COVID News: Homeland Security warns about extremists targeting health care workers, facilities

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Feds warn domestic extremists could target health care workers, facilities
Dan Lieberman reports on the fight against COVID in the US.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Forecasters predict the coming weeks will bring fewer COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Despite that prediction, the number of Americans dying from the virus remains high. A sobering prediction from the CDC says that more than 22,000 deaths are expected in the United States in the next two weeks.

However, there's a warning from Homeland Security that domestic extremists could target healthcare workers, facilities, and public officials, as vaccine mandates and other virus mitigation efforts take hold.

According to federal data, many more Americans are now getting booster shots every day than first doses of the vaccine.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:

AstraZeneca seeks FDA authorization for first-of-a-kind COVID antibody treatment

AstraZeneca, the drugmaker that developed one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the emergency use of a first-of-a-kind antibody treatment to prevent the disease.

The Anglo-Swedish company said Tuesday that the treatment, known as AZD7442, would be the first long-acting antibody combination to receive an emergency authorization for COVID-19 prevention. If authorized, the drug would likely be limited to people with compromised immune systems who don't get sufficient protection from vaccination.

Nearly 200,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits recalled over concerns of false positives

Ellume is recalling nearly 200,000 rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen tests out of concerns over an abnormally high rate of false positives observed from certain lots of its tests.

Roughly 427,000 test kits, including thousands sent to retailers and some provided to the Department of Defense, have been impacted by the issue.

1st nurse, health care workers in US to get COVID vaccine, get booster at LIJ Medical Center

The first three employees to have received the COVID vaccine in the U.S. have now received their booster shots.

Northwell Health made history on December 14, 2020, when LIJ Medical Center intensive care unit nurse, Sandra Lindsay, RN, became the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

On that same day, she was joined by Lenox Hill Hospital's Yves Duroseau, MD, the first physician in America to hold this distinction, as well as North Shore University Hospital intensive care unit nurse Elyse Isopo, NP.

Now that the CDC has authorized the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech's booster shot to people ages 65 and up, along with people with pre-existing conditions and frontline workers, these employees wanted to get their third dose.

North Carolina woman dies from COVID-19 weeks after giving birth to 'miracle baby'

The Charlotte woman who gave birth to her child while unconscious and on a ventilator has died, according to her family.

Vicky Goodson was a cafeteria worker at an elementary school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district. According to her family, she took many precautions against COVID-19, including wearing a mask while indoors. But she was hesitant to get vaccinated while pregnant.

Then on Sept. 3, she started struggling to breathe and had to be admitted to the hospital. A few days later, doctors performed an emergency C-section while Goodson was unconscious. Her baby spent two weeks in the NICU before going home with relatives who will now have to tell her stories about the mother she will never meet.

Family members hope Goodson's story will encourage other expecting mothers to get vaccinated.

Los Angeles passes one of the strictest COVID vaccine mandates in the US

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to enact one of the nation's strictest vaccine mandates -- a sweeping measure that would require the shots for everyone entering a bar, restaurant, nail salon, gym or even a Lakers game.

The ordinance requires proof of full vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours for indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping malls, entertainment venues (like the Staples Center) and personal care establishments (like nail salons) starting Nov. 4.

NY Excelsior pass to validate passes from other states

Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York State's Excelsior Pass Scanner app has been updated to enable the validation of SMART Health Cards from trusted issuers outside of New York State based on federal and state COVID-19 guidance. To date, more than 5.6 million Excelsior Passes, including over 800,000 Excelsior Passes Plus, have been issued since New York State launched the first-in-the-nation, voluntary platform.

"New York was hit hard by COVID-19, and we have led bold efforts to pursue innovative solutions to reinvigorate economies," Hochul said. "Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus, the nation's first vaccine and negative test pass system, have been critical tools in the safe reopening of our economy and the protection of New York's public health. We're expanding this solution even further with a set of standards that can be used and validated by all businesses for free, nationwide, based on shared policies and commitments New Yorkers trust."

NYC schools vaccine mandate beats another legal challenge

A federal judge in Manhattan declined Tuesday to impose a temporary restraining order on New York City's public school vaccine mandate, rejecting a request from a special education teacher who was denied a religious exemption. Michael Kane and nine other educators - who all said they possess sincerely held religious beliefs that compel them to eschew any vaccine - sought the temporary restraining order, claiming the mandate violates the free exercise and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.

"Plaintiffs have not made an adequate showing to entitle them to a temporary restraining order," Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said. "If I were to grant injunctive relief today there could be an enormous disruption for school for thousands of New York City school children."

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