Coronavirus Updates: Local officials have right to re-implement COVID restrictions

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
COVID tightens grip on U.S. as Delta variant surges
Reena Roy has more on how the Delta variant is impacting the fight against the COVID pandemic.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- At least 58% of the current reported COVID cases in the US are directly linked to the Delta variant.

Compare that to the end of May, when the variant was linked to just 3%. Some doctors now say they're back in emergency mode. Unvaccinated Americans account for nearly all new COVID cases.

The variant is fueling cases everywhere except South Dakota and Wyoming. Arkansas, Florida, and Missouri are seeing the highest infection rates.

In Florida, where new COVID cases have nearly doubled in a week, a federal appeals court ruled that pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships will remain.

More than 65% of Americans ages 12 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

The FDA is accelerating the review process to fully approve the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it could come by the end of August. But, he says younger children may not get their shots until winter or the end of the year.

Here are more of today's headlines:

RWJBarnabas Health lets go of 6 unvaccinated staffers

A hospital in New Jersey says it fired six high-ranking workers for refusing to comply with its COVID vaccine mandate.

RWJ Barnabas Health says six staff members at the supervisor level refused to comply with the hospital's vaccine mandate.

NJ Gov. Murphy says nearly all new COVID cases, deaths among unvaccinated

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy pleaded with residents to get vaccinated Monday at his weekly COVID briefing, saying nearly all new cases and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

He also said that at the present time, there are no plan to reinstate a mask mandate despite case numbers that are creeping up and the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.

Starting Aug 9: Canada to allow entry to fully vaccinated US citizens

The Canadian government announced on Monday that starting August 9, Canada plans to open its border to American citizens and permanent U.S. residents that have been fully vaccinated (at least 14 days prior to entering) for non-essential travel.

If Canada's domestic epidemiologic situation remains 'favorable' the Canadian government intends to open their border to any fully vaccinated traveler that is fully vaccinated with a Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14-days prior to entering Canada.

US gymnast tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Tokyo Olympics

An alternate on the United States women's gymnastics team has tested positive for COVID-19 in an Olympic training camp in Japan.

Olympic champion Simone Biles was not affected, nor were any of the other favorites to win the team gold, but another alternate was placed into isolation because of contact tracing, USA Gymnastics said Monday.

Dow sinks more than 700 points as delta variant stokes new fears for economic recovery

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 775 points -- or 2.25% -- early Monday, as renewed fears over the delta coronavirus variant cast a shadow on the economy's post-pandemic recovery.

The S&P 500 was down some 1.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.6% shortly after markets opened. Monday's sell-off comes on the heels of a record high for the S&P 500 approximately a week ago.

2 additional Texas House Democrats tests positive for COVID-19 in D.C.

Two additional Texas House Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 while in Washington D.C, according to the Texas House Democratic Caucus.

Texas Representative Trey Martinez Fischer said he tested positive on Sunday, despite getting two negative tests on Friday and Saturday.

No return to universal mask mandate expected in NYC

Despite the recent rise in COVID cases across the country due to the Delta variant, New York City is not considering reinstating a requirement that all residents wear face masks both indoors and outdoors. "We do not intend a mask mandate," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday, repeating the position he outlined on Friday. "We do intend to double down on vaccinations."

Mask mandates will continue on NYC public transit, in schools and in other high risk settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals, said City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi. While mask mandates do still have a place in those kinds of settings, the key to getting out of the pandemic now is vaccination, said Chokshi.

4 mass vaccination centers in NY close Monday

New York State is closing four mass vaccination sites Monday, including the site at Jones Beach on Long Island. The site at the Javits Center in Manhattan is already closed.

NYC vaccination rates by zip code

There are about a dozen communities in the New York City area where three out of four people have not been vaccinated yet. 7 On Your Side Investigates created a map where the darkest colored zip codes have the most vaccinated New Yorkers and the lightest, the least.

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