COVID-19 News and Long Island Resources: April 5-9

Rachel Hollander | April 5, 2021

A still from an NJ Spotlight News report on April 2, 2021.

WLIW21 and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic’s COVID-19 cases and the vaccine rollout and distribution, as well as repercussions on employment, social services, the economy and politics. Here is the most recent information from infectious disease doctors and medical professionals, government officials, and journalists who cover news about COVID-19 and its impacts. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

Recent COVID News and Numbers

Click for National, State, and County Hotlines and Resources

As of Tuesday, April 6 at 8 a.m., New Yorkers age 16 and older will be eligible to schedule and receive the COVID-19 vaccines. On April 5, Governor Cuomo specified that “as of right now, people 16 and 17 years of age can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.”

See COVID-19 Vaccine questions and direct links to official New York, New Jersey and Connecticut sites with the most up-to-date information.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the Excelsior Pass, a free and voluntary mobile app platform for businesses and individuals that can be used to easily access secure proof of a recent negative COVID test or vaccination.

New community pop-up vaccination centers newly opened in Long Island are listed, below. (Appointments are required for each.)

Roosevelt Library
27 W Fulton Ave
Roosevelt, NY
Open: Wednesday, April 14, 8AM – 8PM

Patchogue YMCA
255 W. Main Street
Patchogue, NY
Open: Tuesday, April 6, 9AM-2PM and Thursday, April 8, 9AM-2PM

Temple Beth El of Great Neck
5 Old Mill Road
Great Neck, NY
Open: Tuesday, April 6, 9AM-5PM

Unkechaug Tribal Nation
151 Poospatuck Lane
Mastic, NY
Open: Friday, April 2, 2PM-6PM

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7 p.m. and weekends at 6 p.m. and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WLIW-FM weeknights at 6 p.m.

April 9: The Push to Vaccinate Meat-Packing Plants Workers

Workers in meatpacking factories and livestock farms that supply them are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Nationwide, at least 50,000 meatpackers have been infected and some 250 lost their lives. But things may finally be looking better for them. Special correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro reports on efforts to get them vaccinated for his series, Agents for Change.

April 8: One Pastor Reveals Why Evangelicals are COVID Vaccine Wary

As of Thursday, more than 64 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and many others are eagerly waiting for their shots. But among white evangelical Americans, interest in the vaccine isn’t as widespread. John Yang speaks with one evangelical leader about why that is, and what can be done to change it.

April 7: Possible Link Found Between AstraZeneca Vaccine, Blood Clots

The European Medicines Agency said a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets.” That’s a blow to low- and middle-income countries because the vaccine is inexpensive, easier to transport and store and is also 79 percent effective at preventing infections. Boston University’s Dr. Nahid Bhadelia joins Nick Schifrin to discuss.

April 6: Biden Administration Speeds Up Vaccination Timeline

President Joe Biden once again changed his vaccination goals Tuesday, shortening the timeline for all American adults to be eligible to get a vaccine. And, a Senate rule change may allow him to move forward on infrastructure without Republican support. White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor and congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins are here to share the latest in Washington.

April 5: News Wrap: U.S. Vaccination Numbers Soar

In our news wrap Monday, an average of 3.1 million COVID vaccines were administered daily over the past week — peaking at a record 4 million on Saturday. Overseas, daily virus infections in India surpassed 100,000 for the first time, making it the second country after the U.S. to reach that benchmark. President Joe Biden doubled down on the need for his $2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure package.

April 2: Job Report Offers Signs of Hope for Economy

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday a net gain of 916,000 jobs last month, the most since August, while the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent. The biggest job gain was in leisure and hospitality. The upbeat jobs report seems to confirm some economists’ forecasts that the economy is on its way to recovery. Louise Sheiner, of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, joins William Brangham to discuss.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

Left to right: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company airs Monday – Friday at 11 p.m.; repeats at 4 p.m. Watch broadcast or livestream.


MetroFocus Interviews

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus airs weeknights at 6 p.m. (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestreams; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 p.m..

April 7: Doctor on Call: Answering Your Questions About the COVID Vaccines

Governor Cuomo says one in three New York State residents has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — another milestone in the drive to end the pandemic. And this week, every New Yorker age 16 and older will be able to get vaccinated, making vaccines available to thousands more. But worries persist as the region battles the spread of more contagious variants, and a third wave in the pandemic. New York and New Jersey, as well as Connecticut, all have some of the highest infection rates in the country. So, where are we in the race between getting more people vaccinated and a third wave? How long does vaccine protection last? Can the vaccine offer relief to COVID long haulers? And when can we expect to reach herd immunity? Tonight, Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist at Columbia University and the Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Prohealth New York answers many of the most commonly asked questions about the vaccine.

NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi

NJ Spotlight News provides daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.

April 9: Vaccination Vans on Boardwalk Proposed for NJ Shore Towns

Would offering free COVID tests and shots from vans parked on the boardwalk draw more tourists to go down the Jersey Shore this summer season? A GOP assemblyman thinks it just might and he’s sponsored a measure urging NJ’s Department of Health to schedule visits for vaccination vans at towns along NJ’s oceanfront this summer as a way to help businesses recover from last season’s pandemic lockdown.

April 8: Adult Day Programs Remain Closed Due to COVID-19

As schools and businesses begin to reopen, adult day programs remain closed. That’s because the Department of Developmental Disabilities has based reopening on the state’s CALI score, or COVID Activity Level Index, which remains at high.

April 8: Too Few Newark Residents Getting Vaccines at New Megasite

Newark’s mayor and other organizers are not impressed by the number of city residents who’ve gotten shots one week after the new FEMA COVID-19 vaccination mega-site opened there. Mayor Baraka says more folks from Jersey City are getting vaccinated than Newark residents.

April 7: Immigrant Groups Rally for COVID-19 Relief From State

Budget and finance reporter John Reitmeyer has the latest on the state receiving $6 billion in federal aid and how it will be spent.

April 6: How Long Will Protection From the COVID-19 Vaccine Last? 

As more people get their shots, they’re left with a lingering question: how long will protection from the vaccine last?

April 5: Hackensack Meridian Health Creates COVID Variant Rapid Test

Dr. David Perlin of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Center for Discovery and Innovation explains the latest on their new rapid test that can track COVID variants.

April 5: Vaccine Supply to Local Pharmacies Delayed

Local pharmacies are running into issues trying to secure a supply of COVID-19 vaccines, even though residents would prefer to get their vaccine shots at these locations.

April 5: State’s Mobile Vaccination Units Have Yet to Hit the Road

A long-planned effort to reach homebound and vulnerable communities has been stuck in low gear. A mobile vaccine unit– three vans dubbed “the triplets” by state health leaders that’ve yet to hit the road. They’re considered a key tool in the overall vaccine plan. So why haven’t they been deployed? NJ Spotlight News healthcare reporter Lilo Stainton explains.

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer

Airs Saturdays at 6 p.m. You can also stream live at

April 9: Vaccine Nationalism Could Prolong the Pandemic

Vaccine nationalism, where countries prioritize their own citizens before the rest of the world, has been effective for rich nations like the US. But leaving behind so much of the world isn’t just a humanitarian issue. It could prolong the pandemic. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the White House, joins the program to discuss.

Hotlines and Information

National: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.

For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC offers guidelines of behavior and safety precautions.

New York State

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
For all New York State updates and announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo, see the state COVID site.

Reopening in New York

On April 2, New York’s arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33% capacity. Venues can host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors.

COVID-19 Testing

As of April 1, there will be 25 more low-cost, rapid testing locations for COVID-19, made possible by a public-private partnership in New York. Testing providers in the network must make rapid tests available for no more than $30, provide participants with their results within 30 minutes, offer a way for people to schedule in advance and report the results to the state. Find a test site and make an appointment.

Vaccine Distribution

The state documents its vaccination distribution through a vaccine tracker that includes first and second doses given.

In New York State, all government-run vaccination centers require an advance appointment. Make one via the ‘Am I Eligible’ website or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline 1-833-697-4829.

See the groups that are now eligible for the vaccine in New York.

Community Vaccination Sites in Long Island announced on March 25 including the BAPS in Melvillee and Alden Terrace School in Valley Stream. See the state site for location information and foreign language documents.

Long Island’s mass vaccination sites include:

SUNY Old Westbury
Clark Center – Gate C
Store Hill Road and Cherry Road
Old Westbury NY 11568

SCCC Brentwood
Suffolk County Community College
Suffolk Federal Credit Union Arena
1001 Crooked Hill Road
Brentwood, NY 11717

SUNY Stony Brook Southampton Campus
70 Tuckahoe Road
Southampton, NY 11968

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Learn more about how it works and download it to your mobile phone.

Nassau County

Text COVID19NC to 888777 to get updates on Coronavirus in Nassau County on your mobile device.

Nassau County Coronavirus Hotline: 516-227-9570

Nassau County COVID-19 information and resources. The site updates its data on cases, deaths, hospitalizations, number of ventilator patients and discharges daily at 5pm.

Nassau County maintains a map with number of cases by community.

Vaccine Appointments in Nassau

The Nassau County vaccine appointment website offers ways to schedule appointments for specific sites or distributors, including Nassau Coliseum. Go to:
Nassau County vaccine information.

Nassau County residents can also use the New York State site to find a vaccine appointment. Go to ‘Am I Eligible’ website or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline 1-833-697-4829.

Eligible veterans can call 516-572-6565 to schedule a vaccine appointment in Nassau County.

Suffolk County

Text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to get updates on Coronavirus in Suffolk County on your cell phone.

Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions about travel and symptoms.

Suffolk County COVID-19 information and resources, including daily reports of deaths, cases, and cases by county.

Vaccine Appointments in Suffolk

The Suffolk County vaccine appointment website offers ways to schedule appointments for specific sites or distributors. Go to:

Suffolk County residents can also use the New York State site to find a vaccine appointment. Go to ‘Am I Eligible’ website or call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline 1-833-697-4829.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

WLIW21 is the home of a weekday broadcast block starting at 8 a.m. Grades 3K-Grade 2 are served by Let’s Learn!, followed by a NJTV Learning Live lesson for 3rd graders at 10 a.m., 4th graders at 11 a.m., and 5th graders at 12 p.m.

Broadcast schedules on WLIW21, WLIW World and PBS Kids were developed to help schools and districts bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to learning for all students at home, regardless of access to the internet or computers.

Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and educators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.