NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Trump administration is canceling some of its remaining orders for ventilators, after rushing to sign nearly $3 billion in emergency contracts as the COVID-19 pandemic surged in the spring.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement affirming that the national stockpile has now reached its maximum capacity for the life-saving breathing machines, with nearly 120,000 available for deployment to state and local health officials if needed.
Though the orders were billed as a cost-saving measure, Democrats said the cancellations show the White House vastly overspent in its quest to fulfill President Donald Trump's pledge to make the United States the "King of Ventilators."
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Here are more of today's headlines:
Longtime event space in Queens closing for good
A beloved event space in Queens that has been in business for nearly 70 years is closing due to the COVID pandemic. Riccardo's by the Bridge announced Wednesday that the venue will shut its doors for good.
The Rock has COVID
Actor and entertainer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced on Instagram that he and his family are recovering from COVID-19.
LI schools see surge in enrollment
School districts on the East End of Long Island are seeing a surge in enrollment this fall, mostly with families from New York City.
NJ schools prepare to reopen
Governor Phil Murphy announced 434 school districts are opening with a hybrid model of in-person and remote learning, 68 districts will start with all in-person instruction, 242 districts will start all-remote, and 22 districts are opening with a combination of all-of-the-above.
NYC demos outdoor learning
Educators and parents hosted a in-person outdoor learning session at P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to help communities envision how they can make use of outdoor space and how outdoor learning can be accessible in any community with street access and without many resources.
Hempstead SD delays in-person learning
The Hempstead School District announced it is delaying the start of in-person instruction until September 21, with remote instruction beginning September 14. Students were initially supposed to resume classes on Tuesday, September 8.
"After careful thought, I decided to delay the re-opening of schools for students by 4 days," interim Superintendent Regina Armstrong said in a statement. "This decision was made due to the overwhelming amount of work expected of teachers to ensure they are prepared for the challenges of hybrid and remote learning, as well as our new health and safety protocols. We will be using next week for professional development to address these areas, so teachers can better understand our new Learning Management System, as well as ensure lesson plans are in place, for both in-person and remote students. This is a new way of teaching and learning, and I need to ensure our staff have adequate time to prepare properly for our students; therefore, the school year will start for students Monday, September 14, 2020 instead of September 8, 2020."
NYC Care now in all five boroughs
New York City's health care plan for uninsured city residents, NYC Care, is now expanding to Manhattan and Queens. That puts the plan in all five boroughs four months ahead of schedule. You can call 1-646-NYC-CARE to register.
Gyms reopen in NYC
Gyms in New York City are allowed to reopen Wednesday, with restrictions in place. Each gym has to pass a virtual inspection, no indoor group classes are allowed and swimming pools will remain closed. Still, this is a day lots of people have been waiting for, with many making appointments to get into fitness facilities across the city. Those returning for their workouts will need to wear a mask at all times, and gyms can only operate at one-third of their normal capacity.
NJ school district delays start of in-person school year
Paramus School District approved a delay to the start of the in-person school year to November 9. The Board of Education made the decision at a meeting on Monday night. The first day for virtual learning is unchanged and will begin on Thursday. The board blames a lack of staffing due to the pandemic and says the delay gives them more time to hire people and conduct background checks.
Nassau County dining campaign
While indoor dining is still not allowed in NYC, Nassau County is hoping to capitalize on that by drawing diners over the county line. Indoor dining is permitted in Nassau County at 50% capacity so the county is launching a social media and digital marketing campaign called Taste Nassau Today.
Archdiocese of Newark increases church attendance capacity
The Archdiocese of Newark announced that the attendance limit for its 212 churches in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties has increased. Based on the latest New Jersey public official guidelines, the number of people now permitted indoors for public liturgies and Baptisms, weddings and funerals has increased to 150 participants or 25 percent of the church's capacity, whichever is lower.
7 On Your Side Investigates: Lack of guidance, resources are top concerns for schools
A lack of guidance and resources are top concerns for school districts in New York and New Jersey scrambling to finalize plans for the 2020-2021 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by Eyewitness News.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
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