COVID News: CDC extends cruise ship health rules until mid-January

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- Federal health officials extended for nearly three more months its rules that cruise ships must follow to sail during the pandemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the extension makes only "minor modifications" to rules already in effect. The agency said that after Jan. 15, it plans to move to a voluntary program for cruise companies to detect and control the spread of COVID-19 on their ships.

The current regulations, called a conditional sailing order, were scheduled to expire on Nov. 1.

The CDC imposed the first no-sail order on cruise lines in March 2020, after most companies sailing in U.S. waters had agreed to suspend voyages. The CDC issue technical guidelines for the industry five months later, and began approving trial sailings this spring.

Cruises have since sailed from Florida and other parts of the country. Most lines require adult passengers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:



Assemblyman Ron Kim's mother dies from coronavirus complications
Assemblyman Ron Kim announced Tuesday that his mother, 68-year-old Sun Hee Kim, died from complications to COVID-19.

Kim released the following statement:

"After a long battle with breakthrough COVID, my mother passed away peacefully with her family by her side. Like so many immigrant stories, my mother's journey was rife with struggle but one thing always remained: the love and attention she showered over me. I always believed my mother had many more years to dote over our family, which is why this is all so difficult. The idea that my daughters will move through this world without her is utterly heartbreaking. Grief hurts, and it is inside all of us - especially now. I would like to extend that grace to all of you because we're all in it. It can last a lifetime, and that's okay. I will be taking some time to be with my family and start building a life without my mom. We will hold a private service for our family and friends in the coming days.

US details new international COVID travel requirements, including vaccine mandate
Children under 18 and people from dozens of countries with a shortage of vaccines will be exempt from new rules that will require most travelers to the United States be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Biden administration announced.

The government said Monday it will require airlines to collect contact information on passengers regardless of whether they have been vaccinated to help with contact tracing, if that becomes necessary.

FDA panel meets to discuss vaccines for kids

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is set to vote Tuesday on whether to recommend authorizing vaccines for children ages 5-11.

The vote will be the first step in a regulatory process for the two-shot Pfizer vaccine for kids. If the panel of outside experts votes in favor after reviewing Pfizer's data from clinical trials, the FDA then decides whether to follow the recommendation. After that, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention independent advisory committee considers the question followed by a final decision by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Moderna says its low-dose COVID vaccine works for kids 6 to 11
Moderna said Monday that a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer moves toward expanding shots to children.

Competitor Pfizer's kid-sized vaccine doses are closer to widespread use, undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for nearly the same age group - starting at age 5. Its vaccine already is authorized for anyone 12 or older.

NY governor, NYC mayor both receive 'mix and match' COVID booster shots
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio received a Moderna booster shot Monday morning after first getting a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, showing New Yorkers that you can mix and match shots, in accordance with updated guidance from the CDC. The mayor's Moderna booster shot was administered by NYC Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi just after 10:30 a.m. "Give me a boost, Dave," said the 60-year-old mayor as he received his shot. A short time later in upstate New York, Governor Kathy Hochul also got a 'mix and match' booster. Hochul received the Johnson & Johnson shot back in March. She today received a Moderna booster at the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Johnson City, just outside Binghamton.

NYC workers march across Brooklyn Bridge to protest vax mandate

New York City municipal employees marched across the Brooklyn Bridge against the COVID vaccine mandate on Monday. There was also a protest Sunday night at the Barclay's Center in support of Kyrie Irving. A crowd of people rallied as the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Charlotte Hornets at their home opener without their point guard. At one point the protest turned violent when some demonstrators tried to break into the arena, clashing with security and police. Irving has refused to get vaccinated.

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