Nearly six million doses of Moderna‘s vaccine expected to start shipping across the country Sunday.
New York is expecting to see nearly 350,000 of the newest vaccine statewide this week.
First in line will be health care workers at hospitals at Mount Sinai and others.
Also, vaccines will be made available this week to the FDNY starting with EMS and then NYPD.
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Here are more of today’s headlines:
New York indicators
The number of patients being treated in New York hospitals for COVID-19 is now 6,208, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. The state reported results for 191,476 tests Friday, 9,919 of them were positive for a total positivity rate of 5.18%. Additionally, Cuomo announced 127 new deaths.
USPS says deadline for shipping gifts in time for Christmas passes
Haven’t sent out those presents yet in time for the holidays? Well, looks like you may be out of luck! U.S. Postal Service officials say that Friday was the deadline for getting packages to their destination in time for Christmas.
General sorry for ‘miscommunication’ over vaccine shipments
The Army general in charge of getting COVID-19 vaccines across the United States apologized on Saturday for “miscommunication” with states over the number of doses to be delivered in the early stages of distribution. “I failed. I’m adjusting. I am fixing and we will move forward from there,” Gen. Gustave Perna told reporters in a telephone briefing.
New daily cases in NJ up slightly
The number of new positive COVID-19 cases reported in New Jersey went up slightly to 4,240, Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday. The state reported 3,975 new cases the day before.
UK nixes Christmas gatherings, shuts London shops over virus
Families must cancel their Christmas gatherings and most shops have to close in London and much of southern England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday as he imposed a new, stricter level of coronavirus restrictions on the region to curb rapidly spreading infections. UK says the new COVID-19 variant that’s more than 70% more transmissible is driving rapid spread.
“This weekend we need to double down on what works: practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear your masks,” the mayor tweeted.
Florida cases on the rise
COVID-19 cases in Florida are increasing at levels that health officials haven’t seen since the peak in mid-July. The numbers paint a grim reality – five consecutive days with more than 10,000 new cases in the state. On December 16 and 17, cases surpassed 13 thousand on each day. Long lines at test sites are expected to continue throughout the holiday season, however one state health expert says it didn’t have come to this.
NJ is told to expect thousands fewer COVID-19 vaccines
The federal government is telling New Jersey to expect thousands fewer COVID-19 vaccines next week and for the rest of the month, though it’s not clear why, the state’s health commissioner said Friday.
NY breaks single day record for most positive tests
New York broke the single day record for most COVID positive test results on Thursday with 12,697. The test results on Thursday broke the previous high set on April 14, which recorded 11,571 positive cases. For comparison: 26,869 people were tested on that April date versus yesterday’s 249,385 tests.
COVID Tracking Project records all-time highs in cases, hospitalizations
According to the COVID Tracking Project, states reported 2.1 million tests, 229,000 cases, and 2,751 deaths. There are a record 114,751 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
NYC outdoor dining bathroom guidance sparks criticism, confusion
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday a factsheet the city sent out Thursday night stating that outdoor dining customers are not permitted to use a restaurant’s indoor restrooms was “a mistake.”
“Every one of us needs to use the restroom sometimes,” he said. “There’s no question that was a mistake. I don’t know the nuances of how it happened. It’s just stupid. Obviously, people have to use the bathroom. If you are patronizing the restaurant, you have a right to use the bathroom.”
The guidance was posted to Twitter by the mayor’s legal counsel and clearly states, “If my SLA-licensed establishment is offering outdoor dining, may I allow my customers to use the bathroom inside? No. Customers may not enter the inside of the establishment for any reason.”
FDNY EMS, NYPD set to get COVID-19 vaccine, CT begins nursing home distribution
The FDNY, starting with EMS, will be the next to get the vaccine for those who want it, and the NYPD two weeks from now. The police union is against mandatory vaccination. This is all still a voluntary process and only about half of the FDNY members said they have interest in being vaccinated. A panel recommended the Moderna vaccine for emergency use authorization. Now, the FDA’s approval is set to come next. Nearly six million doses could be shipped out as early as this weekend.
Cuomo believes NY can avoid another shutdown amid rising COVID cases
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that despite the rise in statewide coronavirus cases, he is optimistic that New York can avoid another complete shutdown. Cuomo said that no hospital in the state is currently forecast to reach the danger zone for capacity, indicating that a shutdown is not imminent despite recent warnings from him and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I believe we can avoid a shutdown, and I believe we will avoid a shutdown,” Cuomo said. “I’ll go that far.”
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