Oct 19, 2020
- We all hope that there will be a COVID vaccine that can be approved and administered in the near future. To ensure a safe and effective distribution of a vaccine once it is ready, the State has announced a draft Vaccine Administration Program, which will serve as an initial framework for the distribution of a vaccine. The three principle of safety, efficacy and equity are paramount. We will only distribute a vaccine that meets our safety standards, is proven to be effective, and that has clear prioritization that is fair and equitable.
This draft Vaccination Administration Program is designed to work in concert with the federal government's actions. Vaccinating New York will be a massive undertaking; indeed, it is a larger operational undertaking than anything we have done against COVID to date. That's why we are planning and getting the advice of experts at every step. Read more about the State's Vaccination Administration Program here.
Remember: Any New Yorker can get tested for COVID. Find a testing site near you.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Most movie theaters outside of New York can reopen on Friday, October 23rd. Theaters can reopen at 25 percent capacity with up to 50 people per screen. Theaters outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average, and that do not have any cluster zones, are permitted to open.
2. The positivity rate in the "Red Zone" focus areas fell slightly to 3.31 percent. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.13 percent yesterday. There were 934 total hospitalizations. Of the 82,009 tests reported yesterday, 998, or 1.21 percent, were positive. Sadly, we lost 14 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. Ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity starting November 6th. There will be strict health and safety protocols put in place, including masks required at all times, except when eating/drinking or skiing/snowboarding; restricting gondolas; and ski lifts to members of the same party, and limiting lessons to no more than 10 people.
4. Request an absentee ballot today and make your voice heard. Any New Yorker who is concerned about COVID exposure can request an absentee ballot this year. While the official deadline to request one either online or by mail is October 27th, the post office recommends applying for an absentee ballot today. The earlier you request your ballot, the better. Request one here.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": A 14-year-old girl from Texas won a $25,000 prize for a discovery that offers promise in the development of potential therapies for COVID-19. Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas, won this year's 3M Young Scientist Challenge for an invention that uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the formal name of Coronavirus). Initially, Anika intended her project to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus, but when the pandemic hit, she switched gears to target Coronavirus instead. Congratulations Anika.
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