COVID News: 140,000 children in US have lost a caretaker to coronavirus

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests.

More than half the children who lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic belonged to those two racial groups, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, according to the study published Thursday by the medical journal Pediatrics.

"These findings really highlight those children who have been left most vulnerable by the pandemic, and where additional resources should be directed," one of the study's authors, Dr. Alexandra Blenkinsop of Imperial College London, said in a statement.

During 15 months of the nearly 19-month COVID-19 pandemic, more than 120,000 U.S. children lost a parent or grandparent who was a primary provider of financial support and care, the study found. Another 22,000 children experienced the death of a secondary caregiver - for example, a grandparent who provided housing but not a child's other basic needs.

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



Hochul announces $125 million for landlord rent relief
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $125 million in state funding is now available to help landlords who couldn't participate in the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program due to a federal requirement for tenants to participate in the application process. Administered by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and accepting applications starting Thursday, Oct. 7, the Landlord Rental Assistance Program provides up to 12 months of past-due rent to landlords who are ineligible for the federally funded program because their tenants either declined to complete an application or vacated the residence with arrears. Priority will be given to those landlords owning small-to-medium-sized properties.

"Getting pandemic relief money out the door to New Yorkers has been a top priority for my administration since day one," Governor Hochul said. "I am proud that our state's rental assistance program has already provided much needed relief to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, but there are still many small landlords ineligible for that relief because of federal rules who also need our help. This funding is a critical tool to close that gap and help more New Yorkers recover from the pandemic."

Vaccine mandate looms for more NY health care workers
Home health care agencies across New York are bracing for possible staffing shortages as another COVID-19 vaccine mandate takes effect. Workers in adult care facilities, home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, and hospice care have until Thursday night to get their first COVID shot. There are about 250,000 home health aides statewide, and it is estimated that one in five is not vaccinated.

Nassau County to send $375 payments to some 400,000 homeowners impacted by pandemic
Some Nassau County residents have $375 headed their way after County Executive Laura Curran signed a new pandemic relief program into law. Nassau County Homeowner Assistance Program or "HAP" provides direct payments to as many as 400,000 homeowners. Most households with an income below $168,900 are automatically eligible. Those who earn more have to prove they've been hurt financially as a result of the pandemic. To apply, NassauCountyNY.Gov/HAP.

Biden to push vaccine mandates in Thursday speech, making economic case for COVID shots
President Joe Biden is wielding his weapon of last resort in the nation's fight against COVID-19, as he champions vaccination requirements across the country in an effort to force the roughly 67 million unvaccinated American adults to roll up their sleeves. It's a tactic he never wanted to employ - and had ruled out before he took office - but one that he feels he was forced into by a stubborn slice of the public that has refused to get the lifesaving shots and jeopardized the lives of others and the nation's economic recovery.

Pfizer submits EUA request for COVID vaccine for kids
Pfizer asked the U.S. government Thursday to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 -- and if regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks. Many parents and pediatricians are clamoring for protection for children younger than 12, today's age cutoff for the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. Not only can youngsters sometimes get seriously ill, but keeping them in school can be a challenge with the coronavirus still raging in poorly vaccinated communities.

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