THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic’s COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution, as well as repercussions on employment, social services, the economy and politics. Here is the most recent information 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
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on May 13 that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks or social distance for most indoor and outdoor activities; masking on public transportation is still required. However, the CDC defers to the rules and guidelines determined by state and local laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. New York and New Jersey officials are not yet easing the state’s mask rules.
As of May 12, those 12 and older and who have residency in the United States are now eligible for the vaccine in New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced eight new pop-up vaccination sites at MTA station stops in the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions that will operate Wednesday, May 12 to Sunday, May 16. The sites will administer the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for up to 300 walk-ins per day on a first-come, first-served basis. The MTA will provide incentives, including a free seven-day MetroCard or free round-trip Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North ticket. The MTA will partner with SOMOS Community Care, Northwell Health and Westchester Medical Center on the sites. MTA employees can also get vaccinated at the sites. See hours and locations on the MTA site.
Effective May 19, restrictions on most business capacities will be removed in New York and New Jersey. Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. This will also apply in houses of worship.
PBS NewsHour Reports
May 14: Is the CDC Guidance Easing Mask Requirements Premature?
In many states, fully vaccinated Americans can now resume most activities without wearing a mask. The new guidance announced Thursday by the CDC was met with jubilation in many quarters. But there are also concerns the changes for indoor masking are happening too quickly. Lisa Desjardins follows up on those concerns with Dr. Ranit Mishori, a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University.
May 13: CDC Director on the New Mask Guidelines for the Vaccinated
Fully vaccinated Americans will now be able to go mask-free indoors in most places, and outdoors in crowds, according to new guidance released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the new guidance and now joins Judy Woodruff to discuss it.
May 12: NIH Director Optimistic About Teen Vaccinations
On Wednesday afternoon, a key advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended allowing Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots for children aged 12 to 15. Many parents have been eagerly awaiting this decision, but it’s far from universal. Dr. Francis Collins is the director of the National Institute of Health and joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the planned rollout for that age group.
May 11: Lessons from Australia’s Successful COVID-19 Response
Australia has been one of the most successful countries in the world at keeping COVID-19 in check. It combined strict lockdowns with consistent messages from scientists and politicians. While the daily average number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. over the last week was 39,000, Australia’s was just 13 — despite low vaccination rates. Nick Schifrin reports on the factors that made that possible.
May 10: FDA Greenlights Pfizer Vaccine for Children Ages 12 – 15
New York became the latest state to require students at publicly funded colleges be vaccinated for the fall term — a move that comes as overall, new infections in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest since last September. Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer announced Monday that it had received FDA approval to vaccinate children 12 to 15 years old. William Brangham has the latest COVID news.
May 8: How Did Serbia Become One of the Top EU Vaccinators?
Serbia has had considerable success in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, with the third-highest rate in Europe; supply is mostly from China and Russia. While Serbia’s efforts have received high praise, experts are warning about unprecedented, growing Chinese influence in the country and the wider region through so-called vaccine diplomacy. Jorgen Samson and Aleksandar Papajic report from Serbia.
Amanpour and Company
May 11: Are Pandemics a Natural Part of the Human Cycle?
The UN has warned that more encroachments into our natural world will lead to more pandemics in the future. Healthy ecosystems are key to protecting us from sickness, and indigenous communities play a vital role in their conservation. To discuss this, Christiane speaks with the American Museum of Natural History’s Ana Porzecanski.
May 7: Emergence of a New COVID-19 Variant
Sir Jeremy Farrar is on the expert panel advising the U.K. government on coronavirus and joins the show to discuss.
May 5: The New COVID Protocol for Summer
As we get ready for the start of yet another summer during the pandemic, the coming months promise to look much different than last year. We’ll tackle important questions on some of the new COVID protocols with New York Times columnist Tara Parker-Pope, who has spoken with the experts and written extensively about staying healthy during COVID.
NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi
NJ Spotlight News provides daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.
May 14: Murphy Won’t Ditch Indoor Mask Mandate Despite New CDC Rules
Declaring, “We’re not there yet,” Gov. Phil Murphy refused to ditch New Jersey’s indoor mask mandate despite new Centers for Disease Control guidelines stating it’s safe for fully-vaccinated people to go maskless both indoors and out.
May 14: More Cases of Rare Blood Clots Linked to J&J COVID Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 13 more cases of blood clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
May 13: People Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Can Ease Up on Mask Use
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks inside and outdoors or stay six feet apart, in most cases.
May 13: NJ Kids Ages 12-15 Line Up for COVID-19 Vaccines
Valley Health Plaza in Paramus reported at least 900 children were slated to get vaccinated Thursday, with hundreds more scheduled for Friday and walk-ins welcome. The vaccine’s 100% effective in kids, who can now look forward to going on vacation and visiting family after getting both doses. But will COVID-19 vaccinations be mandated for public schools?
May 13: NJ Hospitals Can Allow Visitors Again: New Guidelines
The New Jersey Hospital Association says most patients can have two visitors at a time with masks and other safety measures. Hospitals banned visitors because of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.
May 12: NJ Eases Visiting Restrictions for Long-Term Care Centers
Here’s the breakdown: If a resident and their visitor are both vaccinated, they get to decide if they’re comfortable with close contact like hugging without masks. Residents who are fully vaccinated can choose to have an unvaccinated guest in their room if alone, but they both have to wear masks.
May 12: Does Your Pharmacy Deliver COVID-19 Shots?
A north Jersey pharmacy is bringing the vaccine straight to people who are stuck at home. Meanwhile, the City of Newark is also working to overcome its own hurdles to getting more people vaccinated, and that also means delivering shots to where the people are.
May 11: FDA Approves Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for 12- to 15-Year Olds
Public health leaders across the state are preparing to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds against COVID-19, armed with the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents.
May 10: Dealing with Social Anxiety Over Return to Pre-Pandemic Life
Some people have been waiting more than a year to socialize again, but for others, the idea of reentering society is causing extreme anxiety.
May 7: Pop-Up Vaccination Site Focuses on People with Disabilities
Newark set up a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at a church to reach residents with disabilities. And starting next week, the vaccination site at NJIT in Newark will allow walk-ins.
GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer
Airs Saturdays at 6:30pm. You may also stream live at thirteen.org/live.
May 8: India’s COVID Calamity
Delhi-based reporter Barkha Dutt’s decades of journalism couldn’t prepare her for covering the death of one particular COVID-19 victim: her own father. This episode on India’s latest COVID explosion includes how one Bay Area Indian-American couple raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few days to send much-needed oxygen equipment to India.
Government Sites and Resources
National: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
On May 10, the FDA approved use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, the youngest group to be approved for vaccination.
The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.
For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC offers guidelines of behavior and safety precautions.
New York City
NYC’s official COVID-19 site with information on testing, resources (including rent and housing and more), 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.
New York Yankees and the New York Mets have announced seating policies for full vaccinated and non-vaccinated attendees and are teaming up with the State Department of Health to offer the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for fans at games (read more on the New York State site). Each stadium is offering a limited number of free tickets to those who receive a vaccination; see the New York Yankees site and New York Mets site for details.
For the latest number of cases, trends and a look at data by NYC neighborhood, see the New York City COVID-19 data page.
At New York City-run vaccine locations, all U.S. residents age 16 and older can now walk up to get vaccinated without an appointment.
New Yorkers can make their vaccine appointments using the City’s Vaccine Finder, which aggregates all vaccination locations including private providers like pharmacies. Appointments can be made by phone at 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. See the NYC vaccine information page for City guidelines.
COVID Express sites offer free rapid COVID-19 virus PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, by scheduled appointment. Learn more on NYC.gov.
Work, Resources and Assistance
To see all kinds of resources available to communities by zip code, begin by selecting a NYC borough on this City resource page.
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.
For labor law information and more, employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC).
New York City Public Schools and Learning
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.
Low-cost, rapid testing locations for COVID-19 are made possible by a public-private partnership in New York. Testing providers in the network must make rapid tests available for no more than $30, provide participants with their results within 30 minutes, offer a way for people to schedule in advance and report the results to the state. Find a test site and make an appointment.
The state documents its vaccination distribution through a vaccine tracker that includes first and second doses given.
New York States mass vaccination sites accept walk-in appointments for all U.S. residents age 12 and older. To make an online appointment, visit the ‘Am I Eligible’ website, or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline, daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.: 833-697-4829 (833-NYS-4VAX).
For a full list of New York State-operated vaccination sites, including Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sites, see the New York State site.
The Excelsior Pass is a free and voluntary mobile app platform for businesses and individuals that can be used to easily access secure proof of a recent negative COVID test or vaccination.
The New York State Department of Health posts a daily COVID-19 tracker case tally by county.
NJ State COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
NJ State Vaccine Appointments: 1-855-568-0545
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.
The State of New Jersey coronavirus hub is covid19.nj.gov.
All individuals aged 12 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. See all who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine and learn more about the vaccine distribution in New Jersey on the official state vaccine hub.
The state offers answers to more FAQs as well as outlines policies for health care providers on this COVID-19 vaccine page from the health department.
Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education
To better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic, The WNET Group offers At Home Learning educational programming. Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.
Let’s Learn weekday lessons led by NYC DOE educators for grades 3K- 2 are broadcast at 11 a.m. on THIRTEEN and at 8 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.