COVID-19 News and Long Island Resources: December 21-25

December 21, 2020

WLIW21 and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus pandemic as an emergency health issue, and its repercussions on employment, social services, the economy and politics. Here is the latest 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-19 News and Numbers

Click for Hotlines and Information Sources for Nassau and Suffolk Counties

On December 21, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered in New York State as of Monday morning – the highest reported total in the nation.

The first 346,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to begin arriving in New York today, with an additional 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected later this week.

Governor Cuomo’s regular coronavirus updates now focus on hospital and ICU bed availability in New York State’s regions, based on seven-day averages. See the status of regions on forward.ny.gov.

The governor has shared that contact tracing data shows the factor in 74% of cases is household and small gatherings.

New York State Travel Advisory

New York State has new quarantine rules for out-of-state travel: residents from most other states must obtain a test within three days of departure from their state, and upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, out-of-state travelers should get another COVID-19 test. Once negative, they can move freely in New York State. For more details on out-of-state travel, see the New York State Health Department site.

Micro-Cluster Hot Spots

Look up an address to see if it is in a New York COVID-19 color-coded Hot Spot Zone with restrictions. Maps of the cluster zones can be found here.

The places and activities regulated are non-essential gatherings, businesses, dining, and schools. See the New York State site for details on how cluster zones are identified and implemented.

WLIW21 offers coronavirus coverage updates via email or mobile. Sign up for email alerts here, or text INFORMATION to 30644 for mobile notifications.

MetroFocus Interviews

(l to r): Hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus is on weeknights at 5, 7 and 11 p.m. on broadcast and livestream; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 p.m.

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is on weeknights at 6 p.m. and weekends at 6:30 p.m. on broadcast and livestream. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WLIW-FM weeknights at 6 p.m.

December 20: ER Doctor’s Vaccination Experience


Frontline healthcare workers are the first to receive the COVID-19 protection. Dr. Alexis Langsfeld, a New York physician, spoke with NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Karla Murthy about the vaccination and the surge in cases across the country.

December 19: The Second COVID-19 Vaccine


A second COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna, began rollout on Sunday. With America regularly recording more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths per day, the much-needed additional doses will provide a boost to efforts to vaccinate healthcare workers, but may take months to reach the general population. ProPublica’s Caroline Chen explains what to expect from the rollout.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company

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

Amanpour and Company is on Monday – Saturday at 12 a.m.; repeats at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. Watch broadcast or livestream.

December 18: Moderna Vaccine Distribution Plans


Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s co-founder, speaks with Walter Isaacson about what the vaccine means for the nation and the world – and some potential challenges – in this 17-minute interview.

Hotlines and Information

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
See New York State coronavirus updates here. Sign up for Governor Cuomo’s daily emails here.

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.

Work and Assistance

Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for labor law information and more.

A new New York State web application helps struggling New Yorkers locate benefits they may qualify for. “Find Services” is an easy starting point for first-time users of social programs that relate to unemployment, food insecurity, and housing, among other services.

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

Hear from state legislators from Nassau County on November 19, 10-11 a.m. in the free webinar: Suffolk County Virtual State Legislative Forum, organized by City & State New York.

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.

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.

Hear from state legislators from Suffolk County on November 12, 10-11 a.m. in the free webinar: Suffolk County Virtual State Legislative Forum, organized by City & State New York.

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

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

WLIW21 is the home of a weekday broadcast block starting at 9 a.m. Grades 3K-Grade 2 are served by Let’s Learn, NYC!, 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.