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Port Washington nurse and canyon of other pandemic heroes getting ticker tape treatment

Sandra Lindsay, a nurse from Port Washington, and

Sandra Lindsay, a nurse from Port Washington, and also the first person in the U.S. to get an approved COVID-19 vaccine, holds a citizenship award presented to her Friday at the White House by President Joe Biden. She will take part in a Wednesday ticker tape parade in Manhattan honoring medical personnel and first responders. Credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

New York City’s long-promised ticker tape parade to honor the coronavirus pandemic’s medical personnel and first responders arrives Wednesday — but festivities are being scaled back because of heat in the forecast.

Speaking Tuesday at his daily news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio cited the weather in canceling a ceremony planned for City Hall plaza.

"Instead of having a big ceremony at the end of the parade, we’ll have a much smaller, stripped-down version of that," de Blasio said. "We'll be greeting the marchers in the parade, thanking them. Not a big ceremony, but the parade itself, of course, will be the central salute to our heroes."

The skies will be mostly sunny by the time festivities begin, according the latest forecast Tuesday night from the National Weather Service. A high of 87 degrees is forecast with a heat index of 98, the combined temperature when you add the relative humidity.

De Blasio’s office said late Tuesday afternoon that drinking water will be available throughout the route of the parade, which starts at 11 a.m. at Battery Park before heading up Broadway and ending at City Hall. Cooling stations will be located at both the start and finish, the mayor said.

What to know

  • New York City’s long-promised ticker tape parade to honor the coronavirus pandemic’s medical personnel and first responders is set to start at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Manhattan at Battery Park and ending at City Hall.
  • The grand marshal is Sandra Lindsay, of Port Washington, a nurse and the first person in the United States to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s with a heat index of 98. Drinking water will be available throughout the parade route with cooling stations located at both the start and finish.

The grand marshal is Sandra Lindsay, of Port Washington, a nurse and the first person in the United States to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine. De Blasio will march alongside hospital workers.

New York State, once the pandemic’s epicenter, has seen a precipitous drop in coronavirus positivity and death, as has much of the rest of the United States.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration announced that the positivity rate, averaged over seven days, was 0.58%. New York became the 15th state or Washington, D.C., with 70% of eligible residents, 12 and older, who have gotten at least one vaccine shot.

Vermont, with 84.1%, is highest, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Washington, D.C., and 13 states have higher vaccination rates than New York, according to the CDC.

Although the infection rate is a fraction of what it once was in New York, and continues to decline, there are still positive cases, and deaths numbering in the single digits.

Seven people died of COVID-19 statewide Monday — residents of Herkimer, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Montgomery, Queens and Warren counties, Cuomo's office said.

In Brentwood, a Town of Islip testing site in place since November is being converted to a vaccination site, where those seeking the shot can get one in a drive-thru.

Angie Carpenter, Islip’s town supervisor, said: "Brentwood has been a hotbed of positive COVID cases from the very beginning. They have well surpassed 11,000 positive COVID cases in a hamlet of about 60,000 residents. And, if you look at the report in Newsday every day, it has never fallen to zero. Other hamlets across the town, across the county, across Long Island, have seen those numbers decline, and they have in Brentwood, too — but never to zero."

Justin Jaycon, a Good Samaritan Hospital spokesman, said the site would be administering the Moderna vaccine, to whoever wants it.

"Maybe we do two vaccines, maybe we do 200. It doesn’t matter to us," he said.

For now, the site will be open only on Wednesdays, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but an additional day or more could be added depending on the volume of vaccine-seekers.

"Book is wide open for anyone who wants," he said.

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What to know

New York City’s ticker tape parade honoring the coronavirus pandemic’s medical personnel and first responders will start at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Battery Park.

The parade heads up Broadway and ends at City Hall. Cooling stations will be at both the start and finish.

The grand marshal is Sandra Lindsay, of Port Washington, a nurse and the first person in the United States to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

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