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:
- NYC Aims For Efficient 20-Minute Vaccination Process At Community Hubs
- NY Nursing Homes Residents Are More Eager To Get Vaccine Than Workers
- Three More Cases Of COVID-19 Variant Found In NY, Says Cuomo
1:30 p.m.: Lawmakers may have been exposed to COVID-19 while on lockdown during the deadly Capitol riot in which a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists violently raided the Capitol, the Associated Press reports.
The attending physician of the Capitol, Dr. Brian Moynihan, told lawmakers on Sunday that "individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection" while in "protective isolation" for several hours during the Capitol takeover, according to an alert sent to House lawmakers shared with Gothamist. Some were inside the room longer than others, Moynihan noted.
A number of lawmakers who were hiding in the secure location during the insurrection refused to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Video from inside the room shows Delaware Democrat Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester handing out face masks, only to be rebuffed by some Republicans present, including Representatives Andy Biggs (Arizona), Michael Cloud (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma) and Scott Perry (Pennsylvania).
The Congressional physician told lawmakers to "continue your usual daily coronavirus risk reduction measures" and said individuals "should obtain an RT-PCR coronavirus test next week as a precaution."
During the riot, a group of pro-Trump insurrectionists descended upon the Capitol, breaking through a police line and entering the building. In the chaos, five people died, including a Capitol police officer, who died after being struck in the head by a fire extinguisher, and another woman was fatally shot by an officer during the riot. Three others died from medical emergencies.
Newly elected Staten Island and Brooklyn Representative Nicole Malliotakis—a loyal Trump supporter—has refused to acknowledge Trump's role in inciting violence against Congress. In video remarks on Saturday, she said "elected officials need to support our law enforcement" and revealed a flag raised outside of her office showing support for law enforcement that was reminiscent of the Thin Blue Line flag with roots in a movement against the Black Lives Matter movement.
NY Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has joined other lawmakers calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached, accused Malliotakis of hypocrisy.
In a statement issued through her spokesperson, Malliotakis reiterated baseless allegations that the presidential election was stolen, saying, "I will not turn a blind eye to the irregularities and alleged fraud that took place in Arizona and Pennsylvania or the fact that election rules were changed in violation of their state Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I will always uphold my oath of office and work to improve the integrity of our electoral system to restore Americans’ faith in free and fair elections.”
Mass Vaccination Sites And Vaccine Hubs At Schools Open Sunday
10:30 a.m.: Two mass vaccination sites in Brooklyn and the Bronx are opening Sunday under Mayor Bill de Blasio's strategy to ramp up vaccine administration in NYC.
The two sites will open at 1 p.m. and start running 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting Monday at 10 a.m. One is located at Bathgate Contract Postal Service in the Bronx at 4006 Third Avenue and the other is at Brooklyn Army Terminal at 140 58th Street.
New Yorkers who are eligible can make an appointment online. NYC is still in phase 1A as of Sunday, a vaccination eligibility category that includes healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents. Beginning Monday, NYC's vaccine sites will be permitted to administer doses to critical essential workers like teachers, police, and firefighters, as well as older adults ages 75 and up, after Governor Andrew Cuomo reversed his position on who is eligible now.
Three vaccine hubs at schools also opened on Sunday morning. Those sites are at the South Bronx Educational Campus at 701 St. Ann's Avenue, Bushwick Educational Campus at 400 Irving Avenue, and Hillcrest High School at 160-05 Highland Avenue in Jamaica, Queens.
Another five sites will open Monday for city workers who are eligible for the vaccine and 12 more hubs open Friday across the five boroughs.
Mass vaccination sites at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and at Harlem's public market, La Marqueta, are anticipated to open soon.
NYC has so far administered 203,181 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far, including 17,421 second doses. That's less than half of the 524,425 doses delivered to the city, indicating a continued slow start to rolling out the vaccine as the virus surges again through the city.
The city's testing positivity rate over a seven-day average was at 8.77%, according to figures de Blasio announced Sunday. There were 251 new hospitalizations and 3,731 virus cases.