Sunday, January 16 2022

Cuomo: NY’s state of emergency for COVID-19 expires Thursday

Governor Cuomo said the state of emergency he issued in March 2020 when the pandemic began to take hold in New York will end on Thursday and will not be renewed.

“The emergency is over,” Cuomo said during a news conference at his Manhattan office, citing the state’s stabilized positivity rate of much less than 1% over many days.

He said the state has made so much progress in its fight against the virus that it was not discussing daily COVID-19 indicators at its press conference Wednesday.

“We know where we are. We have passed daily COVID monitoring,” he said. “We have reached a new plateau, a plateau that should give us all confidence.”

But he added that the threat has not gone away, with new variants of the virus posing a particular danger.

The number of new positives reported today: 16 in Nassau, 24 in Suffolk, 178 in New York City, and 310 statewide.

The chart below shows the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases each day in Nassau and Suffolk.

Find a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in tests, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

A matter of normal new etiquette

A seemingly simple question has Long Islanders grappling with proper etiquette as they navigate the post-pandemic new normal.

Have you received the injection?

It’s a question that is being asked more than ever, at indoor and outdoor gatherings, pool parties and dinners, after Cuomo lifted most of the pandemic restrictions on June 15, says Lisa L. Colangelo of Newsday. Cuomo eased restrictions after New York State hit the 70% mark for adults who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Counselors and experts in medical ethics said that people should ask the “injection” question, but without sounding critical.

“We’ve gotten used to saying, ‘What pronoun should I call you?’ and you’re married?’ “said Renee McLeod-Sordjan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Northwell Health Department of Medicine. “We feel comfortable with that. So why does it bother us to ask whether we are vaccinated or not?”

Promoting COVID injections can be tricky for employers

How far can an employer go to require or encourage their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19? Federal guidelines leave some room for interpretation and discretion, especially when employee objections are based on a person’s religion or disability.

The recently updated guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said such requirements would not go against existing federal discrimination laws as long as reasonable accommodations are provided when necessary, such as for disability and religious beliefs. Employers can also offer incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated, the guide says.

Employers’ rights to demand vaccinations have already been denied on legal grounds, writes Jamie Herzlich for Newsday. “Employees have already presented legal challenges based on the fact that vaccines are currently only distributed under the Emergency Use Authorization (USA),” says Gerald C. Waters Jr., partner at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP in Mineola.

Earlier this month, a federal court in Texas dismissed a challenge from Houston Methodist Hospital employees who faced suspension and ultimately firing for refusing to receive the vaccines. The employees said they would appeal.

A taste of luxury outdoor living

Remember how the coronavirus was going to spell the end of fine dining as we know it? Cooks, restaurateurs and almost everyone with a fork sang the same tune: no sector of the industry would be more affected. For three- and four-star establishments, the pandemic would be an extinction event, an apocalypse, writes Scott Vogel of Newsday.

Fortunately, it was not. Thanks to both swift and heroic efforts, high-end establishments improvised take-out businesses overnight, navigated supply chain disruptions, and delivered on promises to feed the hungry and overworked. They survived by adapting and because we, the diners, also adapt.

Enjoy this look at Long Island restaurants with luxurious outdoor patios.

More to know

The Suffolk County Legislature Tuesday night passed a bill designed to combat discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders after a nationwide surge in hate crimes against Asians during the pandemic.

The Amsterdam on Harborside, A premier retirement community in Port Washington has filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors for the second time in seven years, records show. The nonprofit organization stopped making debt payments and refunds of residents’ entrance fees during the pandemic.

Long Island unemployment rate it fell below 5% last month, the first time it has happened since the pandemic began.

News for you

More than 40 dinosaurs invade Tanger Outlets Deer Park. That attracted you, didn’t it? They are animatronic dinosaurs at the Dino Safari drive-thru there until July 11. A cartoon character, Professor Noteworthy, welcomes the packed wagons to Pangea National Park. Exhibition designer Ana Valente says: “The mission of the children is to get the mother T-Rex her egg before Pangea hatches.”

No freedom from traffic. The Thursday and Friday before July 4 will be the worst for drivers leaving Long Island before the holiday weekend, according to AAA, as “trip-hungry” Americans abandon at least some COVID-19 curbs. AAA statistics do not forecast the worst times to return to Long Island, although Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesman for the Garden City office at AAA Northeast, said his more than two decades of experience suggests that from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. Midnight on July 5 will see the heaviest traffic.

Coming Thursday on Newsday Live. Thinking of buying a home for the first time? We will give some important tips at this event, which begins at noon.

Plus: We present theater productions for families to watch this summer.

Sign up for text messages to receive the most important news and information about the coronavirus.


“Long COVID” can help us understand other chronic diseases. Bloomberg opinion columnist Faye Flam writes: The stakes are high in the quest to understand the so-called long COVID. It may come as a surprise to some, but persistent post-infection symptoms don’t only occur with SARS-CoV-2.

And what we’re learning from studies of long-haul carriers of COVID could eventually help us understand other diseases, from chronic fatigue syndrome to cancer to Alzheimer’s.

“What we are seeing in COVID is not exactly new,” said epidemiologist Zihad Al-Aly, who has been studying COVID for a long time at Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. “There are many other viruses that produce long-term manifestations.”

Before COVID appeared, many previously healthy people developed debilitating symptoms or extreme exhaustion after viral infections. These postviral syndromes were inherently difficult to study, said NIH director of clinical neurology Avindra Nath. Many patients would not realize that something was wrong for some time after the initial infection, as it is normal to feel exhausted during a couple of weeks of illness.

It is not yet clear which viruses can cause chronic symptoms or which types of people are most at risk of contracting them. Often grouped together as chronic fatigue syndrome, even the numbers are difficult to pin down. Keep reading.


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