Coronavirus Updates: Biden Considers Mailing Masks Directly To Americans’ Homes


That is our every day replace of breaking COVID-19 information for Thursday, February 4th, 2021. Earlier every day updates will be discovered right here, and up-to-date statistics are right here.

New York Metropolis is in Section 4 of reopening now, which incorporates zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. Citing rising hospitalization charges, Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended indoor eating in NYC beginning December 14th, but it surely’s slated to return with restricted capability on Valentine’s Day.

After being shut down for a number of weeks, NYC public faculties partially reopened on December seventh for 3K-Fifth grade college students, with college students with particular wants returning on December tenth.

Get solutions to questions you might have with our “Ask An Epidemiologist” sequence, or study extra about NYC COVID-19 testing choices with our explainer. Listed below are some native and state hotlines for extra info: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

This is the most recent:

6:30 p.m. The White Home would possibly ship masks to each family within the U.S.—a proposal the Trump administration ended up sidelining, in accordance with three sources who spoke with NBC Information.

A choice isn’t closing, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated throughout a press briefing on Thursday, however NBC Information experiences that Biden’s COVID-19 advisors are wanting into the logistics of the endeavor, on condition that the nation harbors about 130 million households. Shortly after taking workplace, Biden mandated masks on public transit and federal property. Psaki didn’t present a value evaluation, which she stated would depend upon what number of masks could be despatched.

“There are a selection of choices on the desk to assist shield extra Individuals from the coronavirus and encourage individuals to masks up,” Psaki instructed reporters Thursday. “No determination has been made to try this.”

Underneath the Trump administration, america Postal Service had at one level thought-about sending masks to everybody within the nation. However the thought was later scrapped, the Washington Publish revealed in September. An administration official instructed the newspaper on the time there was a concern that mailing face coverings may “create concern or panic.”

Masks sporting has been discovered to scale back the unfold of the coronavirus. Now, some well being officers—together with town’s high well being skilled, Dr. Jay Varma—suggest double-masking. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention haven’t issued official suggestions on double-masking.

NYS Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker


NYS Division of Well being Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker speaks throughout opening of vaccination website at Jacob Javits Heart, January 13, 2021.

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

State Well being Commissioner Denies De Blasio Request To Use Second Dose Vaccine Provide For First Doses

12:58 p.m. New York State’s well being commissioner has issued a prolonged response to Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s persistent requests to make use of all the metropolis’s reserves of COVID-19 vaccines as first doses. Echoing steerage from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Dr. Howard A. Zucker stated state well being officers usually are not prepared to maneuver ahead with the concept, given shortfalls within the vaccine provide.

“Most significantly, and definitively, the CDC, which is now headed by President Biden’s group, doesn’t suggest utilizing second doses for first doses,” Zucker wrote. “I’m in common contact with the CDC, together with as just lately as this morning, on this matter after they affirmed their opposition to utilizing second doses as first doses now.”

After weeks of public feedback, de Blasio penned a proper request to the governor on Wednesday. The mayor confirmed the existence of the letter throughout Thursday’s press briefing at metropolis corridor. Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly rejected the concept.

“We’d like extra provide,” de Blasio instructed reporters Thursday. “We’d like each conceivable motion by the federal authorities and the state authorities to extend our provide.”

De Blasio stated he’s spoken to federal leaders on manufacturing slowdowns surrounding the licensed vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. He’s advocating for the Biden administration to compel different pharmaceutical corporations to make these very important merchandise, citing the president’s current invocation of the Protection Manufacturing Act. De Blasio additionally argues that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate will assist cowl future shortages, although the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration has not but scheduled a evaluation for the pharmaceutical firm. The corporate pledged to file an utility with the FDA in early February when it launched an interim evaluation of its part 3 trial on January twenty ninth.

“We all know extra provide is coming…it’s simply not proper to withhold second doses that we could possibly be utilizing proper now,” de Blasio stated. “We’re in a war-time dynamic.”

However Zucker’s letter counters that the vaccine rollout’s constant issues with deliveries don’t justify a coverage change. Regardless that the CDC just lately loosened guidelines and stated recipients can wait as much as six weeks earlier than taking a second dose, its main suggestion is three to 4 weeks, relying on the vaccine.

“Whereas the science on whether or not a ‘temporary delay’ would affect full immunity is open and disputed,” Zucker wrote, “I do consider it could create undue anxiousness to inform individuals who have scheduled appointments that these appointments are being shifted even for a ‘temporary delay.'”

Zucker, who has just lately confronted immense public scrutiny round COVID deaths in nursing houses, added that if the CDC modifications its steerage, the state would work aggressively to safe sufficient provide and that “I can guarantee you New York will set the nationwide mannequin.”