Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: NYC Catholic churches returning to full capacity services

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Sunday, May 23, 2021
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Full capacity will only be in vaccinated sections, while socially distanced sections are reserved for unvaccinated parishioners.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- In another sign that New York City is back on the road to recovery, the Archdiocese of New York as well as the Archdiocese of Brooklyn and Queens has announced a return to full capacity this weekend.

Full capacity will only be in vaccinated sections, while socially distanced sections are reserved for unvaccinated parishioners.

Hymnals, collection baskets and the offertory procession are back -- and communion -- the taking of bread and wine can also resume.

Those attending in-person are still encouraged to wear a mask.

Here are more of today's headlines:

64% of adult New Yorkers have received at least 1 COVID vaccine dose

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 64% of New Yorkers ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 55 percent have completed the vaccine series. 97,778 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and 822,376 doses have been administered statewide over the past seven days. The week 23 allocation of 753,680 first and second doses is expected to finish arriving today. As of May 23, the weekly vaccine allocation update will not differentiate between first and second doses because of changes in the federal government's vaccine ordering process.

"Thanks to our providers who are working tirelessly to get more shot into people's arms, we continue to make progress in our vaccination efforts, but our fight against COVID is far from over," Cuomo said. "If want to defeat this beast, we need more New Yorkers to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. All you need to do is show up at one of our many vaccination sites and roll up your sleeve - it's that simple."

COVID testing's value shrinks as vaccines beat back virus

Federal health officials' new, more relaxed recommendations on masks have all but eclipsed another major change in guidance from the government: Fully vaccinated Americans can largely skip getting tested for the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that most people who have received the full course of shots and have no COVID-19 symptoms don't need to be screened for the virus, even if exposed to someone infected.

The change represents a new phase in the epidemic after nearly a year in which testing was the primary weapon against the virus. Vaccines are now central to the response and have driven down hospitalizations and deaths dramatically.

New COVID-19 cases plummet to lowest levels since last June

New coronavirus cases across the United States have tumbled to rates not seen in more than 11 months, sparking optimism that vaccination campaigns are stemming both severe COVID-19 cases and the spread of the virus.

As cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropped this week, pre-pandemic life in America has largely resumed. Hugs and unmasked crowds returned to the White House, a Mardi Gras-style parade marched through Alabama's port city of Mobile, and even states that have stuck to pandemic-related restrictions readied to drop them. However, health experts also cautioned that not enough Americans have been vaccinated to completely extinguish the virus, leaving the potential for new variants that could extend the pandemic.

15,000 fans expected at MSG for Knicks 1st playoff game

Madison Square Garden is ready for thousands to pack in to watch some playoff basketball, but there are a number of restrictions in place. This follows the largest crowd in over a year at the Barclays Center as the Brooklyn Nets say 14,391 fans filled the stands Saturday night -- 93 percent of the spectators were fully vaccinated. The New York Knicks weren't expected to make the playoffs this season, but they proved the critics wrong and game one of the first round series against the Atlanta Hawks tips off Sunday night before nearly a full MSG.

IOC VP gets backlash saying Olympics are on, no matter virus

An International Olympic Committee vice president, Coates was asked a few days ago by a Japanese reporter at an online news conference if the Tokyo Olympics would go ahead, even if a state of emergency were in force in Japan. Coates replied: "Absolutely, yes." Coates said what the IOC and local organizers have been trying to persuade the Japanese public about for months: The postponed Olympics with 11,000 athletes from 200 nations and territories will open on July 23 and will be "safe and secure." But his defiant tone has stirred a backlash in Japan where 60-80% in polls say they do not want the Olympics to open in two months in the midst of a pandemic.

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