Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: New Orleans closing all bars during Mardi Gras

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — This year’s Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans will be very different from previous years.

City leaders ordered the closure of all indoor and outdoor bars in the Big Easy and they banned drinks ‘to-go.”

The rules go into effect on Friday and last through Fat Tuesday.

The mayor also described large crowds seen on bourbon street last weekend as “unacceptable.”

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Here are more of today’s headlines:

NY expanding vaccine eligibility February 15
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York will open up vaccine eligibility by Feb. 15 for people with certain health problems that put them at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

NYC vaccine push, Yankee Stadium site opens
Friday is opening day at Yankee Stadium – not for baseball, but for a mass COVID vaccination site. It is for Bronx residents only and by appointment only. The goal is to get more people in the Bronx protected from COVID-19, which is currently infecting more people there than in any other part of the city.

NJ eases indoor capacity restrictions and curfew restrictions
Indoor capacity at restaurants and other businesses in New Jersey has increased to 35%, up from 25%, and they will be allowed to stay open past 10 p.m., Governor Phil Murphy announced. The relaxation of restrictions, affects restaurants, gyms, other personal care businesses, performance venues, amusement and recreation facilities, casinos, and indoor gatherings that are religious ceremonies/services, wedding ceremonies, political activities, and memorial services/funerals. The city of Newark has opted to keep the 10 p.m. curfew for weekdays and extend the curfew to 11 p.m. for weekends.

Cuomo, Murphy join forces to push for federal relief, SALT repeal
New York Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Murphy are urging the federal government to allocate COVID-19 relief funds based on need and to repeal the tax on the state and local tax deduction (SALT). Cuomo and Murphy argued that their states and Connecticut paid a high price, essentially ambushed by COVID much like when a hurricane causes devastation. They say the federal government should allocate relief in a way that is fair.
“When a state gets hit by a hurricane, that state gets relief,” Cuomo said. “Not that every state gets relief. The places that paid the highest price for the emergency (get relief). Our state and our region paid the highest price for the emergency.”

COVID vaccine-seeking seniors from NY turned away in CT
A Connecticut CVS pharmacy says it had to turn away a group of New York seniors who traveled there to try to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Waterford Police say the group made reservations online but were turned away because they did not meet the residency criteria. The average age of those in the group was about 80. According to police, no one was arrested.

Biden administration to deploy 1,100 troops to help COVID vaccination efforts
The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers in what will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. President Joe Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month. Two of the five new military teams will go to vaccination centers opening in California. Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt said military personnel will arrive at those centers in a little over a week. Three additional centers are expected to be announced soon.

TSA to begin enforcing $250 – $1,500 fines for mask violations
President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination effort, telling the American people that “help is on the way.” The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that travelers who do not wear a face mask could face fines of $250 to $1,500. The TSA began requiring passengers to wear masks legally earlier this week, in accordance with President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating face mask use during travel. In a Friday update, the agency said it would implement civil penalties of a $250 fine for the first offense to up to $1,500 for repeat offenders. The agency provided transportation system operators specific guidance on how to report violations so that they can issue the penalties.

How Chinatown businesses are fighting to survive the pandemic
So many businesses have suffered greatly during the coronavirus pandemic and in Chinatown, a community that’s suffered from the get-go, businesses are fighting to survive.

Vaccine appointment tips for seniors
The competition to simply get a vaccine appointment has been called COVID’s version of “The Hunger Games” which is leaving the most vulnerable group, 65 and up, at a supreme disadvantage. But 7 On Your Side’s Nina Pineda has some tips on leveling the pandemic playing field.

Top 7 COVID vaccine questions answered
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On Your Side is getting you answers from doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

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