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State vaccine sites continue operating despite snow

NY vaccine sites operating in snow; virus positivity declines

During the storm on Thursday, vaccine sites at Jones Beach and Stony Brook continued to vaccinate people as of 1 p.m. as officials kept a close eye on the weather.

"We continue to monitor the forecast and weather conditions in real time, but at this point all state-run mass vaccination sites are fully operating," said Jack Sterne, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

He said any New Yorker concerned about making it to their appointment through the storm should call the state vaccine hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX and workers will try to come up with a solution.

However, Suffolk County was not taking appointments for first vaccine doses at its Brentwood and Riverhead vaccination sites Thursday and postponed opening a new center in Selden due to weather-related complications, but was honoring second-shot appointments.

Nassau County had already announced Wednesday impending closures and postponements connected to the weather.

Meanwhile, Cuomo said positivity levels and hospitalizations dropped again in the state. Statewide, the seven-day average positivity rate fell for the 41st day in a row to 3.61%, he said.

A return to the Red Zone: Antibody infusion tents and vaccine shots are giving hope to those fighting the pandemic on the front lines. In this video, Newsday's Faith Jessie takes us back inside a hospital battling coronavirus during the second wave.

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The number of new positives reported today: 514 in Nassau, 461 in Suffolk, 3,438 in New York City and 6,794 statewide.

The chart below shows the average seven-day positivity rates in New York City and in the state.

Search a map of new cases and view more charts showing the latest on vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

61% of Long Islanders plan to take vaccine, nextLI survey finds

Sixty-one percent of Long Islanders who have not yet been vaccinated say they plan on getting the COVID-19 shot, and many who were hesitant are moving toward getting it, a new nextLI survey shows.

The survey found only 13% of Long Islanders had received the vaccine, as getting an appointment for the two-dose vaccine has been challenging amid a chaotic rollout and scarcity of the drug. A total of 20% said they will not receive the shot, and 18% are not sure, the survey said.

The survey found increasing support for the inoculation compared with a similar survey done in July. That earlier nextLI survey showed 53% of Long Islanders planned to receive the vaccine, 16% said they would not, and 31% weren't sure.

How 5 LI performers are coping when they can't perform

Intermission for performers is usually a 15- or 20-minute break during a show. Thanks to the pandemic, entertainers from classical musicians to Broadway actors have had to endure the longest intermission of their careers: 11 months and still counting.

For some Long Island entertainers, it's been a challenging year — and not just in a financial sense. Being able to again hear applause, cheers and laughter from an audience is what they’re most looking forward to once live performances resume.

Read about these five local performers and how they have been coping.

Plus: Some Long Island breweries are releasing special beers to benefit local theaters as part of the Curtain Up Beer Project that aims to raise money for the Actors Fund, local theaters and other arts organizations.

Home prices soar in newly hot Hamptons spots

In the Hamptons, there's been a record-breaking $22.5 million home sale and real estate prices have more than doubled in some hamlets.

The median home price throughout the Hamptons soared to $1.4 million in the October-through-December period, the highest on record and a 55% increase from a year earlier, the most recent report by the brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate and appraisal company Miller Samuel shows.

Skyrocketing prices in western communities reflect the dramatic changes the Hamptons market has undergone during the pandemic.

More New York City residents are seeking out spacious homes where they can work remotely while their children attend school online, located within about two hours of their Manhattan offices in case they need to commute occasionally, brokers said.

More to know

Adventureland plans to reopen its indoor arcade on March 26 and outdoor rides on April 9, in accordance with Cuomo’s announcement that indoor family entertainment centers and outdoor amusement parks can reopen with restrictions.

The restaurant Toku Modern Asian in Manhasset had its liquor license suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority — for the second time.

Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped one year during the first half of 2020 as the pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials said.

Henry Schein Inc. in Melville reported increases in sales and profit for the October-December period compared with a year earlier because of high demand for pandemic-related products, officials said.

News for you

Spring break plans. Many college students are staying close to home for spring break this year due to the pandemic — and we've got some spots you can explore on break right in Nassau and Suffolk and throughout the East End.

Boot camp for job seekers. A decade-old boot camp for job seekers has gone through some changes since the pandemic hit. The virtual version of the camp is a free, eight-week series, that can help participants become comfortable with online networking events and video conferencing tools.

What to know about the Recovery Rebate Credit. Eligible taxpayers who didn't receive their federal stimulus check, or got less than they qualified for, can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax return. Get answers to some questions about it.

Plus: The Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce will host its annual expo on Zoom on Feb. 26. Learn more.

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Commentary

Cuomo should open visitation for seniors. Reader Charlotte Derose of Bellmore writes in a letter to Newsday: Our seniors in nursing homes will be in lockdown for one year on March 12. This was done to protect them from COVID-19 spreading and killing them.

Since then, cases of COVID-19 are still in nursing homes, and seniors are still dying from it. I believe they also are dying because of isolation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has loosened restrictions on dining, sports, gyms, etc., feeling it is safe.

Why hasn’t he reexamined nursing home visitation regulations? Families of loved ones would follow the same procedures that staff adheres to in taking care of our precious seniors. Where is the justice? Please let our seniors have the same rights that prisoners have. Open up visitation, governor. Save our seniors.

Read more reader letters.

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