions seen during the warmer months.

The surge of the omicron variant last winter sent New York’s COVID-19 caseloads to levels that far exceeded those at any point in 2020 and brought a return to a statewide mask mandate that had been dropped just six months prior.

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Hochul drops mask mandates on mass transit

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 12:03 PM ET Sep. 07, 2022

Masks will no longer be required when riding mass transit in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday morning during a news conference in Brooklyn.

“Masks are encouraged, but optional. This is what you’re going to see on our subways and our mass transit throughout the state of New York,” Hochul said, pointing to updated signage that will soon make its way to mass transportation hubs.

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Hochul hints at mask mandate change for mass transit

BY Nick Reisman

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday said the ongoing requirement for masking on mass transit systems in New York state could be changed and is part of an ongoing "conversation."

Any change would come as New York has scaled back its COVID-19 pandemic guidelines to be more in line with recommendations announced in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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New York will use pharmacies, clinics to distribute COVID-19 boosters

BY Nick Reisman

COVID-19 booster shots could be rolling out in a matter of weeks in New York, and their distribution will likely focus on pharmacies, clinics and health care networks.

A Centers for Disease Control panel on Thursday voted to approve the booster shots for the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 as the fall and winter seasons approach, and with them a potential spike in cases.

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Sotomayor denies NYPD detective's plea to block vax mandate

BY Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday denied an appeal from a New York Police Department detective who asked for an emergency injunction to keep the city from firing him over its mandate that municipal employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Detective Anthony Marciano has a lawsuit pending against the city in a federal appeals court, and his attorneys last week had petitioned Sotomayor, who oversees emergency appeals from New York and some other states, for the injunction while the case is being resolved.

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How New York is entering the next COVID-19 pandemic phase

BY Nick Reisman

Public health officials are gearing up for another rise in COVID-19 cases this fall and winter. And as booster shots are rolled out, pandemic guidances relaxed and COVID-19 test kits no longer available for free through the mail from the federal government, the next phase could be a major test for returning to a semblance of normal.

This Friday will be the last day to order free COVID-19 tests kit through the mail. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday said she expects funding for the program will lapse.

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What to do if you have long COVID-19

BY David Lazar

Some who are infected with COVID-19 could experience long-term effects from the disease, also known as long COVID-19.

The CDC reports that long COVID symptoms could last weeks, months or years and include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, hair loss, chest pain and headaches.

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NYPD detective asks Supreme Court to block vaccine mandate

BY Associated Press

A New York City police detective has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the city from firing him and other workers for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Lawyers for Detective Anthony Marciano asked the court Thursday for an emergency injunction that would block the city from enforcing a rule requiring all municipal employees to get vaccinated.

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Hochul: COVID rules for schools will ease this fall

BY Nick Reisman

New York state will ease its COVID-19 rules for schools this fall as students and teachers return to the classroom in the coming weeks, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday.

Officials plan to align New York's pandemic rules for schools and other areas with updated guidelines released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Jill Biden rejoins president after negative COVID-19 tests

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 2:47 PM ET Aug. 21, 2022

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden left COVID-19 isolation on Sunday after twice testing negative for the coronavirus and reunited with President Joe Biden at their Delaware beach home.

She had been isolating in South Carolina, where she tested positive for the virus as the couple wrapped up a vacation there last week. The president made a brief stop at the White House before going to Wilmington, Delaware. He arrived in Rehoboth Beach on Saturday night.

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City expands wastewater testing for polio and monkeypox at 11 hospitals

BY Estefania Hernandez

NEW YORK – The city’s public health system announced on Wednesday that starting next week it will begin testing wastewater for polio and monkeypox at the city's 11 public hospitals.

The announcement comes days after New York state and city health officials discovered the poliovirus in city wastewater samples, suggesting likely local circulation of the virus.

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Hochul announces statewide 'VaxtoSchool' initiative

BY Patrick Adcroft

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced her administration will relaunch its statewide #VaxtoSchool campaign, an initiative aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers as they prepare to head back into classrooms.

"As we prepare for the beginning of the school year and the fall season, it is important that we do all we can to protect our youngest New Yorkers," Hochul said in a statement. "By breaking down barriers to vaccine access, these partnerships will allow New York State to continue to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable community members and keep our schools open.”

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City-run kids COVID vaccine sites to ​​shutter, switch to monkeypox

BY Joseph Konig

The city began shutting down the 10 COVID-19 vaccination sites for kids younger than 5 last week, with all expected to close by Sunday, Aug. 14.

Three of the locations switched to distributing monkeypox vaccines on Aug. 5, the city said. It was not clear whether the other seven sites would transition, as well.

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Biden still testing positive, but feels 'well' and completed 'light workout,' doctor says

BY Justin Tasolides
UPDATED 12:08 PM ET Aug. 03, 2022

President Joe Biden continued to test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, but he "continues to feel well" and even completed a "light workout," his physician said in an update.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor wrote in a memo Wednesday that Biden "is still experiencing an occasional cough, but less frequently than" Tuesday.

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Doctor: Biden tests positive for COVID for 2nd day in a row

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 1:20 PM ET Jul. 31, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 for the second straight day, in what appears to be in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

In a letter noting the positive test, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the White House physician, said Sunday that the president “continues to feel well” and will keep on working from the executive residence while he isolates.

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U.S. court sides with New York in fight over school vaccine rules

BY Associated Press

A federal appeals court ruled Friday against a group of New York parents who sued after the state made it more difficult for children to get a medical exemption from school immunization requirements, which were tightened after a major measles outbreak in 2019.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by families and Children’s Health Defense, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine group.

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New York provides grants to small organizations to aid in COVID-19 fight

BY Nick Reisman

State health officials on Monday announced more than $10 million in grant money will be provided to small, community-based wellness organizations to provide COVID-19 mitigation resources and services to New Yorkers.

The money is meant to support organizations considered to be "trusted voices" among community members and serve people considered to be at greater risk for contracting COVID.

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Biden improves ‘significantly,’ throat still sore from COVID

BY Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden continues to “improve significantly” despite a lingering sore throat from his coronavirus infection, according to an update Sunday from his doctor.

“The president is responding to therapy as expected,” wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor in his latest note. Biden has been taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that helps reduce the chance of severe illness.

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Hochul begins long-promised review of New York's COVID-19 policies

BY Nick Reisman

New York state is taking the initial steps to launch a review and assessment of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which Gov. Kathy Hochul hopes will serve as a "blueprint" going forward.

Hochul has for the last several months promised to begin the process for assessing the state's pandemic-related policies and announced Wednesday a request for proposals for an independent entity to conduct it will be posted.

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Hochul: No plans for school mask mandate for now

BY Nick Reisman

Three million COVID-19 test kits will be going to school districts ahead of the fall reopening as no plans are in place to return to indoor masking rules for students and staff, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday said.

Hochul in New York City gave an update on the state's response to a pair of ongoing public health challenges: the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the emerging spread of monkeypox.

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CDC: COVID-19 community levels remain 'high' in NYC, downstate as cases rise

BY Luke Parsnow

New York City and the downstate area continue bearing the brunt of the state’s recent slight uptick in COVID-19 community levels, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, 10 of the state’s 62 counties are now classified by the CDC as having “high” COVID-19 levels, up from seven a week ago. They include all New York City boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester, Orange and Putnam counties.

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As infection rates jump, latest COVID-19 variant forces city to reassess strategy

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 4:00 PM ET Jul. 14, 2022

As yet another COVID-19 variant sweeps through New York City, pushing infection rates upwards to levels not seen since January, the city continues to grapple with its public health strategy.

“We are somewhere in between an emergency and endemicity — endemicity meaning it’s just a seasonal virus,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan told “Mornings on 1” anchor Pat Kiernan Thursday. “I don’t know where we are in that transition, but we are not in the emergency phase of this pandemic.”

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New York state appeals court ruling that overturns quarantine regulations

BY Nick Reisman

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office on Wednesday formally appealed a state Supreme Court ruling that tossed out regulations mandating people who are infected with or exposed to highly contagious communicable diseases be quarantined.

The regulation would allow the state Department of Health to work with local health officials to put mandated isolation and quarantine rules in place in order to prevent the spread of highly contagious or communicable diseases.

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Adams: Parks sites to distribute COVID test kits as cases rise

BY Maya Rajamani

New Yorkers will be able to pick up at-home COVID-19 test kits at parks sites in all five boroughs as the city works to ramp up its distribution efforts amid a rise in cases, Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday.

Fifty-seven public pools, recreation centers and nature centers will start handing out at-home COVID-19 testing kits on Wednesday, July 13, Adams said in a press release.

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Hochul: New York DOH remains busy battling COVID-19, monkeypox

BY Luke Parsnow

The New York state Department of Health is continuing the long battle of combatting COVID-19, as well as the relatively new challenge of the monkeypox virus, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday.

“COVID continues to be ever present,” she said, adding that deaths remain very low as new variants have led to a rise in cases in parts of the state in recent weeks.

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Hochul not anticipating new restrictions despite rising COVID cases

BY Ryan Whalen

AKRON, N.Y. -- Gov. Kathy Hochul said she continues to track New York's COVID-19 infection and hospitalization numbers daily and while cases are trending up, it doesn't appear the current sub-variant of the virus is causing as serious illness as previous ones.

"We're not looking at more restrictions right now because this time around, we have readily available vaccinations. Anybody can get a booster shot," Hochul said. "If you're over 50, you can get a double booster, which I've had, as well as the test kits are so widely available."

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Late COVID test results lead to refunds for hundreds of New Yorkers

BY Nick Reisman

Hundreds of New Yorkers were able to get refunds for COVID-19 tests late last year that promised 24-hour turnaround times for results and failed to deliver.

Attorney General Letitia James' office last week announced 692 people were able to receive more than $122,000 who had paid for the expedited results but did not receive them.

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NYC recommends masking indoors again with COVID cases rising

BY Eric Feldman

COVID-19 cases are rising in New York City and city leaders are taking notice. The city’s Department of Health tweeted Friday asking New Yorkers to mask up indoors and outside in crowded areas.

Data from the governor’s office shows New York City’s seven-day positivity rate at over 9%, the second highest region in the state.

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Dr. Jay Varma fears monkeypox could become permanently entrenched

BY Joseph Konig

Dr. Jay Varma, an epidemiologist and a former senior health advisor during the de Blasio administration, told Errol Louis on "Inside City Hall" Friday he believes the "incredibly disappointing" response to monkeypox by federal government has led to a rate of infections that could have been avoided with tools already available to officials.

"It's definitely the fear that I have. The more we're seeing it, it's more likely to happen," Varma said. "If we don't really get ahead of this, then we are going to fall further behind and it will become a permanent part of our disease landscape."

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CDC: COVID-19 levels remain low for much of upstate New York, high in NYC

BY Luke Parsnow
UPDATED 1:30 PM ET Jul. 08, 2022

COVID-19 community levels continue to remain low across most of upstate New York while New York City and the downstate area are monitoring a new increase in cases, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, seven of the state's 62 counties are now classified by the CDC as having "high" COVID-19 levels. They include all New York City boroughs and Westchester and Nassau counties.

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The magic of Aigner Chocolates in Queens

BY Cassidy Slamin and Jackie Koppell

Rachel Kellner and Mark Libertini are a married couple who saved Aigner Chocolates from closing. It’s the second oldest chocolate shop in New York City.

During the pandemic, they gave kids chocolate in exchange for them making art for frontline workers.

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Adams: COVID-19 alert system 'was fighting an old war'

BY Maya Rajamani

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday defended his administration’s decision to phase out its COVID-19 alert system, calling it an “old weapon” ill-equipped to combat the recent wave of new variants.

The city’s health commissioner last week said the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was “reevaluating” its alert system, which had deemed the five boroughs at either “low,” “medium,” “high” or “very high” risk level based on their latest COVID-19 statistics.

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Some COVID testing sites to close as positive cases increase

BY Amy Yensi

David Birdoff is back home from a trip and getting tested for COVID-19 is one of the first things on his to-do list. He said he’s treating COVID-19 with the same caution today that he did when the pandemic started in 2020.

With infection rates rising, he’s worried that others may not be taking the same precautions.

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City is monitoring rise in COVID-19 cases

BY Amy Yensi

Health officials are once again monitoring an increase in COVID-19 cases in New York City, as some neighborhoods have a positivity rate as high as 23% and new variants continue to spread.

"The question is whether we are reaching a new plateau and this is just where we will be for sometime, or whether this is the beginning of a more prolonged increase," said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at an unrelated press conference. "And I think it's still a little too early to tell."

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Broadway begins mask-optional policy

BY Louis Finley

A mask-optional policy for theatergoers on Broadway began July 1.

When it was announced, many actors voiced their concerns about potential risks to their health.

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For now, wary U.S. treads water with transformed COVID-19

BY Associated Press

The fast-changing coronavirus has kicked off summer in the U.S. with lots of infections but relatively few deaths compared to its prior incarnations.

COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but is not nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter.

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NYC rolling out mobile units with 'instant access' to COVID-19 meds

BY Spectrum News Staff

NEW YORK — A fleet of mobile testing sites rolling out across the city will provide New Yorkers with COVID-19 “instant access” to free antiviral medications, officials said Thursday.

The city is opening more than 30 mobile “Test to Treat” sites this summer that will offer rapid COVID-19 testing, Mayor Eric Adams and city health officials announced at a news briefing.

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Supreme Court rejects COVID-19 shot mandate case from New York

BY Associated Press

The Supreme Court declined on Thursday to take up a case involving a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious reasons.

The court’s action follows a decision in December in which the justices declined an emergency request to halt the requirement. At the time, doctors, nurses and other medical workers who said they were being forced to choose between their jobs and religious beliefs.

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Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection

BY Associated Press

Pfizer announced Saturday that tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and works — just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall.

The vaccines currently used in the U.S. still offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death -- especially if people have gotten a booster dose. But those vaccines target the original coronavirus strain and their effectiveness against any infection dropped markedly when the super-contagious omicron mutant emerged.

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New York health officials issue guidance for vaccinating kids 5 and younger

BY Nick Reisman

New York state officials are rolling out a "robust" effort to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and six months, the final cohort of people yet to qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials at the same time are urging parents and guardians of young children to speak with their doctors or medical providers about receiving the vaccine.

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Adams administration is not inspecting companies for vaccine mandate compliance

BY David Lazar

Since Mayor Eric Adams entered office, his administration has not inspected private companies for compliance with the city's COVID-19 mandate, the mayor's office confirmed Tuesday.

Adams' predecessor, Bill de Blasio, created a mandate that forced all private employers to require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The rule was not implemented until his final days in office.

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City-run COVID vaccine sites begin administering doses to young children

BY Patrick Adcroft
UPDATED 10:48 AM ET Jun. 22, 2022

City-run COVID-19 vaccination sites began offering doses of the vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years of age Wednesday morning across the five boroughs.

The shots are being offered at 10 city vaccine hubs, — including Times Square, the Queens Center Mall, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Empire Outlets — where the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be available.

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How New York parents can navigate COVID-19 vaccine questions

BY Nick Reisman

After the Food and Drug Administration last week gave emergency authorization to the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of five, some parents likely have questions.

Dr. Joseph Sellers, an immediate past president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, said in a Capital Tonight interview some parents have been eagerly awaiting the approval, while others may be hesitant.

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NYC downgrades COVID-19 alert level from 'high' to 'medium'

BY Maya Rajamani

New York City has downgraded its COVID-19 alert level, officials said Tuesday, citing a shift to “the other side” of a recent wave of cases.

The five boroughs have moved from a “high” to “medium” risk level, Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said in a joint press release Tuesday afternoon.

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Broadway to drop mask requirement for July shows

BY Maya Rajamani

Theatergoers attending Broadway shows in July will no longer be required to wear masks, the Broadway League said Tuesday.

All 41 Broadway theaters will drop their mask mandates on July 1 and stay “mask optional” through July 31, the League said in a press release.

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NYC making push to get fired workers vaccinated, rehired

BY Associated Press

New York City is making a push to give city workers fired earlier this year for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine a chance to get their old jobs back — if they get fully vaccinated.

In February, Mayor Eric Adams fired more than 1,400 workers who failed to comply with the vaccine mandate put in place by his predecessor, Bill de Blasio.

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Adams announces plan for rollout of COVID-19 vaccine for young children

BY Victoria Manna and Estefania Hernandez

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s health commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced on Friday plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations for children younger than 5, pending federal approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this weekend.

Adams’ announcement came shortly after the Food and Drug Administration on Friday morning authorized the first COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.

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Watchdog groups press Hochul for independent COVID review

BY Nick Reisman

New York state should conduct an independent review of its COVID-19 pandemic policies, hold public hearings and make public its final report and conclusions, a coalition of watchdog organizations urged last month in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The groups made their letter to Hochul sent on May 16 public on Monday and after the governor signaled on May 24 she would conduct an assessment of COVID policies using an outside consultant.

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After recent spike, only 7 New York counties now have 'high' COVID-19 levels, CDC says

BY Luke Parsnow

COVID-19 community levels in New York state are continuing to decline from a post-omicron springtime spike, with only a handful of counties now classified as having "high" community levels of the virus, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, only seven of the state's 62 counties are now classified by the CDC as having "high" COVID-19 levels. That’s down from the recent peak of 54 just three weeks ago. The current "high" counties are Clinton County in the North Country, two counties in the Capital Region and western Hudson Valley, and those on Long Island.

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TELL NY1 YOUR CORONAVIRUS STORY,
IN YOUR OWN VOICE

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have fallen sick from the coronavirus and the death toll keeps rising. Jobs have been lost, storefronts shuttered, hospitals overwhelmed. And many New Yorkers have seen their own lives changed in deeply personal ways.

NY1 wants to hear your story, in your own voice, to use in a future podcast. 

Tell us what is going on in your family, your job, your neighborhood. What are your daily struggles and your daily joys, your quiet fears and your hopes for the future?

Send us a voicemail, voice memo, or a video to YOURSTORYNY1@CHARTER.COM or leave a message at 212-379-3440. 

Make sure to tell us your first name and your neighborhood. If you’d like, let us know how to contact you. 

Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

(Source: NYS DOH)

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