coronavirus

New Jersey reported another 2,668 positive PCR tests as well as 643 new positive antigen tests Monday, for a cumulative total of 792,496 lab-confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic.

There were 1,865 coronavirus patients in New Jersey hospitals as of Sunday night, including 387 in critical care and 226 requiring ventilators. Hospitals also discharged 178 live patients.

Another 21 residents died from complications of coronavirus. There have now been 20,942 confirmed fatalities and another 2,331 probable deaths across the state.

NYS Senate GOP Leader Says Cuomo Should Resign

13 hours ago
nysenate.gov

The Republican leader in the New York State Senate said he thinks Governor Cuomo should resign.

Robert Ortt said those in politics in Albany have known for a long time about what he called a hostile work environment, threats and bullying within the Cuomo administration.

“It was whispered about. It was talked about at local bars and restaurants, in the salons here in Albany and maybe New York City, but never reported,” Ortt said.

NYS Senate GOP Leader Says Cuomo Should Resign

13 hours ago
nysenate.gov

The Republican leader in the New York State Senate said he thinks Governor Cuomo should resign.

Robert Ortt said those in politics in Albany have known for a long time about what he called a hostile work environment, threats and bullying within the Cuomo administration.

“It was whispered about. It was talked about at local bars and restaurants, in the salons here in Albany and maybe New York City, but never reported,” Ortt said.

picryl.com

More and more New York City restaurants can’t pay the rent, another sign the industry’s struggles are getting worse during the pandemic.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance surveyed 400 restaurant owners and found 92% could not afford to pay their December rent.

New Jersey reported another 3,149 new positive PCR tests Friday as well as another 1,007 antigen tests, for a cumulative total of all positives since the start of the pandemic to 782,833.

The positivity rate for all PCR tests recorded on Monday was 6.53%. The statewide rate of transmission is 0.89.

On Thursday there were 2,008 coronavirus patients in New Jersey hospitals, including 439 in critical care and 270 on ventilators. Hospitals also discharged 264 patients.

NYC Schools Chancellor Resigns, Citing Personal Losses

Feb 26, 2021
www1.nyc.gov

The head of New York City’s school system is stepping down in a few weeks.

Richard Carranza struggled to hold back tears as he mentioned he has 11 family members and close friends he has lost to Covid-19.

He was asked, though, if his departure was connected to disagreements with the mayor on education policy. “I am leaving because I need to take care of me. I need time to grieve. This city, this school system, deserves a chancellor who 100% is taking up the helm," he said.

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New York City health officials are pushing back against a report showing a new coronavirus variant is rapidly spreading there.

The New York Times cited research suggesting this new variant is quickly spreading and vaccines may be less effective against it. But New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said he disagreed because, he said, not enough is known about what he called the New York variant.

NYC Mayors Office

 New York City is ramping up its effort to combat a rise in hate crimes against the Asian community.

Congresswoman Grace Meng points to a recent random slashing of a Filipino man on a subway train and an Asian America woman getting shoved to the ground in Queens.  

“So many Asian Americans literally live in fear and are afraid to leave their homes because they don’t know what may happen to them.”

NYC Catching Up On Delayed COVID Vaccine Doses

Feb 22, 2021
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New York City is playing catch up with coronavirus vaccinations following supply shipment delays.   

The city had to hold off on scheduling appointments because of weather related delays but it’s expected to quickly catch up.  Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi says right now there’s 170 thousand first doses a week coming to New York City.

New Jersey has reported another 2,679 positive PCR tests as well as 593 new positive antigen tests, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 761, 498 known coronavirus cases.

The positivity rate for all PCR tests taken Monday was 7.58%. The statewide rate of transmission was 0.91.

There were 2,202 COVID-positive patients in New Jersey hospitals Thursday night, including 443 people in critical care and 300 requiring ventilators. Hospitals discharged 323 live patients.

Governor Cuomo is being accused of threatening one of his critics from his own political party. 

Assemblyman Ron Kim along with a few other Democrats have been critical of Governor Cuomo’s handling of coronavirus nursing home death data. Kim’s uncle died from coronavirus in a nursing home.   The Queens Democrat says the governor gave him a phone call last week threatening to destroy him.

 

“For 10 minutes, berated me and yelled, made threatening comments saying that my career, my political career, it will be ruined.”

NYC To Run Out of COVID Vaccine Doses By Tomorrow

Feb 17, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

New York City is expected to run out of coronavirus vaccine supply today or tomorrow. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city’s supply is getting really low and bad weather around the nation is delaying fresh shipments of vaccine doses.  

He says this will effect tens of thousands of appointments.

“We have to hold them back because the vaccine hasn’t arrived.  This is going to be so frustrating for so many New Yorkers who are just so anxious to get this vaccine.”

On this month's Newark Today, host Michael Hill is joined by New Jersey’s Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, President and CEO of University Hospital Dr. Shereef Elnahal, and Pastor of Newark's Metropolitan Baptist Church Dr. David Jefferson, to talk about efforts to boost trust, information, and access to the COVID vaccine in communities of color.

On the next Newark Today Host Michael Hill will be joined by President and CEO of University Hospital Dr. Shareef Elnahal along with several other guests and specialist to be announced…to talk about efforts to boost trust, information, and access to the COVID Vaccine in communities of color.

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New coronavirus vaccination zip code data in New York City show disparities.  

Staten Island and Manhattan have the highest vaccination rates.  Chief Equity officer Dr.Torain Easterling says the south Bronx,central Queens and central Brooklyn lag far behind.  

“Just as we have seen a much smaller proportion of vaccines going to black and brown New Yorkers, we see these geographic disparities bearing out as well.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under fire from his own political party following controversy over coronavirus nursing home deaths.

A group of 14 Democratic senators made it public they want to strip Cuomo of emergency powers that were granted to the governor related to the pandemic.  Senator Gustavo Rivera is one of them.

en.wikipedia.org

New Jersey parents will get the chance to watch their children play sports again, under an order announced by Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday.

The rule change allows two parents or guardians per student to attend indoor and outdoor practices and competitions.

NYC Indoor Dining Reopens at 25% Capacity

Feb 12, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

Indoor dining was back in New York City Friday for the first time since mid-December.

It was expected to be a big weekend for restaurants with Valentine’s Day on Sunday.

Owners can open indoors but only at 25% capacity. A number of restaurant owners and elected officials got together to call on Governor Cuomo to increase that capacity to 50%. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams noted that’s what it is for areas near new York City.

“You can’t cross the street in the Bronx and step into Yonkers and act like we are in a different state," he said.

Alexandra Hill / 4323619530

After covering the pandemic for more than a year WBGO’s Alexandra Hill is one of the first on our staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Alexandra documented the experience as she received the second and final dose of the Moderna shot at the former Kmart location in West Orange New Jersey.

www1.nyc.gov

Property taxes in New Jersey rose in 2020, the average bill topping $9000 for the first time.

The news comes as Democrats in Congress make a push to repeal the $10,000 cap on how much you can deduct in state and local taxes, enacted in 2017 under the Trump Administration.

Todd Metcalfe of Moody's said some economists say the SALT deduction itself is regressive, benefiting the rich more, but he is not one of them.

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A new Associated Press poll shows that about 1 in 3 Americans definitely or probably won’t get the Covid vaccine, and it is having even more trouble winning acceptance in communities of color, with Blacks less likely than whites to say they will probably or definitely get the shot.

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick took part in a vaccine trial and is trying to educate others. She said information makes all the difference and tells a success story involving two Black men she counseled in Washington D.C.

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 Sports fans can start heading back into large venues soon in New York State. Starting February 23rd, arenas and stadiums that can hold more than 10-thousand people are allowed have spectators with a 10 percent capacity limit. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says this is modeled after the Bills playoff game which required fans to take a coronavirus test.

“If you are negative, you are negative so the testing is the key.  We are going to now extend the Buffalo Bills example.”

New Jersey reported another 2,218 positive PCR tests Monday, as well as 516 new positive antigen tests. State officials said the numbers were likely lower than they should have been because of a lab-reporting issue. The state has now recorded 647,194 positive PCR tests and 77,534 positive antigen tests.

The positivity rate for PCR tests taken on Thursday was 8.5%. The statewide rate of transmission was 0.85.

NJ Transit Tries to Get Riders Back With Flexpass

Feb 8, 2021
NJ Transit

There’s a new way to travel on New Jersey Transit, which is trying to get customers lost to the pandemic back on board.

It’s called Flexpass -- 20 one-way tickets between two stations or stops, with a 20% discount off the one-way fare. It’s good for 30 days. Lisa Torbic of NJ Transit said it’s a response to the pandemic as people may not be going in to the office every day.

ABC News

WBGO Journal host Doug Doyle reports on the latest curfew restrictions for NYC and NJ.

New Jersey reported another 3,723 positive PCR coronavirus tests Friday and another 712 positive antigen tests. Overall the state has now recorded a total of 637,537 positive PCR tests and 75,967 positive antigen tests.

The positivity rate for PCR tests taken on Monday was 6.83%. The statewide rate of transmission was 0.92.

There were 2,916 coronavirus patients in New Jersey hospitals, including 515 patients in critical care and 342 requiring ventilators. Some 436 live patients were discharged.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expanding coronavirus vaccine eligibility in New York State.  Cuomo says he’s giving local health departments in New York State more doses to vaccinate people who have multiple medical complications or diseases. This will start February 15th. 

“94 percent of the people who die from COVID are people with comorbidities or other underlying conditions.”

whyy.org

New Jersey has raised the capacity limits for public indoor activity to 35% from 25%. Will this help a hurting restaurant industry?

Manuel Galhofo is the owner of Picnic Bar and Restaurant in East Newark. He said he doesn’t expect the increased capacity to help much because people just aren’t going out.

“It’s good news, anything that they do to increase, if they come we are able to serve them and that would be nice,” he said, “but my thing is people are not coming out as they used to.”

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  The state is rejecting New York City’s request to use second doses of the coronavirus vaccine in place of first doses. Because of lack of supply, Mayor Bill de Blasio is formally asking for permission from the state to use those second doses.

“If it’s your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your aunt, your uncle, I think you know what I am saying right now.  They are desperate to get any protection at all.  If that first dose gives them 50 percent protection, isn’t it the moral thing to do to maximize the number of first doses.”

 

Murphy Talks Foreign Policy, Virus Variants on CNN

Feb 4, 2021
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Governor Murphy had a chance to talk about matters beyond the New Jersey borders in an interview Thursday morning on CNN International.

Murphy was the ambassador to Germany in the Obama Administration, making him the rare US governor with foreign policy experience.

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