COVID Live Updates: Breast milk could help fight off coronavirus, researchers say

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The research is still in its early stages, but indications are that breast milk may contain antibodies that can help fight off severe cases of COVID-19.

The studies are being conducted at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Laura Ward says there is already evidence that breast milk contains antibodies which help protect against lower-respiratory issues.

The new research is part of the reason why new mothers who have contracted COVID-19 are encouraged to keep breastfeeding their child.

However, bacteria and viruses can be transferred through breast milk, too, which is why some doctors advise against it.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Dr. Birx says COVID-19 deniers in White House gave Trump 'parallel' streams of data
Dr. Deborah Birx says when she was coordinator of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, she had to grapple with COVID-19 deniers in the White House and that someone gave the president "parallel" streams of data that conflicted with hers.

Defending her tenure, Birx told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that she was at times censored by the Trump administration but denied ever withholding information.

Israel targets flights, religious scofflaws, as virus rages
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights, while Israeli police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several major cities and the government raced to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control.

The entry of highly contagious variants of the virus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world's highest rates of infections. It also has threatened to undercut Israel's highly successful campaign to vaccinate its population against the virus.

In just a month, Israel has vaccinated over a quarter of its 9.2 million people. At the same time, the virus continues to race through the country, with authorities confirming an average of over 8,000 new cases a day.

Chicago teachers vote to teach from home, defying district
The Chicago Teachers Union said Sunday that its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom over concerns about COVID-19, setting up a showdown with district officials who have said that refusing to return when ordered would amount to an illegal strike.

Chicago Public Schools, which is the nation's third-largest district, wanted roughly 10,000 kindergarten through eighth grade teachers and other staffers to return to school Monday to get ready to welcome back roughly 70,000 students for part-time in-school classes starting Feb. 1. No return date has been set for high school students.

Activists rally to save Ethiopian coffee shop in Bronx
An Ethiopian coffee shop in the Bronx has become the center of a cry for help to save small businesses in danger of closing amid the pandemic.

The owners of Buunni Coffee say they will have to close by the end of January because they can't meet their landlord's rent demands.

Activists are calling on state and city lawmakers to pass already proposed legislation to help businesses like Buunni survive.

NYC Restaurant Week returns -- but with changes this year
New York City Restaurant Week gets underway Monday -- even without indoor dining -- to encourage New Yorkers to support the dining community during a critical time.

This year's event is called Restaurant Week To Go and a record-breaking 570 restaurants across the five boroughs will participate. Every eatery will offer at least one bargain $20.21 takeout or delivery meal of lunch or dinner with one side dish.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions, many restaurants will offer takeout and delivery for the first time.

US surpasses 25M cases
The United States has surpassed 25 million cases of COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The national total confirmed case count currently sits at 25,003,695.

40% of Americans live in areas running out of ICU space
Straining under record numbers of COVID-19 patients, hundreds of the nation's intensive care units are running out of space and supplies and competing to hire temporary traveling nurses at soaring rates. Many of the facilities are clustered in the South and West.

An Associated Press analysis of federal hospital data shows that since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40% of Americans now live in areas running out of ICU space, with only 15% of beds still available.

Singapore Airlines hopes to be world's first airline fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Singapore's national carrier is hoping to become the world's first airline to get all of its crew members vaccinated against COVID-19.

Singapore Airlines confirmed to CNN Travel that all of their crew members -- including pilots, gate agents, flight attendants and anyone whose job requires contact with the public -- have been offered free coronavirus vaccines by the Singaporean government.

NY faces COVID vaccine shortage as demand continues to outpace supply
The Javits Center is still taking appointments as the New York state starts week six of their vaccination process. While supply is limited, 240,000 doses are available and on their way to the state.

France faces 3rd lockdown if curfew not enough
France's government may impose a third lockdown in the coming days if an existing 12-hour-a-day curfew doesn't significantly slow virus infections.

Exactly a year after France announced Europe's first confirmed case of the coronavirus, Health Minister Olivier Veran said in an interview published Sunday in the Le Parisien newspaper that if infections don't drop, and "if the variants start to spread everywhere, we will take extra measures. And that's called confinement. ... We will close down."

An official in French President Emmanuel Macron's office said Sunday that "everything is on the table" but no firm decisions will be made until the effect of the nationwide 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew is clear in the coming week.

Assuring vaccine fairness
New York will be sending more vaccination preparation kits to senior housing complexes and churches in an effort to ensure fairness in vaccine distributions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The kits include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.

New York deployed the first kits last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen complexes and eight churches and cultural centers where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine were vaccinated, Cuomo said.

Godiva Chocolates to close all North American stores due to pandemic
It's a bittersweet goodbye to one of North America's chocolatiers. Godiva has announced that it plans to close all 128 stores.

What COVID-19 'vaccine passports' mean for your summer vacation
The words "vaccine passport" have a reassuring ring to them, perhaps conjuring up the image of a sleek, embossed document with watermarked pages and official stamps of approval. Flourished at border controls, it would open travel doors that, for so many of us, have been closed by Covid-19.

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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