Coronavirus Vaccine: Gov. Cuomo announces new record-low COVID positivity in NY

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new record-low statewide COVID positivity rate Sunday.

The seven-day average positivity is 0.52%. It has declined for 62 consecutive days.

"With warm weather coming in throughout the state, it is extraordinary to see New Yorkers making sure COVID numbers drop to these new record lows," Governor Cuomo said. "Whether you're meeting with friends you haven't seen face to face for more than a year, going to watch your favorite team play, or heading inside to escape the heat in a cool theatre, getting your vaccine will help ensure you can make the most of your summer and make up for lost time with loved ones."

The number of new positive cases statewide is below 1,000 for the tenth consecutive day. 13 deaths were also reported.

Here are more of today's headlines:

NY not lifting school mask mandate, at least for now
New York had been set to lift mask mandates at schools starting Monday, but the NYS Department of Education has told administrators that mask rules remain in place. The Education Department sent a letter to
school districts stating that no rule changes had occurred. Last week, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker had sent a letter to the CDC seemingly informing them that schools would be able to operate without requiring masks beginning Monday, but the state now says that's not what the letter was stating.

CDC: 300M COVID vaccine doses administered in US
The Centers for Disease Control said over 300 million vaccine doses have now been administered in the United States as of Sunday.

That means that more than 63% of American adults received at least one dose of the shot, seven percentage points behind President Joe Biden's goal of 70% before July 4.

UK official says variant may delay lockdown lift
Britain's health secretary says the delta variant, which is fast becoming the dominant coronavirus variant in the U.K., is 40% more transmissible compared to the country's existing strains. Matt Hancock acknowledged Sunday that the rise in delta variant cases may delay the government's plan to lift most remaining lockdown restrictions on June 21. He also said he wouldn't rule out continuing measures such as face masks in public settings and working from home where possible.

France reports multiple cases of variant
French health authorities are racing to contain scattered cases of the more contagious delta virus variant, as the country prepares to reopen its borders to vaccinated visitors and celebrates plunging COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates. Health Minister Olivier Veran said Sunday that France has multiple clusters of the variant, first identified in India, notably in the southwest Landes region. Speaking on BFM television, Veran said the variant hadn't spread widely into the community and that health investigators are working to trace cases and stop their spread.

Jill Biden, Fauci visit COVID vaccine site in NYC
An iconic Harlem church rolled out the welcome mat for First Lady Jill Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci. They visited the vaccination clinic that's set up at Abyssinian Baptist Church on 138th Street Sunday afternoon.

Pilgrims return to Spain's 'El Camino' paths after pandemic
Committing to the pilgrim's path has for centuries been a source of renewal for those willing to put their lives on hold and spend days, weeks or even months crossing Spain along the Camino de Santiago, a journey that takes hikers to the reported burial place of the apostle St. James. But after a year of being kept off the Way of St. James due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, soul-searchers hoping to heal wounds left by the coronavirus are once again strapping on backpacks and following trails marked with a seashell emblem to the shrine in the city of Santiago de Compostela. Some travelers taking to the Camino are like Laura Ferrón, whose marriage ended during Spain's lockdown and who fears she might lose her job because the bank she works for plans massive layoffs. She and two lifelong friends flew from their homes in Spain's North Africa enclave of Ceuta to spend a week walking the final 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the pilgrimage route.

Amid brutal case surge, Afghanistan hit by a vaccine delay

Afghanistan is battling a brutal surge in COVID-19 infections as health officials plead for vaccines, only to be told by the World Health Organization that the 3 million doses the country expected to receive by April won't be delivered until August. "We are in the middle of a crisis," Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigir Nazari said this week, expressing deep frustration at the global vaccine distribution that has left poor countries scrambling to find supplies for their people.

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