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NY's vaccinations up, but supply concerns remain

Hospitals nearly triple vaccination rate, but Cuomo warns of supply issue

The daily vaccination rate in hospitals for the past three weeks of 10,809 shots per day has nearly tripled to 31,157 per day over the past two days, Cuomo said.

On Monday and Tuesday, the governor said some hospitals were moving too slowly vaccinating doctors, nurses and other staff. Health experts have said mass availability of the vaccine to the general public could happen as soon as March or April, the governor said.

But with the state receiving 300,000 doses per week, accumulating 950,000 dosages in total so far, the governor suggested the road to inoculating 2.1 million in the first phase of vaccinations — like residents and staff at nursing homes, EMS workers and others — to the 6.3 million workers in phase 1B could be longer than anticipated.

"That’s over 6 million people in 1B, you’re getting 300,000 dosages per week, it takes a long time," Cuomo said.

The governor pointed to increased production at the federal level and in the private sector as a means to increasing the supply and meeting the March-April time frame, as the statewide positivity rate hit 8.41% on Tuesday.

The number of new positives reported today: 1,733 in Nassau, 2,042 in Suffolk, 5,623 in New York City and 16,648 statewide.

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

$5,000 grants to help NY restaurants operate in winter

Small restaurants on Long Island and across the state can receive grants of up to $5,000 for the purchase of partitions, heat lamps, insulated food delivery bags and other equipment needed to operate this winter because of COVID-19 restrictions, officials said.

The Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund has been established by Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency. The initial funding of more than $3 million comes from liquor distributors Diageo North America and Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits.

The fund will be run by the nonprofit National Development Council in Manhattan. The council will begin accepting grant applications on Monday, officials said.

More information is available here.

Cuomo: 30% of health care workers may refuse vaccine

Cuomo said on Tuesday that as many as 30% of employees in nursing homes and hospitals are expected to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, which he worries could turn some health care workers into "super spreaders" of the virus.

"They are exposed to the people who get the vaccine and if the health care workers get sick, they are then super spreaders," Cuomo said Tuesday. "A 30% refusal, 25% refusal is what we expect to see from the health care community."

Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in separate news conferences on Tuesday said they are confident more health care workers will embrace the vaccine as the track record shows no problems. Meanwhile, the state continues a public education campaign to show the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

More outdoor dining means fewer NYC parking spots

Street parking is becoming more scarce in New York City during the pandemic, with roughly 10,000 spots and counting transformed to welcome restaurant patrons eating outside.

The transformation will be permanent, even post-pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said. With fewer places to temporarily store their vehicles on public property, Long Islanders and others driving into the city are making alternate arrangements — switching to the Long Island Rail Road and other mass transit; paying to park in a garage or lot; or just scrounging around for the remaining supply of on-street spots.

"Stressful and tight, because everybody’s trying to get to the same spot" is how Maria Ardito, 42, of Farmingdale, described navigating Manhattan streets now dotted with restaurant setups.

More to know

Northwell Health said Tuesday it would stop all legal filings over unpaid medical bills and rescind many lawsuits.

The 2021 Grammy Awards will no longer take place this month in Los Angeles, and will broadcast in March due to a recent surge in new cases and deaths.

Larry King, suffering from COVID-19, has been moved out of the intensive care unit at a Los Angeles hospital and is breathing on his own, a spokesman said Monday.

Cuomo announced his support for legalizing online sports betting and renewed his call for legalizing recreational marijuana, a sign lawmakers will pursue revenue streams to deal with the massive state budget shortfall triggered by the pandemic.

Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden have returned to their respective homes to shoot talk shows during the surging pandemic in California, while networks and production companies have put primetime-series production on a brief hiatus after a spike.

News for you

Outdoor winter adventures on Long Island. The stretch of winter can always feel long — and during a pandemic, it might feel even longer. We have 15 activities you can check off your winter bucket list while staying safe outside, from seal-watching to winter hiking.

'The Waltons' will virtually reunite. Surviving cast members of "The Waltons" will gather online at 8 p.m. on Thursday on the "Stars in the House" YouTube channel to help benefit The Actors Fund.

A Long Island chef to watch on TV. Stephan Bogardus of The Halyard in Greenport will be one of three chefs appearing on the debut episode of "Kitchen Crash" on Food Network Wednesday night. He said it was filmed in September with all the COVID-19 protocols.

Plus, another virtual event coming your way: Join us for a Newsday Live virtual event Thursday focusing on the next semester of school, what we've learned, and what schools are doing to keep students and teachers safe. Register here.

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Commentary

Typhoid Mary, the original super spreader. Lane Filler writes in a Newsday Opinion column: Whether society should be allowed to detain infectious disease carriers who won’t do what’s necessary to ensure they don’t spread the disease is a hot topic in New York, but it’s not a new topic.

This week the spur for the controversy is a bill in the Assembly that would allow the state to detain carriers of infectious diseases who refuse vaccinations and quarantine, for up to three days without a court order. The bill has state Republican leaders and anti-vaxx and "patriot" groups demanding that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other Democrats denounce the "detention camps."

But since the bill was introduced in the Assembly in 2015 for Ebola, never got a Senate sponsor, and has no chance of advancing, Democrats aren’t taking the bait. Unless you consider Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi’s frustrated response taking the bait:

"We have real problems to focus on and I urge the crazy uncles who are fueling this cut-rate QAnon to knock it off and take a walk or something," Azzopardi told reporters.

The bill won’t pass, but the issue won’t fade, either. We have dealt with it, on Long Island in particular, since at least 1906.

That’s when they found "Typhoid Mary" infecting folks in Oyster Bay. Keep reading.

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