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Fully vaccinated? Here's what the CDC says you can do safely

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the guidance Monday.

The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

The guidance is designed to address a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel or do other things like they did before the pandemic came in last year.

"With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks in public, avoid large gatherings and physically distance themselves from others in public.

The chart below shows how many cumulative vaccine doses have been distributed to and administered on Long Island in recent days.

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

LI getting three more vaccine sites

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced the opening of 10 more mass vaccination sites across the state, including three on Long Island.

The sites will be located at the Suffolk County Community College campus in Brentwood, the SUNY Old Westbury Campus and the SUNY Stony Brook campus in Southampton.

"Thanks to increasing vaccine supply from our partners in Washington we can utilize more of our state's capacity to distribute doses, and once they are open, these new sites will allow us to continue to get shots into arms on a large scale," Cuomo said in a statement.

The state already operates mass vaccination sites at Jones Beach and the Stony Brook University campus in Stony Brook. New York City will also get an additional vaccination site at a place yet to be announced in the Bronx, Cuomo said.

ICYMI from Saturday: Nassau Coliseum will be turned into a mass COVID-19 vaccination site later this month, County Executive Laura Curran said.

From Sunday: Restaurants on Long Island and in most of the state — outside of NYC — can operate at 75% capacity starting March 19, Cuomo said.

The number of new positives reported today: 453 in Nassau, 552 in Suffolk, 2,747 in New York City and 5,309 statewide.

A year into COVID-19, emergency responders say they've adapted

A year into the pandemic, volunteer firefighting and medical first responders said they've made important changes in how they deal with emergency calls across Long Island — and they've found unforeseen solutions during the crisis.

For instance, while many local fire departments and ambulance companies saw vulnerable members sidelined by COVID-19-related health concerns, there was increased availability among members who would've otherwise been away at school or unavailable due to work commitments. There also has been a heightened awareness to the value of personal protective equipment and decontamination, and new strategies on how to respond to emergency calls and how to receive them.

"I think what the pandemic did was it brought EMS and fire closer together, by far," said Jamie Atkinson, a member of Suffolk County REMSCO, or Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, and president / director of Community Ambulance Company in Sayville.

Brentwood is first LI community to pass 10,000 cases

Juan Carlos Delgado’s family was taken by COVID-19 one by one over three weeks last spring — first older brother Julio, then younger sibling Luis, and finally his mother, Juanita.

"It’s still very difficult, because there was never a weekend when I wasn’t with them," Delgado, 43, said in Spanish from his Brentwood home.

Brentwood became the first Long Island community to surpass 10,000 confirmed cases on Feb. 25. The hamlet’s 163 cases per 1,000 residents is the highest rate of any Long Island community of more than 500 people, a Newsday analysis of Suffolk and Nassau county data shows.

Experts and residents said crowded housing, a large number of essential workers and greater reliance on public transportation than in the rest of the region help explain the pandemic’s impact there. Read more.

More to know

The Long Island Rail Road's scaled-back schedule took effect Monday, and following complaints from livid commuters about shoulder-to-shoulder crowding, the LIRR will add some trains to its schedule.

New York City public high schools will reopen March 22 for in-person classroom learning, four months after they were closed because of rising cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre is discouraging the faithful from taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "on moral grounds" because cell lines derived from fetuses aborted decades ago were used to develop it.

A $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was narrowly approved by the Senate on Saturday. The bill would send nearly $685 million to Long Island county governments, with Nassau getting $397.7 million and Suffolk $286.38 million, Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, warned state governors not to "turn the switch on and off" by lifting virus restrictions too quickly.

News for you

Playing with toys that Mom and Dad used to. Long Island parents are finding their kids playing with games and toys they used to play with — partially thanks to the pandemic sparking the need for stay-at-home fun, and also nostalgia. Long Island gaming stores say it's a "huge" trend right now.

Speaking of nostalgia … You can find toys from your childhood at these Long Island nostalgia shops.

Finding the right CSA. Local farms have been great during the pandemic. Now looking forward to the new growing season, you might consider signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, to get a weekly box of whatever a farm has that week. Visitors to the second annual CSA fair in Brentwood on March 13 can decide which plan is best for them.

Plus, next on Newsday Live: How does the vaccine help me? Newsday hosts local experts to discuss vaccine concerns during a virtual event. Register here.

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A lost year on Long Island for one senior citizen. Newsday Opinion's Mark Chiusano followed 89-year-old Joan Rauch as she got the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine.

Rauch, a retired guidance counselor who now lives at a continuing care retirement community in Port Washington, talked about her family and how eager she is to travel again once this is all over.

Watch a video of her journey here.

Read more about Joan Rauch's year in Chiusano's column.