COVID News: 10 states report record number of hospitalizations

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021
10 states report record number of COVID hospitalizations
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Ike Ejiochi reports on the battle against the coronavirus in the US.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Ten states are now reporting a record number of hospitalizations from COVID-19, and six now have 10% or less of their ICU beds available.

Alabama is reporting more deaths in 2020 than births for the first time in its history, and in Arizona, rural hospitals are losing patients too due to the lack of resources.

Tennessee, a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, announced it's reserving the monoclonal antibody treatment for only the unvaccinated, leaving out those who got the shot.

Ohio is also reporting its highest numbers to date for young people being hospitalized.

"If you're young and unvaccinated, it's now probably only a question of when, not if, you get COVID-19," Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said. "And when you get it, without the protection of a vaccine, there is a very real risk you will end up in the hospital or even in the obituary pages."

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:

Restraining order lifted on NYC COVID vaccine mandate for city workers

A judge has removed the temporary restraining order preventing New York City from implementing their COVID vaccine mandate for all city workers.

MTA cracking down on face mask enforcement as compliance dips

The MTA announced that it will step up enforcement of its face mask wearing policy as new data shows fewer subway, bus, and commuter train riders have been wearing face coverings recently. Compliance was near-universal earlier in the coronavirus pandemic when ridership was way down. Now, compliance on the subways is about 87%, according to the MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren.

"It's good, but it's not great," Warren said. "And we want to move up to 100%."

Riders will get one warning from MTA Police to wear a mask, and if they don't, they will get a summons.

NYRR outlines COVID-19 safety guidelines for 2021 TCS NYC Marathon

The New York Road Runners on Wednesday announced its health and safety guidelines for the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon on November 7. Since September of 2020, NYRR has safely produced more than 25 road races by effectively implementing health and safety protocols. To ensure all those involved have a best-in-class experience, the guidelines outline the entire runner experience - from runners picking up their bibs, to the start, running on course, and crossing the finish line.

Supply chain issues already threaten prices of holiday gifts, Christmas trees

It's a good thing that consumers are in a mood to spend heading into the holiday season. They may have to dish out more for a new artificial Christmas tree this year, depending on where they buy it from. Some large sellers of artificial trees say they are increasing their prices by double-digit percentages and are blaming unduly high shipping costs tied to the ongoing global supply chain mess.

"We'll have to raise prices. For trees, it'll be on average about 20% higher," said Mac Harman, CEO of Balsam Hill. "Even then, it won't cover our own costs because we're paying as much as 300% more per shipping container this year."

FDA expected to authorize limited wider use of 3rd Pfizer vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the use of Pfizer booster shots for a wider group of Americans. The authorization is expected to cover people over the age of 65, people at high risk for severe illness, and possibly frontline health workers as well. Right now, a third Pfizer shot is only authorized for immune-compromised people. If the FDA authorization comes through, the CDC Advisory Committee, which is also meeting this week, will come up with specific recommendations for the booster.

Biden to double US global donation of COVID-19 vaccine shots to 1 billion Pfizer doses

President Joe Biden is set to announce that the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share with the world to 1 billion doses as he embraces the goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population within the next year. The stepped-up U.S. commitment is to be the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit Biden is convening virtually Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, where he plans to push well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control. World leaders, aid groups and global health organizations are growing increasingly vocal about the slow pace of global vaccinations and the inequity of access to shots between residents of wealthier and poorer nations.

Google buying $2.1 billion space in NYC in biggest office deal in US since COVID pandemic

Google is planning to buy New York City's St. John's Terminal for $2.1 billion, making it the anchor of its Hudson Square campus. The announcement Tuesday arrives with the city buffeted by the pandemic and most offices still largely unpopulated. While CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post late last month that Google is delaying its global return to offices until Jan. 10, the commitment by the company to further invest in New York City real estate was trumpeted both by Gov. Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who called it "one of the shots in the arm we need as part of our comeback."

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