Coronavirus Impact Reports: December 21

December 21, 2020

A woman doctor in a black shirt and blue paper medical mask looks at camera as another person wearing blue plastic gloves and blue medical mask gives her a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Alexis Langsfeld, a New York physician, receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic as an emergency health issue, and its repercussions on employment, social services, the economy and politics. Here is the latest from infectious disease doctors and medical professionals, government officials, and journalists who cover news about COVID-19 and its impacts. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

Recent COVID News and Numbers

Click for Hotlines and Information Sources

On December 21, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered in New York State as of Monday morning – the highest reported total in the nation.

The first 346,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to begin arriving in New York today, with an additional 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected later this week.

Governor Cuomo’s regular coronavirus updates now focus on hospital and ICU bed availability in New York State’s regions, based on seven-day averages. See the status of regions on forward.ny.gov.

The State Department of Health has directed hospitals to prepare to achieve 15% staffed bed capacity growth within 72 hours if a significant COVID surge occurs. If unable to do so, hospitals must cancel elective procedures.

We’re offering updates via email or mobile on the coronavirus now through the duration of the pandemic. Sign up for email alerts here, or text UPDATES to 30644 for mobile notifications.

New York State Travel Advisory

New York State has quarantine rules for out-of-state travel: residents from most other states must obtain a test within three days of departure from their state, and upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, out-of-state travelers should get another COVID-19 test. Once negative, they can move freely in New York State. For more details on out-of-state travel, see the New York State Health Department site.

Micro-Cluster Hot Spots

Look up an address to see if it is in a New York COVID-19 color-coded Hot Spot Zone with restrictions. Maps of the cluster zones can be found here.

The places and activities regulated are non-essential gatherings, businesses, dining, and schools. See the New York State site for details on how cluster zones are identified and implemented.

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7 p.m. and weekends at 6 p.m. and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WLIW-FM weeknights at 6 p.m.

December 20: ER Doctor’s Vaccination Experience


Frontline healthcare workers are the first to receive the COVID-19 protection. Dr. Alexis Langsfeld, a New York physician, spoke with NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Karla Murthy about the vaccination and the surge in cases across the country.

December 19: The Second COVID-19 Vaccine


A second COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna, began rollout on Sunday. With America regularly recording more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths per day, the much-needed additional doses will provide a boost to efforts to vaccinate healthcare workers, but may take months to reach the general population. ProPublica’s Caroline Chen explains what to expect from the rollout.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

Left to right: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company airs Monday – Friday at 11 p.m.; repeats at 4 p.m. Watch broadcast or livestream.

December 18: Moderna Vaccine Distribution Plans


Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s co-founder, speaks with Walter Isaacson about what the vaccine means for the nation and the world – and some potential challenges – in this 17-minute interview.

MetroFocus Interviews

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus airs weeknights at 6 p.m. (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestreams; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 p.m..

 

NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi

NJ Spotlight News provides daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.

December 18: How to convince minorities to get COVID-19 vaccine?


Minorities are among the hardest the virus has hit, yet surveys show they have the highest percentages opposed to taking the vaccines, largely because of abusive experimentation over centuries in America. Shennell McCloud, CEO Project Ready, a Newark-based social justice group, Dr. Shereef Elnahal of University Hospital, and Reverend Slaughter of Saint James AME Church in Newark speak with Senior Correspondent Brenda Flanagan on how leaders are trying to break through the legacy of distrust.

Hotlines and Information

Stay-in-the-know about what’s on-air and online at THIRTEEN. Sign-up for free weekly eNewsletters, including on coronavirus reports.

Government Sites and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.

New York City

COVID Express sites offer free rapid COVID-19 virus PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, by scheduled appointment. Results are available within 24 hours. Learn more on NYC.gov.

NYC is tracking positive COVID-19 cases by zip code; you can review a map reflecting cases in the past seven days on this page.

NYC’s official COVID-19 site with information on testing, resources for New Yorkers (including rent and housing and more) and business, and announcements: www.nyc.gov/coronavirus.

For text updates from New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with helpful behavior tips and news related to the coronavirus. Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

Work and Assistance

Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for labor law information and more.

The state has a web application to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits they may qualify for. “Find Services” is an easy starting point for first-time users of social programs that relate to unemployment, food insecurity, and housing, among other services.

New York City Public Schools and Learning

NYC Schools re-opened on Monday, December 7.
Create a NYC Schools Account to sign up for Department of Education notifications and track your child’s education.

For free homework help from a teacher, K-12 students and their parents or caregivers can call 212-777-3380 or visit the Dial-A-Teacher website Mondays through Thursdays 4–7 p.m.

New York State

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
For all New York State updates, and announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo, see the state COVID site.

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Learn more about how it works and download it to your mobile phone.

The New York State Department of Health posts a daily COVID-19 case tally by county.

New Jersey

NJ State Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.
The official State of New Jersey coronavirus hub is covid19.nj.gov.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

To better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic, The WNET Group offers At Home Learning educational programming.

Let’s Learn weekday lessons led by NYC DOE educators for grades 3K- 2 are broadcast at 11 a.m. on THIRTEEN and 9 a.m. on WLIW21, followed on WLIW21 by a NJTV Learning Live lesson for 3rd graders at 10 a.m., 4th graders at 11 a.m., and 5th graders at 12 p.m.

Broadcast schedules on WLIW21, WLIW World and PBS Kids were developed to help schools and districts bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to learning for all students at home, regardless of access to the internet or computers.

Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.