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Praise and Concern over COVID-19 Vaccination Plans and Restrictions in New Jersey and NYC

NY State Department of Health
Health officials are encouraged by the latest vaccination plans in New York

New York City officials are criticizing new coronavirus quarantine rules that the state has put out. WBGO’s Scott Pringle reports.

New York City officials are criticizing new coronavirus quarantine guidelines put out by the state. State guidelines now say starting April 1st domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine when coming to New York State. Mayor de Blasio says he was shocked when he got word of that.

“I don’t know if that’s the state’s idea of an April fool’s joke but it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do. It’s reckless. It doesn’t help us with our recovery.”

The city’s top doctors say the travel quarantine has been a critical tool in the fight against COVID. They point out that five to 10 percent of all New York City cases are linked to travel. A mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers.

I'm Scott Pringle, WBGO News

The vaccination effort in New York City is getting an enormous boost. New York Senator Chuck Schumer says 32 billion dollars in federal vaccine funding will help support more than one-hundred new vaccine sites in the Big Apple.

“One of the biggest issues with getting people vaccinated has been access, especially in underserved and disadvantage communities, communities of color and they are going to get special special attention.”

He adds that these are Community Health Center sites and they will be organized by the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s unclear when they will start coming online.

New Jersey is increasing indoor capacity limits to 50 percent to some businesses.
As WBGO’s Joe Hernandez reports … state officials say it’s still not safe to go to FULL capacity like some other states have.

Restaurants, gyms and fitness clubs, and personal care businesses like barber shops and salons are among those that can increase indoor capacity to 50% starting next Friday.

Governor Phil Murphy says New Jersey is reopening incrementally … because it still isn’t out of the woods yet.

"You saw some other states — like Texas and Mississippi, frankly — that opened all at once last summer and we saw the surge in cases and hospitalizations that came on the back of that.”

Murphy announced the expansion in conjunction with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo … who said New York City businesses would also increase to the same capacity on the same day.

New Jersey is also upping indoor and outdoor gathering limits … though officials still say to get together with other people OUTDOORS as much as possible.

I’m Joe Hernandez, WBGO News.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 200 awards from organizations like PRNDI, AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.
Joe Hernandez