Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Increased travel spurs fears of virus surge in US

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Nationwide, vaccinations are up and cases are dropping, but a third of all states are still seeing an average of at least a 10% increase in new infections.

The TSA said that on last Friday alone, nearly a million and a half travelers passed through US airports.

A state of emergency is in effect in Miami Beach with authorities arresting more than 1,000 people since February 3.

That's when vacationers started arriving in large numbers. More than half of those arrested are not even from Florida.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Interfaith memorial on Long Island honors victims of pandemic
The Nassau County Legislature led a ceremony in Mineola on Monday night to honor all those who lose their lives or loved ones in the past year from COVID-19.

The ceremony was also held to remember the heroic actions of all health care personnel and other essential workers.

Breaking down the differences between COVID-19 vaccines
Another COVID-19 vaccine -- AstraZeneca -- is poised to arrive in the U.S., bringing a fourth option for Americans. Each vaccine works in a slightly different way, some can result in different side effects, and studies have shown varying efficacy. We're breaking down the key differences between the COVID-19 vaccines available, plus the likely-to-be approved AstraZeneca.

New York City doctor sings in viral vaccine PSA
New York City doctor's take on a popular song is getting the attention of people all over the city, and the hospital he works for.

In this rendition of the well-loved tune from "Hamilton," "I'm not throwing away my shot," the words are used as a call to get vaccinated.

Hospital apologizes after Long Island residents blindsided by bills for COVID tests
Some residents on Long Island say they've been blindsided by bills, some of them totaling tens of thousands of dollars, for COVID-19 tests they thought would be free.

CDC director warns COVID variants could spark another avoidable surge as travel numbers reach high
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday that she's worried the US could see "another avoidable surge" of COVID-19 if mitigation measures -- such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and avoiding crowds or travel -- are not followed.

"As I've stated before, the continued relaxation of prevention measures while cases are still high and while concerning variants are spreading rapidly throughout the United States is a serious threat to the progress we have made as a nation," Walensky said at a White House briefing.

AstraZeneca says US trial data shows vaccine 79% effective
Advanced trial data from a U.S. study on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows it is 79% effective, the company announced Monday in long-awaited research that may answer some questions about the shot's effectiveness in older populations.

AstraZeneca said its experts also identified no safety concerns related to the vaccine, including a rare blood clot that was identified in Europe. Experts found no increased risk of clots among the more than 20,000 people who got at least one dose of the AstraZeneca shot.

How to get 1 free Krispy Kreme doughnut every day in 2021
You can get a free Original Glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut every day for the rest of the year.

The catch? You must prove that you've received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Customers at any participating US Krispy Kreme location can get the free doughnut by showing their Vaccination Record Card.

Married 66 years, husband, wife die minutes apart of COVID-19
Bill and Esther Ilnisky spent nearly seven decades together as Christian ministers and missionaries, working in the Caribbean and Middle East before preaching for 40 years in Florida.

They complemented each other - he the bookworm, she outgoing and charismatic. One without the other seemed unthinkable. So when they died minutes apart of COVID-19 this month at a Palm Beach County hospice, it may have been a hidden blessing, their only child, Sarah Milewski, said - even if it was a devastating double loss for her. Her father was 88, her mom 92. Their 67th wedding anniversary would have been this weekend.

In-person learning resumes at NYC high schools, new opt-in information released
Monday is the first day back in the classroom for New York City high school students. About 55,000 students will resume in-person learning at 488 high schools across the five boroughs.

In other school news, officials announced Friday a new opt-in period for NYC school students. Monday, the mayor explained the new opt-in period would take place Wednesday, March 24-Wednesday, April 7 for all students. 3K, Pre-K, elementary, and D75 students will return to classes in April once opted in.

Dr. Anthony Fauci to star in new children's book
The United State's top immunologist will soon be the focus of a children's book. The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Athony Fauci, is going to be the subject of an inspirational book that's coming out this summer.

NJ primaries to be conducted primarily in-person
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the June 8 primaries will be conducted primarily in-person.

"All of our regularly operated polling places will be OPEN for all voters who wish to cast their ballots on the voting machines," he said.

In-person visits for long-term care residents in NJ update
New Jersey health officials will release guidance to allow in-person visits for long-term care residents regardless of vaccination status where COVID activity is lowest. Visitation options for essential caregivers, compassionate care, and outdoor visits will continue to be available.

50+ can get vaccinated in NY starting Tuesday
Governor Cuomo made a big announcement on vaccine eligibility in the state of New York. Residents ages 50 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Tuesday.

Cuomo kicks off the "Roll up your sleeve" campaign
Governor Andrew Cuomo kicked off the "Roll Up Your Sleeve" campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. He was joined by religious leaders of many different denominations at his press conference on Monday. Governor Cuomo is asking the faith-based community to partner with a provider to help get people past vaccine hesitancy and also to offer the vaccine at their places of worship.

NJ slows down reopening
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said the state will not be doing any more reopenings "for some time" because of the emerging variants. "My guess is we won't be opening capacity for some time now because of the caseload," Murphy said on CNN Monday morning. Murphy was asked last week about whether vaccinated people would have to carry around a proof of vaccination, an idea that came under attack by the Republican Governors Association. Murphy said "that's all politics" and he would defer to CDC recommendations. "Do I think it's a crazy idea? No," he said.

Fitness classes to resume in NYC
New York City is taking a big step forward with plans for group fitness classes resuming Monday across the five boroughs. They're opening their doors for the first time in a year and will operate classes at one third capacity.

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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