New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. Citing rising hospitalization rates, Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended indoor dining in NYC starting December 14th. After being shut down for several weeks, NYC public schools partially reopened on December 7th for 3K-5th grade students, with students with special needs returning on December 10th. Certain parts of Staten Island remain under a zoned shutdown.
Get answers to questions you may have with our "Ask An Epidemiologist" series, or learn more about NYC COVID-19 testing options with our explainer. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
12:30 p.m. Three members of Congress announced they have tested positive for the coronavirus, just days after sheltering in place with other lawmakers as pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol Building.
Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, a Democrat whose New Jersey district covers Trenton, said in a statement on Monday, "I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents."
Coleman, a cancer survivor, said she had taken an antigen test. She is currently awaiting the results of a more reliable PCR test, but in the meantime, she said her doctor recommended she get monoclonal antibody treatment.
The treatment is administered through an IV, and can be hard to find. President Donald Trump, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former NJ Governor Chris Christie all received monoclonal antibody treatment.
Late Monday evening, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) announced she had COVID-19 "after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one."
Illinois Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider also announced that he is in isolation on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19.
"Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff," Schneider said in a tweet, adding that Congress should "no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them."
Video from Punchbowl News showed Representative Lisa Rochester (D-Delaware) futilely offering masks to Republicans colleagues during the January 6th lockdown in the Capitol, while pro-Trump insurrectionists had violently breached the Capitol.
While it's difficult to confirm where and when they contracted the virus, Coleman, Jayapal, and Schneider believe that it was during the hours-long lockdown. And the Capitol's attending physician, Dr. Brian Moynihan, said on Sunday it was possible that lawmakers had been exposed to "another occupant with coronavirus infection" while in "protective isolation."
Citi Field To Become 24/7 Vaccination Site
11:45 a.m. The New York Mets may not have a shot at winning the pennant, but they are pitching in on the city's COVID-19 vaccination rollout, with Citi Field expected to become another 24/7 vaccination site beginning January 25th, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
Sporting a Mets jersey and baseball cap, de Blasio said that the Queens stadium—which is located on city-owned land—will be among several 24/7 vaccination sites offering the vaccine as part of a rapid, large-scale effort to get New Yorkers vaccinated. When fully operational, the site will be able to inoculate between 5,000 and 7,000 New Yorkers over a 24-hour period, de Blasio said. The site will open six days before de Blasio's deadline to have 1 million doses of the vaccine administered by February 1st.
"We welcome Queens residents. We welcome all New Yorkers. We even welcome Yankees fans," de Blasio said, adding the city has some "last-minute work to do to get it ready."
The site was chosen for its proximity to the Mets-Willets Point subway station on the 7 line, the Mets-Willets Point Long Island Rail Road station, and abundance of parking.
The mayor was joined by Steve Cohen, the new owner of the Mets, who called the program important to getting New York City back to normal.
"We know the suffering that's going on with COVID and any way the organization can help to support this effort we were going to do it," said Cohen, who spoke through a video link. "The goal is to just get the vaccine into people's arms so we can get this crisis over with and get back to living a normal life again."
But with the state ending overnight subway service since last spring as a result of the pandemic, the only way for New Yorkers to get to the stadium between 1 and 5 a.m. every day is by car.
"Yeah, [train service] doesn't run 24/7 for now," de Blasio conceded. "But the parking is fantastic too, so a lot of people of course will come by car or we'll create other ways to help them get there."
De Blasio also announced that two other 24/7 vaccination sites will open this week: 125 Worth Street in Lower Manhattan, and 165 Vanderbilt Avenue in Staten Island. On Saturday, there will be a site opening in Corona, Queens. Empire Outlets in Staten Island will also become a 24/7 vaccination site next week.