Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: US cases at 7-month low; indoor face mask guidance may change

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- US officials are signaling the country may be rounding the corner in the fight against COVID-19. Cases are now at a 7-month low and health experts believe as more people get vaccinated, we could see further relaxing of restrictions.

Also, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer's vaccine in 12-15-year-olds on Monday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC as vaccination numbers go up, it may be time to relax restrictions even more on things like wearing masks indoors.

"The CDC will be, you know, almost in real-time, updating their recommendations and their guidelines. But, yes, we do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated," Dr. Fauci said.

The CDC reports that more than 114 million Americans are fully vaccinated. But demand for doses has declined. The average daily doses administered has dropped from 3 million a month ago to now under 2 million.

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Here are more of today's headlines:

NYC's iconic Plaza Hotel reopening to guests after more than a year
The world famous Plaza Hotel is preparing to reopen its doors to guests for the first time in more than a year.

The hotel on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South will open once again on May 20.

FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID vaccine for emergency use in adolescents
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic opens at Dracula's castle in Romania
At Dracula's castle in picturesque Transylvania, Romanian doctors are offering a jab in the arm rather than a stake through the heart.

A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up on the periphery of Romania's Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind Dracula's home in Bram Stoker's 19th-century gothic novel "Dracula."

Pastor says he won't close church after COVID-19 outbreak infected 74 members
Returning to the pulpit after a COVID-19 outbreak infected him, his wife and 72 members of their congregation, the senior pastor of an Oregon church said Sunday that he will not kowtow to pressure to close the doors to the house of worship.

Pastor Scott Erickson of the Peoples Church in Salem, Oregon, began his Mother's Day sermon by addressing the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in his church and throughout the state.

Pop-up vaccine sites coming to mass transit locations
Eight new pop-up vaccination sites are coming to mass transit stations, Governor Cuomo announced on Monday. The sites will run from Wednesday, May 12 to Sunday, May 16.

As an incentive, the state is offering a free seven-day Metro Card or free round trip LIRR or Metro-North ticket per vaccination. Click here for times and locations.

Coronavirus News: Nassau County, South Asian-American community sending aid to India
Nassau County officials joined together with the South Asian-American community, civic, and religious leaders to announce a major aid campaign to help India in this third wave of the pandemic.

The country hit an all-time high of 4,000 deaths per day, devastating their hospital system. As of Friday, there were more than 21.4 million active cases of COVID-19 in India.

Friends for Good Health International and Merchant Industry of India announced the aid campaign will send funding for ventilators, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and vaccinations.

Lincoln Center begins outdoor performances on 'The Green' with 'Restart Stages'
Monday is the day that "The Green" and restart stages open at Lincoln Center. The plaza at Lincoln Center has been converted into a massive green space.

They will have 10 outdoor spaces and stages where they've booked at least 150 events over the next few months including, high school graduations, jazz, ballet, the chamber music society, and arts from all five boroughs.

Most of the programing is free as they work to bring the arts back to New York City safely.

Islanders to host playoff games with half vaccinated, half unvaccinated in arena
The New York Islanders will host 50% vaccinated, 50% unvaccinated fans at home playoff games, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Islanders playoff tickets will go on sale Tuesday. 50% of the tickets will be sold to vaccinated people at three-foot distancing, while 50% will be sold to unvaccinated people, six-foot distancing.

SUNY, CUNY schools to require COVID vaccinations for fall
SUNY and CUNY schools in New York will require COVID vaccinations for all in-person students beginning this fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

NYC COVID update
New York City's positivity rate is at 2%, the lowest in six months.

NYC libraries to reopen
Public libraries in New York City will reopen starting Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces.

Vaccination deals in NYC
New York City is offering free tickets for those vaccinated to the NYC Aquarium, NY Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Bronx Zoo, Public Theater membership, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Cyclones, NYCFC and the NYC ferry.

It may be time to relax indoor face mask mandates, Fauci says
Dr. Anthony Fauci says federal guidance on wearing face coverings indoors may change soon. Sunday on ABC News, Fauci was asked whether it's time to start relaxing indoor masks requirements. Fauci replied, "I think so, and I think you're going to probably be seeing that as we go along, and as more people get vaccinated."

When did you realize the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, most often occurring in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we've managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still sticks with us. Tell us: What was that moment to you?

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.


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