Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: 1st US cruise ship to sail in 15 months returns to south Florida

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Sunday, July 4, 2021
1st US cruise ship to sail in 15 months returns to Fla.
The first cruise to set sail in the U.S. in 15 months has returned after a 7-day trip.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The first cruise to set sail in the U.S. in 15 months has returned after a 7-day trip.

The Celebrity Edge docked in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale Saturday.

Passengers had traveled to Mexico and the Bahamas.

The ship sailed at less than 40% capacity to allow for social distancing.

13 unvaccinated children on board were tested for COVID-19 before arrival, and all tested negative.

The cruise-line says the rest of the passengers and crew were fully vaccinated.

Here are more of today's headlines:

FDA okays batch of vaccines from troubled plant

The FDA has authorized the controversial Baltimore Johnson and Johnson plant to ship more of their vaccines. Earlier this year, regulators stopped the site from producing the vaccines over quality concerns. However, the FDA just approved a batch of a few million vaccines to be shipped. They're still keeping an eye on the facility and haven't given the full go-ahead. More than 60 million doses have been rejected at the site.

US falling behind on world vaccine donation pledge

The Biden Administration is falling behind on its commitment to distribute COVID vaccines worldwide. The president announced a plan on June 4 to donate 80 million doses by July 1, but so far, the U.S. has only shipped 24 million. The plan was to help 50 countries, but 40 of them have yet to see a single dose. The White House says it's upping shipments right now.

NJ to end public health emergency on July 4

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday highlighted several aspects of legislation allowing for the end of the Public Health Emergency effective as of July 4. On June 4, 2021, Governor Murphy signed legislation enabling the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency that had been in place since March 9, 2020. Immediately following the signing of the legislation, Murphy signed an executive order to end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Under the legislation, the majority of executive orders issued that relied on the existence of the Public Health Emergency expire as of July 4, 2021, with exceptions specified in the legislation.

Staten Island communities among highest COVID positivity rates in NYC

New York City may be starting to celebrate the end of the pandemic, but some communities on Staten Island are proving it's not over yet. There are 145 zip codes in New York City, and the one with the highest rate of COVID positivity is 10308 on Staten Island, a stretch of strip malls and single-family homes in the Great Kills section, where the positivity rate is above 5%. So why is COVID surging here? Well, that's COVID.

"It's an opportunist," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said. "It goes to places where it has a chance to spread."

Robin Roberts to host City Hall ceremony capping 'Hometown Heroes' ticker tape parade

The City Hall ceremony capping next Wednesday's Hometown Heroes ticker tape parade in New York City will be hosted by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday. The parade will step off at 11 a.m. at Battery Park, then march north up the Canyon of Heroes. It will end at City Hall, where there will be a 2 p.m. ceremony. Nurse Sandra Lindsey, the first person in the U.S. to receive the coronavirus vaccine, will be honored.

"It's going to be a very, very special moment for the city," de Blasio said.

'Happily Ever After' fireworks return to Disney World

Disney World guests watched fireworks dazzle and explode around Cinderella Castle in person for the first time since the theme park shut down in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Just in time for Independence Day celebrations, Magic Kingdom's "Happily Ever After" and EPCOT's "EPCOT Forever" spectaculars returned to Disney World Thursday night. The fireworks shows had been put on hold in order to discourage people from gathering together after the parks reopened following COVID-related closures last year.

Glen Island Park set to reopen this weekend

The Westchester County city where the first case of COVID-19 in New York was detected is set to mark a significant milestone this weekend. Glen Island Park, including Glen Island Beach, in New Rochelle will fully reopen Saturday. Until last week the park had served as a drive-thru testing site since March 2020.

"I am thrilled that Glen Island will be open for the summer. I'm thrilled that families will once again enjoy the cool breeze off the sound and that kids will splash in the water," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.

The beach will be open daily from Saturday, July 3, through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the last entry at 6 p.m.

St. John the Divine Cathedral to resume in-person services

Beginning July 6, the St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City will celebrate an in-person weekday Eucharist, Monday to Friday, at 12:15 p.m. Masking and physical distancing will be observed. Holy Communion will be received only under the form of bread. Attendees will gather in the Chapel of Saint James, and attendance will be limited according to public health guidelines. Funerals will also be allowed with a limited capacity. The church plans to resume in-person Sunday worship on September 12.

1st Central Park Homecoming Concert headliners announced

New York City's Central Park Homecoming Concert will include legendary performers Paul Simon, Jennifer Hudson and Bruce Springsteen, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday. The show is tentatively set for August 21st.

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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