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26,500 vaccine doses coming to LI

Cuomo: New York to get 170,000 doses in first batch

The initial COVID-19 vaccine doses are reserved for nursing home residents and staff and high-risk health care workers.

New York City is slated to receive 72,000 first doses. They're part of a first wave of six million vaccines nationwide that the federal government is allocating to each state based on population, Cuomo said. The vaccine requires two shots, with the second delivered 21 days after the first.

The vaccines "could arrive as soon as this weekend" in the state, Cuomo said at a news briefing in Albany. "That assumes the FDA does act right away, the FDA does approve it, and the military turns around and ships it immediately."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. As soon as that happens, New York's own review panel on the vaccine will convene to review and approve it.

New York has designated 90 regional distribution centers that are capable of keeping the vaccine at subzero temperatures as required by Pfizer to maintain the drug's viability.

The number of new positives reported today: 708 in Nassau, 972 in Suffolk, 3,742 in New York City and 10,600 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of new cases confirmed in New York City and in the state each day.

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Search a map of cases and view more charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

LI health systems, pharmacies say they're ready for vaccine

Long Island health systems and pharmacies said they’re prepared to begin receiving vaccine deliveries, but not everyone expects to receive them at the same time.

Northwell Health purchased 19 ultracold freezers to store the Pfizer version of the vaccine, said Onisis Stefas, chief pharmacy officer at Northwell Health. The vaccine must be stored at -70 Celsius, which is much colder than other vaccines.

Catholic Health Services said it purchased freezers in August, and expects to have doses of the vaccine by Dec. 16.

Cuomo said last week that New York would work with the federal government to get nursing home residents and staff vaccinated. The federal government's plan involves using pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens to help conduct the vaccinations.

Plus: The introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine has many asking questions about it. Here are some answers on what we know.

State suspends liquor licenses of 5 LI bars

The state has suspended the liquor licenses of five more Long Island bars and restaurants for pandemic-related violations, officials said Tuesday.

Four were cited in November and one in late October. According to the state, the establishments are:

  • Bachata on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead
  • Rockwell’s Bar & Grill on Terry Road in Smithtown
  • Station Pub on Lakeland Avenue in Sayville
  • Best Pizza & Dive Bar on Montauk Highway in Amagansett
  • Buen Ambiente on East Main Street in East Patchogue

"If we let our guard down and ignore basic public health rules, this winter could be one of the darkest periods of this pandemic, and we simply cannot let that happen," Cuomo said in a statement.

Long Islanders fight to feel normal (and safe) during surge

The recent uptick in new cases is leading some to take more precautions. But others insist they're determined to maintain pre-pandemic lives, despite the risk.

Long Islanders interviewed by Newsday all described having pandemic fatigue, but diverged on whether spiking positivity rates will alter their behavior in public. Infection rates have reached 4.5% in Nassau and 6.6.% in Suffolk over the past week, and experts warn the region is being hit with a surge.

Many said they've been social distancing, wearing masks and frequently washing their hands, but they worry about the winter months.

For Kesherica Haynesworth, 26, increasing infections have led to more time staying home. Some "rebellious" people continue to behave like "everything is normal," the nursing home worker from Hempstead said.

"I just hope people pay attention to the increase and they learn their lesson," she said. "You have to follow the rules."

More to know

Blankets, sweatshirts and toiletries were donated as birthday gifts for local teens in foster care and homeless shelters on Tuesday, during a year where donations are down 40% because of the pandemic.

Southwest Airlines plans to furlough more than two dozen employees based at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, a move that could indirectly affect staffing at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.

Britain's medical regulator warned Wednesday that people with a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech as investigators looked into whether two reactions were linked to the shot.

President Donald Trump celebrated the expected approval of the first U.S. vaccine for the coronavirus Tuesday.

The Trump administration dove back into COVID-19 negotiations Tuesday, offering a $916 billion package that would send a $600 direct payment to most Americans, but eliminate a $300 per week employment benefit.

News for you

Holiday shipping delays ahead. Retailers are warning that orders could take longer than usual to arrive because more consumers are buying online because of the pandemic. Here are some tips and info about the delays.

A Long Island virtual show for NYE. The Long Island Music Hall of Fame will close out 2020 with a TV special on New Year’s Eve The 90-minute "Best of the Awards Galas" program will feature a mix of acceptance speeches and performances. Find out more.

Health care workers get a discount. Some Long Island restaurants are showing appreciation for health care workers on the front lines. These five places are offering discounts for health care and hospitality workers.

Plus: Don't forget about our next Newsday Live webinar on Thursday night for a discussion with health professionalson preventing and treating addiction. You can register here.

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Commentary

One mom's guide to staying sane during virtual schooling. Diane Gensler, in a piece written for The Baltimore Sun, asks: How many more days will there be of this — all my kids on their devices learning from home? How many days has it been? I’m not a counter, but it’s now well after Thanksgiving, and this has been going on since March. I’m exhausted.

I’m not tired because my children need all that much from me.

I’m fortunate: I have three teenagers who can log on themselves. (Well, they do come to me to check some work and help with projects and papers around the clock.)

Our Wi-Fi works. (We’ve had a few problems, such as all three device chargers breaking and never receiving support from the county school system, but we were able to buy our own.)

We have enough space in our house that each child can find a separate room. (I feel for those parents who are crammed into a small space with multiple young children.)

No, I’m tired from never being alone for one minute and having constant noise and activity around me. (I’m a stay-at-home mom, but this was not included in the job description.) I’m tired from cleaning around, under and after children. I’m tired from the meltdowns and complaints of too much work and not enough time with friends. (OK, so sometimes the complaints and meltdowns come from me.)

How many more days will I have to endure saxophone playing for band class? (I have yet to find effective earplugs that block the sound.) Pounding on the floor from physical education class? (Why can’t the child go outside? Oh, not a good enough connection, they say.) Lunch time too early at 11 a.m., with everyone in the kitchen at the same time fighting over food, utensils and cooking space? Keep reading.

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