Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: CDC says rise in cases due to variants, unvaccinated young people

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The director of the CDC says the U.S. is now in its fourth week of rising COVID infections, as new cases increase in at least 19 states.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the latest spike is coming from contagious new variants, as well as younger people who have yet to be vaccinated.

In Michigan, more than one third of cases are in people ages 20 to 39 who are less likely to be vaccinated.

COVID deaths are now rising in at least 18 states, while hospitalizations are up in 16 states with a 23% jump in the upper Midwest.

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Here are more of today's headlines:



Creator of vaccine appointment site TurboVax honored
The founder of the vaccine appointment website TurboVax was praised Tuesday for making the COVID-19 vaccine rollout easier for New Yorkers.

NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang and Congressman Ritchie Torres honored TurboVax founder Huge Ma.

Ma, an engineer, created a simple, free and easy-to-use website that identifies and allows people to sign up for vaccine appointments in real time. His site has made the vaccine rollout easier for thousands of New Yorkers.

Cuomo announces memorial to New York essential workers
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the creation of the Essential Workers Advisory Committee to provide design input and recommendations for a monument in New York City honoring the service and sacrifice of New York's essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Cleanup Corps: 10,000 being hired to address NYC trash complaints
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City will hire 10,000 workers for a new "City Cleanup Corps." The team will address resident complaints of trash piling up across the city following last year's budget cuts caused by the pandemic. The corps will focus on 33 neighborhoods the de Blasio administration identified as ones hardest hit by coronavirus.

NYC expands walk-up vaccination program for seniors
New York City is expanding its walk-up vaccination program for seniors. The pilot program will expand from three sites to 25, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

"This is the group we need to reach the most," de Blasio said. "This is a tactic we know is working."

Residents ages 16+ now eligible for COVID vaccine in NY
Anyone 16 or older in New York is now eligible to make an appointment and receive the COVID vaccine. Health officials say the move adds 1.7 million people to the list of eligible New Yorkers for a total of nearly 16 million. Teens aged 16 and 17 will be limited to receiving the Pfizer vaccine because it is the only one that has been authorized for use by people under 18.

Massive food distribution event held in NJ
A massive food distribution event in New Jersey is helping hundreds in need Tuesday. Newark has been consistent in trying to make sure no one goes hungry. The event happened along Elizabeth Avenue where Newark police shut down part of the street. People drove up to receive boxes of food.

Biden moving US COVID-19 vaccine eligibility date to April 19, official says
President Joe Biden was set to announce Tuesday that he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines. With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential, front-line workers, the president plans to announce that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated, a White House official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden's plans before the formal announcement. Biden was scheduled to visit a COVID-19 vaccination site in Virginia on Tuesday, followed by remarks at the White House updating the nation on the administration's progress against the coronavirus.

CDC updates guidance on disinfectants versus soap to stop spread of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on cleaning and disinfecting everyday household surfaces, saying that in "most situations" with no known coronavirus exposure, a thorough scrub with soap and water will suffice -- rather than disinfectant sprays and wipes -- to ward off COVID-19, ABC News reported.

"Routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent, at least once per day, can substantially reduce virus levels on surfaces," the CDC said at a White House briefing Monday.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said "disinfection is only recommended in indoor-setting schools and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours."

Texas governor bans vaccine passports from being required in state
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Tuesday morning prohibiting state agencies or political subdivisions in Texas from creating a "vaccine passport" requirement. Conversation has grown around vaccine passports recently as an option that can be used for travel or even eating out. They are typically described as an app with a code that verifies if someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. They're already in use in Israel, and in development in parts of Europe. But Abbott shut that down as an option in the Lone Star State with Executive Order No. GA - 35 also prohibiting "organizations receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide documentation of vaccine status in order to receive any service or enter any place."

When did you realize the COVID pandemic changed everything?
Many of us had a moment, most often occurring in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we've managed to move forward and adapt to a new normal, that memory still sticks with us. Tell us: What was that moment to you?

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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