COVID-19 Reports on Cases and Vaccine Rollout: February 8-12

Rachel Hollander | February 8, 2021

A still from a PBS NewsHour Weekend segment on February 6, 2021.

THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic’s COVID-19 cases and the vaccine rollout and 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

A new group is eligible for the vaccine in New York beginning February 15: adult New Yorkers of any age with health conditions that predispose them to a severe reaction to the coronavirus. Appointments can be made starting February 14. See the list of qualifying health conditions. New Yorkers must provide documentation as required by the facility where they are getting vaccinated which must be either:

  • Doctor’s Letter, or
  • Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity, or
  • Signed Certification 

As of Sunday, February 8, New York State has administered over 2.1 million doses of the vaccine.

Indoor dining in New York City will resume at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12, Lunar New Year Day. On February 10, Governor Cuomo announced that sports and entertainment events in major stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 or more people can re-open with limited spectators beginning February 23.

The FDA will meet February 26 to review Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine application.

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.

FRONTLINE: China’s COVID Secrets

A FRONTLINE documentary released February 2 tells the untold story of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and how China responded. Chinese scientists and doctors, international disease experts and health officials reveal missed opportunities to suppress the outbreak and lessons for the world. Stream the full film now.

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.

February 12: News Wrap: CDC Says In-Person Schooling Can Be Done Safely

In our news wrap Friday, the CDC says evidence shows in-person classes can be done safely during the pandemic with the proper measures in place.

February 11: News Wrap: Biden Announces Purchase of More Vaccine Doses

In our news wrap Thursday, President Biden announced the U.S. purchased another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines while blaming President Trump for doing little to lay the groundwork.

February 10: How the Biden Administration is Ramping Up Vaccinations

About 1.5 million people in the U.S. are getting a shot of the COVID vaccine each day, and about 10 percent of Americans have received at least one dose so far. But the pace and the supply remain far too low. Andy Slavitt, a White House senior adviser on the COVID-19 response who has been at the center of the Biden administration’s efforts to increase those numbers, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

February 9: Slowing the Spread of New COVID Strains

The data are preliminary so far, but there are concerns that some new COVID strains are more infectious, more deadly, and possibly even more resistant to the vaccines — and experts stress mass vaccination is crucial to slowing the spread. Dr. Atul Gawande, a staff writer for the New Yorker and a Massachusetts’s surgeon leading an inoculation campaign, joins William Brangham to discuss.

February 6: Not Enough Data to Tell If Vaccines Are Reaching the Needy

The Pentagon committed to sending around 1,000 active duty troops to help vaccinate people across the nation after the White House promised to open community vaccination centers, increasing availability to those in need. Dr. Julie Morita, Executive Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a NewsHour funder, discusses the challenge of equal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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.

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.

February 12: Study: Alzheimer’s Patients Face Higher Risk of COVID-19

A new study shows people with dementia run higher risks of catching and dying from COVID-19, particularly people of color. Dementia patients often won’t follow preventive measures, like wearing a mask, and once hospitalized their prognosis is poorer.

February 12: CDC Outlines Key Strategies for Safe Reopening of Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that schools should use what it calls “key mitigation strategies” for safe reopening: universal and correct mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand-washing and proper ventilation, along with performing contact tracing, isolation and quarantining.

February 11: Should Women Get the COVID-19 Vaccine During Pregnancy?

Adding to the stress of a pandemic winter, expectant moms are weighing whether or not they should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant women are considered to be at high risk if they contract the coronavirus, but they weren’t included in the clinical trials for any of the vaccines currently on the market. So is it safe? Raven Santana reports that there isn’t one clear answer.

February 11: Problem-plagued COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline Angers Residents

It never worked well, and now it’s on hold, while mistake-prone hotline agents get retrained on the Microsoft appointments system NJ contracted to set up the call center.

February 9: Frustration for Teachers Who Want COVID-19 Vaccination

In an effort to reopen schools, advocates are pushing for teachers to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations.

February 9: Montclair State University Has On-Campus COVID Concierge

Former athletics director Holly Gera is the new COVID-19 Housing and Health Concierge, a single point of contact for student questions and concerns.

February 8: Many Report Side Effects After Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

Many people report some unexpectedly intense reactions to their second dose of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, including extremely sore arms, whole body aches, fever and chills. Doctors advise taking some special precautions before getting the second shot, like scheduling a day off from work or getting it before the weekend.

February 5: Johnson & Johnson One-Dose COVID Vaccine and FDA Authorization

Dr. Martin Blaser discusses New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine and getting emergency use authorization from the FDA. Once approved, J&J could start sending out vaccines within four weeks, and without the need for ultra-cold storage.

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer

February 5: The Race to Vaccinate

Atul Gawande of the Biden/Harris COVID-19 transition task force joins the show to discuss the latest on the race to vaccinate the country before contagious coronavirus mutations take hold.

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

National: 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-19 Cases

Yankee Stadium is now open as a mass vaccination site specifically and exclusively for Bronx residents who are 65 or older or in other eligible groups.

Vaccine Distribution

Eligible New Yorkers can make their vaccine appointments using the City’s Vaccine Finder, which aggregates all vaccination locations open to the eligible public into a single, accessible five-borough network, including city-run sites and private providers. Those eligible can also call for an appointment at 877-VAX-4NYC 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. See the NYC vaccine information page for city guidelines.

Healthcare workers in Phase 1A group and city workers and those 65 years and older in Phase 1B group can make appointments now. See what groups fall into Phase 1A and 1B groups.

The City’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity has expanded its Vaccine for All effort to 33 neighborhoods – now including Williamsbridge and Baychester, Midwood, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and South Ozone, and Queens Village. The task force also released demographic information of vaccine recipients.

So-called “mega sites” for vaccinations require advance registration/appointments through the city Vaccine Finder:

The Bathgate Contract Postal Station in the Claremont section of the Bronx
The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park
25 Worth Street in Manhattan
Vanderbilt Gotham Health Center in Staten Island
The DOHMH clinic in Corona, Queens

Those 65 and older who are New York City residents can make an appointment for Fort Washington Armory in Upper Manhattan, operated with by the state and NewYork-Presbyterian. The site became exclusive to city residents after criticism that it was underserving the majority Spanish-speaking population in the neighborhood. Read more and see how to schedule an appointment in the NewYork-Presbyterian statement.

Seniors 65 and Over
People age 65 or older are part of Phase IB group, and those who need transportation to and from vaccination appointments can sign up for free transport through the city, which will be provided by Access-a-Ride, ambulette services, cab service via Curb, and in a few weeks, transportation by select Senior Center programs.

Clinics for resident seniors at NYCHA housing locations will expand and now include: Van Dyke I & II Houses in Brooklyn, Cassidy Lafayette Houses in Staten Island, and Polo Grounds Towers in Manhattan.

COVID Testing

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

NYC tracks positive COVID-19 cases by zip code; you can review a map reflecting cases in the past seven days.

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.

Work and Assistance

Employers and employees can visit 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

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.

Vaccine Distribution

To confirm eligibility and see instructions for vaccine appointments at state-run locations, see this New York State site.

Those eligible can call the New York State COVID vaccine scheduling hotline; calls are accepted 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., though lines may be busy and hold times lengthy: 833-697-4829.

The state documents its vaccination distribution through a vaccine tracker that includes first and second doses given.

 State-run COVID-19 vaccination sites (appointments required through include, among others:

  • Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York City
  • Westchester County Convention Center (Westchester County)
  • Jones Beach drive-thru vaccination site (Nassau County) on Long Island
  • SUNY Stony Brook (Suffolk County) on Long Island
  • The Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York City

See other community pop-up sites in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, on the New York State 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. There are currently micro-clusters in Upper Manhattan in the Bronx according to the state site last updated January 27. Maps of the cluster zones can be found here.

The places and activities regulated are non-essential gatherings, businesses, dining, and schools.

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

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 tracker case tally by county.

New Jersey

NJ State COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
NJ State Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-568-0545
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.

The State of New Jersey coronavirus hub is

Vaccine Distribution

New Jersey residents age 16-64 who have medical conditions recognized by the CDC to increase the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine and learn more about the vaccine distribution in New Jersey on the official state vaccine hub. The telephone hotline to make an appointment is 855-568-0545.

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.

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.