COVID-19 Reports and Vaccine Rollout: May 3-7

Rachel Hollander | May 3, 2021

A still from an NJ Spotlight News segment on April 29, 2021 about schools reopening on a hybrid schedule.

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

Click for National, State, and City Hotlines and Resources

See COVID-19 vaccine questions and direct links to official New York, New Jersey and Connecticut sites with the most up-to-date vaccine information.

New York City indoor dining will expand to 75 percent capacity beginning May 7, bringing New York City in line with the rest of New York; also on May 7, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services will expand to 75 percent capacity.

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

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.

May 6: Waiving the Vaccine Patent May Depend on Incentives

President Joe Biden has given the initial nod for the U.S. to waive patent rights on COVID vaccines to boost international production. But there are real questions over how effective these moves would be, what other countries feel about it, and when this would translate into action. William Brangham discusses the matter with Rachel Silverman, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development.

May 5: Waiving Vaccine Patent Rights May Help End the Pandemic

President Biden announced that the U.S. will support waiving patent rights for the COVID vaccines — a major move that follows a call domestically, and internationally, for America to provide much quicker and greater assistance to the rest of the world. William Brangham looks at the potential impact of this decision and the reaction to it with Madhavi Sunder of the Georgetown University Law Center.

May 5: Why Experts Call the COVID-19 Death Benefit “Deeply Flawed” 

In the past few weeks, a new and large form of COVID-19 relief has opened in the U.S., with the federal government offering to pay for all or most of every funeral of those lost to the disease. Lisa Desjardins reports on the unprecedented scale of help, how the rollout has fared so far, and the questions it raises about the cost of grief in America.

May 4: Dr. Vivek Murthy on New U.S. Inoculation Strategy

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, a key member of the president’s team combating COVID-19, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss President Joe Biden’s aims to vaccinate 70 percent of all U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4, and how a focus on rural communities will help achieve that goal, and how the U.S. plans to distribute vaccines abroad.

May 3: Vaccines Alone Won’t Help India Overcome COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis in India shows little sign of slowing down. As death tolls and infections skyrocket, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership is under increasing political pressure and scrutiny. The country is short on vaccines, and other life-saving supplies like oxygen and antiviral drugs. William Brangham speaks to Indian reporter Barkha Dutt about what she’s seeing on the ground.

May 2: How Two Immigrants Become COVID-19 Heroes Back Home

When COVID-19 hit the nation of Georgia last year, its residents turned to an unlikely source: two Georgian doctors who had immigrated to the U.S. and had been battling the pandemic for months. Dr. Nana Gegetchkori in New York City and Dr. Zurab Guruli in Jackson, Mississippi, became viral sensations in their home country, advising doctors and patients, largely on social media.

May 1: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Accelerating Workforce Training

For decades, manufacturers in the U.S. have warned of a massive skills gap: There just aren’t enough new skilled workers to make up for older ones who are retiring. In this installment of our series, “Roads to Recovery,” Christopher Booker reports from Connecticut on how the pandemic has accelerated a push to improve and expand job training for the state’s large manufacturing workforce.

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.

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 6: Was the American Pandemic Preventable with Early Warnings? 

Former President Trump repeatedly claimed that no one could have seen the pandemic coming. But with COVID-19 cases dwindling more than a year later, was the pandemic avoidable had Americans heeded the early signs? Author Michael Lewis discuss this and celebrates the unsung heroes of the pandemic in his new book, “The Premonition.”

May 5: Barkha Dutt on India’s Systemic Failure in Addressing COVID

In this 17-minute segment, Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Delhi-based reporter Barkha Dutt, who covered the death of her own father, a COVID-19 casualty. She speaks about the COVID-19 crisis in India.

May 4: Why Are Republicans Still Hesitant About Vaccines?

Brian Castrucci and Frank Luntz join the show to discuss the ease of vaccines in America and why Republicans are still hesitant to take them.

April 28: A Global Campaign to End Vaccine Nationalism

India continues to break global coronavirus records, and the spike is crushing its public health system. Now, nearly 150 religious leaders are launching a global campaign to end vaccine nationalism and inequality. One of the campaign’s signatories is Dr. Thabo Makhoba, who joins the show alongside Seth Berkley of Gavi, a global alliance supporting immunization in poor countries.

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..

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 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.

May 6: Gov. Murphy Says All Remote Education Must End By Summer

As of today 16 school districts including Paterson remain in an all virtual learning format. Gov. Phil Murphy is putting the squeeze on every district to reopen before the academic year ends. But the path forward once they do is still uncertain.

May 5: Kids Stricken By Long-Haul COVID Find Treatment at NJ Clinic

The Pediatric Post-COVID CARE program at St. Barnabas and Children’s Hospital of NJ is treating and tracking 90 long COVID kids.

May 4: Kids Are Behind on Regular Vaccines, Herd Immunity at Risk

Two thirds of young kids are behind on their regularly scheduled vaccines that protect against diseases like measles, pertussis, meningitis and pneumonias. The alarming statistics point to a potentially deadly rise in these illnesses for the first time in generations, and the results could be far worse for kids than COVID-19 was.

May 3: Tri-State Are to Begin Lifting Most COVID-19 Restrictions

In a little more than two weeks the tri-state area will begin major reopenings and lift most COVID-19 capacity limits on restaurants, bars gyms, and other businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy credited the drastic shift in declining COVID-19 cases as reason for the decision.

April 30: Long-Term Care Workers Hesitant to Get Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccinations among long-term care staff are lagging compared to patients. Why are they hesitant and what are the risks to patients?

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer

Airs Saturdays at 6:30pm. You may also stream live at

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. On the show today, India’s latest COVID explosion hits home. And later, 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

Sixteen New York States mass vaccination sites accept walk-in appointments for New Yorkers age 60 and older. See all site locations.

National: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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:

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.


Broadway theaters are ready to reopen at 100% capacity beginning September 14, and tickets went on sale May 6. Visit for links to shows and their box offices.

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.

COVID-19 Cases

For the latest number of cases, trends and a look at data by NYC neighborhood, see the New York City COVID-19 data page.

Vaccine Distribution

At New York City-run vaccine locations, New Yorkers age 16 and older can now walk up to get vaccinated without an appointment. See this City form for addresses.

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.

The City’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity has expanded its Vaccine for All effort to 33 neighborhoods. The task force also released demographic information of vaccine recipients.

COVID Testing

COVID Express sites offer free rapid COVID-19 virus PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, by scheduled appointment. Learn more on

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 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.

COVID-19 Testing

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.

Vaccine Distribution

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 New Yorkers age 16 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 in Brooklyn and Queens, 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.

New Jersey

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

Vaccine Distribution

All individuals aged 16 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

Although 20 percent of the city’s high school students returned to New York City classrooms on March 22, many families opted for in-person learning for the rest of the year. 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.