Coronavirus Updates: American Academy of Pediatrics says kids should mask up at school

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Number of U.S. COVID deaths increases nearly 50%
Faith Abubey has the latest on the COVID pandemic and the fight to get people vaccinated.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The CDC is under pressure to revisit its COVID-19 guidance once again after a leading group of pediatricians called for students to mask up when schools reopen for the fall.

"We know that there are lots of kids in our school buildings who are younger than 12 and not yet eligible to be vaccinated," said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics .

The American Academy of Pediatrics is going against CDC recommendations telling parents that students and teachers should wear masks this fall regardless of vaccine status.

"I think that the America Academy of Pediatrics, you know, they're a thoughtful group," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "They analyze the situation, and if they feel that is the way to go, I think that is a reasonable thing to do."

Here are more of today's headlines:

Vaccines or weekly testing will be required for NYC health workers

The press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed reports that city health workers will either be required to be vaccinated or take weekly COVID tests.

The mayor is expected to make the announcement official during a press briefing on Wednesday.

NY: Over 8K vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19

A tiny fraction of vaccinated New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 as infections and hospitalizations rise, the state Department of Health told The Associated Press Tuesday.

At least 8,700 vaccinated people have tested positive for COVID-19, according to department spokesperson Abigail Barker. That's out of the nearly 11 million New York residents who are fully vaccinated. And it's also a fraction of the 244,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in New York since April 1.

4 more mass vaccination sites closing in NY

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that four more mass vaccination sites will cease operations as part of the ongoing downscaling to allow the state to focus on localized vaccination efforts. The sites at Binghamton University at Gannett Drive, Aviation Mall in Queensbury, Stony Brook Southampton, and the Diana Center at SUNY Orange will cease operations following vaccinations on July 26.

"The COVID vaccine is the greatest tool we have in our fight against the virus," Cuomo said. "It is free, effective, and easily accessible throughout the State of New York. With this accessibility comes the state's responsibility to target and shift resources to areas with the lowest vaccination rates. Downscaling state sites is necessary to redirect these resources, but it does not mean that you should not get your vaccine if you haven't already."

Highly contagious Delta variant now makes up 83% of US COVID cases, CDC says

The average of new daily cases this week is up 66% from last week and 145% from two weeks ago, as cases surge in 44 states, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 now makes up 83% of sequenced samples in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

"This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% for the week of July 3," Walensky said in a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing.

Officials push vaccines over masks as cases rise again in Tri-State

After months of decline amid soaring vaccination rates, coronavirus cases are once again on the rise in the Tri-State area. Connecticut's positivity rate is 1.53%, New York's 1.18%, and New Jersey 2.5%. All three states were below 1% a few weeks ago. Still, the number of hospitalizations has remained steady, and local leaders don't plan on bringing back face mask requirements. It is a conversation happening in many cities after some locations, including Los Angeles County, have reinstated mandates amid the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.

Costco to keep special senior shopping hours at all US stores

Costco will keep its special shopping hours for seniors over age 60. The warehouse chain made the announcement Monday, two weeks after it initially said it would end the special shopping hour at the end of July. The company said stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico would be open to that group from 9 am to 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Costco's special hours are also for healthcare workers, first responders, and people with disabilities or compromised immune systems.

Mayor renews call for congestion pricing in NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio has renewed his call for congestion pricing, citing New York City's growing post-pandemic traffic jams that he says will delay the city's recovery from the pandemic.

"There's not going to be a recovery if people can't get around," he said.

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.

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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