NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's an upward tick in COVID cases in states across the country, prompting concerns of a fall surge.
New cases rose 23% in the past two weeks.
All of this comes with the holiday season approaching, and people spending more times indoors.
Health experts say vaccine boosters could help contain the spike.
Several states -- including New Jersey, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and West Virginia, as well as New York City -- are getting a head start of the CDC by rolling out boosters to everyone 18 and older.
Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:
NYC sanitation workers suspended over alleged falsified COVID vaccine cards
New York City is investigating reports that Department of Sanitation workers used fake vaccine cards to get around the city's vaccination mandate. A city official said several dozen employees are believed to have submitted falsified vaccination cards and have been suspended without pay. The employees allegedly submitted real CVS cards listing they received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but CVS hasn't been administering that brand in six months. City officials are investigating whether there was any payment for the cards.
Devils, Rangers games postponed due to Ottawa Senators COVID-19 outbreak
The NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators games on Monday amid a COVID-19 outbreak on the team, the first time any of North America's major professional sports leagues have been hit by rescheduling this fall because of the coronavirus. Games scheduled for Tuesday at New Jersey, at home Thursday against Nashville and at home Saturday against the New York Rangers were postponed. Ten Senators players are currently in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol. While Ottawa played shorthanded Sunday in a 4-0 loss to Calgary, the depth of the outbreak led to the decision to postpone games, which the league said was made in light of evidence of continued spread in recent days. The Senators are shut down through at least Saturday, with their training facilities closed to players until then as a precaution.
NYC sees uptick in COVID-19 cases as weather turns colder, easing access to booster shots
New York City is "seeing an uptick" in coronavirus cases as weather turns cold and more people stay indoors, Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said Monday. He said the increase was "anticipated," and even though 630,000 booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far, more people need to get the shot.
"Although hospitalizations remain low right now, we are seeing an uptick in recent days," he said. "We had anticipated that this might occur as the weather gets cooler and people spend more time indoors, but compared to this time last year, we have many more tools to fight COVID-19 and work to keep a winter wave at bay."
Dr. Chokshi also announced that he's issuing a Commissioner's Advisory to all health care providers to ensure there are no barriers for New Yorkers to get a COVID-19 booster shot if they are over 18 and at least six months since their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or 2 months since a J&J shot.
Revelers returning to Times Square this New Year's Eve
New Yorkers will get to party like it's 2019 this New Year's Eve, as revelers can once again pour into Times Square to ring in 2022. Public gatherings are expected to be allowed once again at the Crossroads of the World, but attendees will need to follow a few precautions to celebrate.
"I can give you something broad at this moment, but more details are going to be announced tomorrow on the specifics," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. "We want to have a great New Year's Eve celebration in this city. This city has been through so much. This has been a heroic city fighting through COVID. We are turning the corner. We've got a lot to celebrate. It's going to be a big moment in Times Square on New Years Eve. How it's going to work, we are going to announce the details tomorrow."
Revelers are expected to prove they are fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID test.
Vaccinated families can 'feel good' about gathering for holidays, Fauci says
If you and your family are vaccinated against COVID-19, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday gave the thumbs up on gathering for the holidays. Fauci warned that cases are still high, so people should wear masks when they're out and about in the community and around groups of people in indoor settings.
"If you get vaccinated and your family's vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends," Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on Monday hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. "But when you're with your family at home, goodness, enjoy it with your parents, your children, your grandparents. There's no reason not to do that."
Suffolk County offering free vaccines to kids
The Suffolk County Health Department is administering free COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11. Vaccines will be administered at the H. Lee Dennison Building located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, November 11, the vaccine clinic will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, who must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form for the first dose and attest that they are eligible to be vaccinated.
"I am beyond pleased that the CDC has recommended that children ages 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. "As a father, I am encouraging all parents who may have questions to talk with their pediatrician or a trusted healthcare provider about the importance of getting their children vaccinated. This vaccine saves lives and it could save the life of your child."
While appointments are not required, they are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will be available on a first come, first served basis. For more information on the county's vaccine efforts, or to schedule an appointment call 311 or visit SuffolkCountyNY.gov/vaccine.
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