Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: Veterans Affairs reports 0 COVID deaths for 1st time since March 2020

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is new and encouraging information this morning in the fight against the pandemic.

For the first time in more than a year, Veterans Affairs reported zero COVID deaths at its medical centers.

The last time the VA went a day without any COVID deaths was March 18, 2020.

Since then, more than 12,000 VA patients have died from the virus.

The acting under secretary for health at Veterans Affairs highlighted the impact of the vaccine in making this progress.

Here are more of today's headlines:



Disneyland to allow out-of-state visitors starting June 15
Disneyland and California Adventure plan to start allowing visitors from outside the state to attend starting June 15, the parks announced Wednesday. The wider opening coincides with the day that the state of California is lifting most restrictions on capacity and physical distancing at businesses and group gatherings throughout the state, following a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccinations.

Federal tax refund delay unacceptable to some, who say IRS should have adapted to pandemic by now
Dozens of people said they filed their taxes months ago, but haven't received their refunds. It usually takes the IRS about 21 days to issue tax refunds, but the delay this year mirrors the delays in 2020. But the people who reached out to the ABC7 I-Team said they're counting on that money. Elaine and Stuart, who did not want to share their name, said their money just says pending, pending, pending and they've had enough. They've been waiting for their tax return for nearly three months.

House GOP leaders condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene over comparing mask rules to Holocaust
House Republican leaders forcefully condemned GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday, calling her comments comparing House COVID-19 safety rules like mask-wearing to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany "appalling." The freshman Georgia congresswoman's comments belittled "the greatest atrocity committed in history," said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Guidance for NJ employers
Gov. Murphy signed an Executive Order giving additional guidance and flexibility to employers - especially those in office settings - as they look to their own continued return to normal operating practices.

He said effective June 4, employers can allow employees who are vaccinated to forego masks and social distancing.


Child care limits lifted in NJ
Effective immediately, the group limits in child care classes in New Jersey - which are currently capped at 15 - will be returned to their normal regulated limits.

NY venues can go 100% capacity for only full vaccinated

All venues in New York state have the option to go 100% capacity for only fully vaccinated, Gov. Cuomo says.

NY schools vaccination competition
Gov. Cuomo announced a raffle for full tuition, room and board scholarships to any public college or university in NY state for 12-17 year-olds who get vaccinated in the next six weeks. Starting Thursday through July 7, any 12-17-year-old who gets first Pfizer dose can enter. 10 4-year scholarships will be awarded via random drawing every Wednesday.

Royal Caribbean cleared to run test cruises
It's a significant step forward for the cruise industry. The CDC has given Royal Caribbean the green light to run test cruises.

According to multiple reports, the cruise company will be able to conduct these simulated cruises late next month using volunteer passengers.

The tests are required for any ship that is not guaranteeing most passengers and crew members will be vaccinated.

NYC prepares for near-normal Memorial Day weekend
The Tri-State region takes another big step toward a normal summer starting this weekend. In fact, if you've had your vaccine, the CDC says you can enjoy this holiday like it's pre-pandemic times.

Fleet Week New York is back and virtual for 2nd straight year
Fleet Week New York kicks off today in a virtual formal for a second straight year. The Navy is hosting Fleet Week New York in a virtual environment via social media from May 26-31. The Navy announced the cancelation of in-person events associated with Fleet Week New York 2021 back in February due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19.

Puerto Rico ends pandemic curfew; COVID-19 testing requirements waived for fully-vaccinated visitors
Puerto Rico ended a nightly pandemic curfew Monday after more than a year in force and will allow vaccinated visitors to enter the island without a negative coronavirus test result.

The island has been under a curfew since March 2020, when the first coronavirus case was reported. Even when the curfew was sometimes changed, it mostly stayed between midnight and 5 a.m. Arriving visitors who are not vaccinated will still be required to present a negative coronavirus test or promise to offer a test result within 48 hours. The government intends to impose a $300 fine to those who don't comply with the testing. But in addition to letting in vaccinated visitors, the government said that beginning Friday it will offer the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine to anyone who arrives at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.

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